• Slider 2

Mothering in the Winter Season


As I have reflected on the winter seasons of my life as a mother, I can see that, though they could be very trying times, they also have been times when I learned the deepest lessons of faith and grew closer to God. Let me share with you some of the fruit of my own winter reflections.

First, I have learned that my life is not the center of the universe. It has taken me years to see just how self-centered and selfish I can be, and just how much growing up I needed to do. Jesus said that in this world we would experience tribulation, so struggle is a normal part of life. He certainly knew tribulation, as did Peter, Paul, David, Moses, Esther, and all who have lived for the purposes of God. My struggles are not exceptions requiring special attention; they are simply the norm.

Second, I have learned that motherhood— the raising of godly children— invites intense spiritual warfare. Living as a Christian is not just about believing in Jesus, enjoying God’s blessings, then going to heaven. That kind of mediocrity of soul is never an option for a mature believer. God says the Christian life is spiritual warfare, a battle, and we all will have to fight. No exceptions. Paul said, “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12, NASB). That’s just life.

Third, I have learned that God is transcendent, with infinite purposes beyond my finite comprehension. He has been faithful to each generation of his people, compassionate and merciful even when we cannot see or understand his purposes. That truth forces a choice in my heart: Either I bow my knee to God’s will, trusting his grace to sustain me through every struggle because I know he is sovereign and in control; or I give in to my bitterness, allowing grief and despair to defeat me. It is a choice I have to make over and over again.

Fourth, I have learned that God wants to shape me, his child, into the likeness of Christ. Scripture teaches that “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). His hand of discipline has loosed my grip on things I hold too tightly—possessions, people, dreams, pride, expectations—things I have placed my hope in instead of in him. In their place, he has given me the wonderful freedom of knowing I am loved and accepted by him, no matter how I may sin or fail him.

Fifth, I have learned that God uses my trials to make me better able to minister to other women. I have learned compassion for others who struggle, because I have grappled with my own issues. I have wrestled with children, marriage, finances, health, and so many other issues, so I can more easily identify with others in similar situations, and offer them the compassion and hope that I have found in God’s faithfulness and goodness.

Finally, I have learned that God uses hard times to make me stronger and more faithful. I have a much larger capacity now, than I ever had as a young woman, to handle challenges and responsibilities. A young mom might be overwhelmed with the constant work and stress of having a new baby, but a mom who has raised many children has learned to take her responsibilities in stride. It may take some time, but I really can “consider it pure joy” when I “face trials of many kinds,” because I know the “testing of [my] faith develops perseverance” (James 1:1-3).

I hope my reflections are an encouragement to your own heart today.  Do one or more of these areas seem to be one in which you might need to embrace the cup the Lord has poured for you?

You can read more of my reflections on motherhood in Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, available here!


Giving Hope to your Child this Christmas

Lighting 5 candles, turning the lights low, switching the gas logs on high and bringing a tray of mugs overflowing with hot chocolate and whip cream all came together in about 5 minutes. The last touch was the familiar Celtic Christmas album that hummed gently through the room to bring the familiar comfort of a well-loved cd. My young daughter had just experienced a devastating tragedy that had made her innocent heart fearful—a fatal shooting at our church during the Christmas season a few years ago had wrought terror in our hearts. Snuggling up together under soft throws on the couch, she poured out her fears, worries, and questions for a half hour. I searched the files of my heart to ... Keep Reading

Laying Foundations of Faith for Dark Times

Charles Baugniet "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up." Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 Big blue eyes filling up with tears and a hoarse whisper made me pay attention. "Mama, Can I speak with you alone?" Busy with rocking Joy as she was dozing off to sleep and waiting to put my two loud boys to bed with a kiss and prayer, I was surprised to see the serious concern on Sarah's face. Finally, I had a quiet moment  to speak with her much too late in the night. "Mama, I don't know if I believe in God any ... Keep Reading

Spiritual Disciplines: Cultivating Practices That Deepen Your Faith

Joy and me on a recent freeing hike in the mountains My wonderful co-writer and "like" girl The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy. BROTHER LAWRENCE “Well, I don’t know, it’s just, like...” These words had barely slipped out of Joy’s mouth before my eyebrows raised at her and we both started laughing. Ever since she had returned during breaks from her university in Southern California, the word “like” frequently visited itself upon her vocabulary. Joy had never been a “like” girl before, ... Keep Reading

Happy Thanksgiving to You!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family! ... Keep Reading