6.30am and my children are arguing. Does that happen in your home? It sure does in mine. My 2 and 4 year old wake up before the crack of dawn, (my 1 year old wakes up even earlier) and before I’ve even had a chance to dig the crunch from my eyes, my 4 and 2 year old are squabbling.
I am always striving to be a better mum for the Glory of God but I don’t always meet the standards I set for myself. With mum life being so busy and engulfed with crying children, squabbling siblings, and dinnr to cook, I can become flustered, frustrated and frazzled and before I know it, I’m no good to the ones who need me the most, my children. But I am learning to take a step back and do certain things to ensure that I stay focused on what is most important, the Gospel and God getting the Glory
Here are the top 5 habits I’m training myself to cultivate more and more to stay a Gospel centered mum.
I am currently trying to get back into the habit of getting up early before my children wake up to pray, but as I mentioned earlier, my younger children wake up very early so my quiet time, when it happens, does not happen very often. Because of the current season I am in, praying throughout the day is something I need to do to keep me focused on the Gospel. There are moments throughout my day where things get so hectic that I get overwhelmed and taking a few minutes out to pray stops me blowing a fuse. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can draw near to the throne of grace with confidence to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need, and trust me, my time of need is all the time! So I use every opportunity I can get; be it on the loo, by the kitchen sink or right in the midst of all the chaos, to talk to God. In those moments my prayers may be a few words or ‘breath prayers’ as I like to call them, where I cry out to God for His grace, wisdom, patience etc to help me deal with situations in a way that brings Him Glory. It is a privilege to be able to talk to the Creator of heaven and earth at any given time of the day or night, and be heard and helped!
2. Read (or listen to) the bible.
Prayer is my go-to when the heat rises in my home, and this usually leads me on to reading God’s Word. Sometimes I can only get a verse or 2 in but God’s Word is so powerful (Heb 4:12) that that is all it takes to bring my gaze back on His greatness. Very often I use the YouVersion bible app on my phone as my phone is usually always near by and if I am not able to read the bible, I listen to it out loud on audio. I love being able to access God’s Word at a press of a few buttons and let His Words wash over me while cooking, washing the dishes or feeding the baby. Hearing the truths in Gods Word brings comfort and reminds me of Who is Bigger and Greater than me and helps realign my thinking to His ways and not my own.
3. Sing (or listening to) hymns.
I love hymns. They not only remind me of the songs I sang at church as a little girl, but the words are so beautiful and all about God. Singing the same songs now as an adult, I’m blown away by the words, with its truths resonating with me. ‘What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer’. Some of the hymns I love to sing/listen to are: ‘I need Thee, O I need Thee‘ (every hour I need thee), ‘This is Amazing Grace’ (this is unfailing Love), ‘How Great Thou Art’, ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’, and ‘In Christ alone‘ (my hope is found). Singing hymns lifts my spirit and again causes me to cast my gaze on Christ rather that the chaos that is happening around me.
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4. Preaching the Gospel to myself.
I first heard this phrase used by Paul Tripp; a Pastor and author of various books about marriage and raising children. When I preach the Gospel to myself I remind myself of what I believe about the God I serve and what He has done for me through His Son Jesus Christ. There are many a time when my responses to my children and things that happen in the daily routine of mum-life do not tally up with what I confess to believe. Does that ever happen to you? I really have to be intentional about what I allow to capture my thoughts as what I allow myself to think on, will eventually become what I act out. which brings me nicely on to my 5th and final spiritual discipline that keeps my mum life sane and Gospel Centered; meditation.
5. Meditating on Gods Word.
This is a spiritual discipline that I need to work on big time. I don’t meditate half as much as I should, but when I do, it is powerful. A wonderful thing abut meditation is that you can do it anywhere, just like prayer, and when I chew over the Living Word of God the drama’s that may have occurred in my home during that day are overpowered by the truth and beauty of God’s Word.
The bible speaks often of meditating on God’s Word and the benefits of practising this discipline; yielding good fruit (psalms 1:3), being prosperous and having good success (Joshua 1:8) to name a few. As a mum desiring to raise my children for the Glory of God, I want to yield good fruit and be prosperous and successful according to His standards. The only way this will happen is by His Grace and His Word. Meditation is something I definitely need to more intentional about cultivating into a habit as part of my spiritual growth.
When I do these 5 things, throughout the day, my situation doesn’t necessarily change, in fact in most cases it doesn’t change, rather I change. I am able to see situations in a different light. I am reminded of God’s providence; that He controls every creature and every action and therefore every drama in my home has been allowed by Him for my good and for His Glory. I also find I have grace to manage the tantrums, disobedience, fights etc in a more Christ-like way that brings Him Glory.
What do you do throughout your day of mum life to keep you focused on Christ? What are your go-to’s to stop you having a melt down with your children? Please do share. I would love to hear from you.
Until Next time
Yours in Christ