The 365 Most Important Bible Passages for Mothers: Daily Readings and Meditations on Experiencing the Lifelong Blessings of Being a Mom

Overview

The 365 MOST IMPORTANT BIBLE PASSAGES FOR MOTHERS is the third in a three-book series, providing insights and applications to help readers understand the context and nuances found in Bible passages and how they relate to reader's lives.

Features inlcude:

  • A comprehensive overview and accompanying meditation for each passage.
  • Daily Scriptures...
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The 365 Most Important Bible Passages for Mothers: Daily Readings and Meditations on Experiencing the Lifelong Blessings of Being a Mom

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Overview

The 365 MOST IMPORTANT BIBLE PASSAGES FOR MOTHERS is the third in a three-book series, providing insights and applications to help readers understand the context and nuances found in Bible passages and how they relate to reader's lives.

Features inlcude:

  • A comprehensive overview and accompanying meditation for each passage.
  • Daily Scriptures that reveal the divine character of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in relation to the important work of mothers.
  • Insightful comments and applications to daily life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446575010
  • Publisher: FaithWords
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Series: 365 Most Important Bible Passages Series , #3
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 338,862
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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The 365 Most Important Bible Passages for Mothers

Daily Readings and Meditations on Experiencing the Lifelong Blessings of Being a Mom
By Cornea, Sheila

FaithWords

Copyright © 2012 Cornea, Sheila
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446575010

PURPOSE

Is it possible that you have a purpose beyond being a spectacular mom? So much is said about discovering your purpose, but finding yourself can be disillusioning when you spend your day changing diapers or chauffeuring children. Don’t confuse your daily, maybe even mundane, routine with your purpose! God tells you very plainly what he requires of you. Your purpose should be others centered. “Others” begins with your family but doesn’t stop there. Figure out how you would most enjoy serving God and others, and you’ll know your purpose!

O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8 NLT

JANUARY 1

PLAN A IS ALWAYS IN PLACE

God was kind and decided that Christ would choose us to be God’s own adopted children. God was very kind to us because of the Son he dearly loves, and so we should praise God.

Christ sacrificed his life’s blood to set us free, which means that our sins are now forgiven. Christ did this because God was so kind to us. God has great wisdom and understanding, and by what Christ has done, God has shown us his own mysterious ways. Then when the time is right, God will do all that he has planned, and Christ will bring together everything in heaven and on earth.

God always does what he plans, and that’s why he appointed Christ to choose us. He did this so we Jews would bring honor to him and be the first ones to have hope because of him.

Ephesians 1:5–12 CEV

A treasure is hidden within the words of these verses. First of all, the concept that you have been adopted is comforting. God wanted to make a permanent investment in his relationship with you—no trial basis but immediate adoption. Then, the idea that God always has a plan and will always see that it is accomplished is certainly encouraging. If that isn’t enough, you can be inspired to know that God is willing to show you his great mysteries.

Family is created in a variety of ways. You may have birthed your children naturally, adopted them, fostered them, or you may have welcomed them as a stepmother. No matter how your family was formed, it created an eternal connection among you. God appointed you as his surrogate here on earth. You have an awesome opportunity to make a lifelong impression on each child under your care. When you awaken your children each morning, remind yourself that God has chosen you to be mother to each of your children specifically. Remind them too that God placed them as important parts of your family to work together to fulfill his plan for one another.

JANUARY 2

IT’S ABOUT THE ATTITUDE

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

Psalm 25:4–10 NIV

The psalmist is interested in how we fulfill our purpose, but the focus of the psalmist is more on how God wants us to conduct ourselves than on what he specifically wants us to accomplish. It is interesting that the how or “way” comes before the where or what of purpose in this Scripture, because as mothers we are often asking God what we should do about situations rather than how we should feel about them or react to them. When you ask God to show you his ways, expect him to show you not just a next step but a full understanding of his purpose.

The truth is that you can teach your children to travel along the right path and to do many good things, but it is more important for them to have the manner of God as they go about accomplishing good things on the right path. Just as you most likely teach your children about the importance of attitude, it is the same with you and God. If you allow God to teach you the how first, the what and when of your purpose will naturally follow.

JANUARY 3

THREE PILLARS OF PURPOSE

“Remember your journey from Acacia Grove to Gilgal, when I, the LORD, did everything I could to teach you about my faithfulness.”

What can we bring to the LORD? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?

No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:5–8 NLT

Oh, if parenting could just be as simple as 1-2-3, right? Well, things that are simple are not always easy, but the prophet Micah shared a simple three-point strategy to help you fulfill your purpose as a mom and as an individual. God’s requirements are simple: do right, love mercy, and walk humbly with him.

“Do right” refers to God’s way of handling situations and relationships. “Love mercy” means that you eagerly offer restoration, whether someone has been wronged or is the one at fault. Finally, “walk humbly” simply means living with an attitude of reliance and trust in God.

These simple strategies aren’t always easy. Even though you love your children unconditionally, their choices may lead to difficult consequences. A mother never expects to deal with an unexpected teen pregnancy or criminal misbehavior, but real challenges occur in good families. There are times when you as a mother must extend mercy because it is the godly reaction to have; then you must rely on God to provide a positive outcome to the situation.

God wants us to relate to him and to people as Jesus did! Not always easy, but as simple as 1-2-3.

JANUARY 4

PRIMARY PURPOSE

“Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”

When the crowds heard [Jesus], they were astounded at his teaching.

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:31–40 NLT

Isn’t it great that the most important rule in life is simply love? Everything in life comes down to loving God and loving people. This teaching of Jesus even tells us how to love God—with our whole selves—and how to love people—with the same concern we have for ourselves.

These two commandments are great cornerstones for your family’s house rules. Everything that you are trying to teach your children likely falls into the category of loving God or loving others. It doesn’t matter how old your children are; these rules will work. For younger children, the family rule might be to use kind words toward others; for teens the expectation might be to display a respectful attitude to parents as instructed by God in the Ten Commandments.

Discuss your house rules with your family in comparison to these two principles of love. Read the Bible together and make revisions to your rules if needed. Your children may even want to add some rules of their own. What better way to disciple your children than to have everything in your home center around the greatest of all the commandments?

JANUARY 5

BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH, FOR GOOD WORKS

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:4–10 NIV

Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians to understand that their old way of life needed to give way to a lifestyle characterized by doing good. But they also needed to grasp that good works would not save them—only God’s grace, his forgiving love, could do that. For busy moms, the truth that we are saved by grace through faith is such a comfort. We don’t have to try to earn God’s approval. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or have a job outside the home, every mom is a working mom. Sometimes the days seem full of work, work, and more work. The lure of accomplishment can be tempting at times.

God positioned you as a mom and set his plan in place ahead of you. He has great things for you to accomplish. The work itself is not the goal but provides opportunities for you to serve others. Don’t stress over the undone things in your life. God made advance preparations to enable you to accomplish all that he needs from you. Just focus on returning love to him in your daily routine as a hardworking mom.

JANUARY 6

PICK ME, PICK ME!

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.

John 15:11–17 NIV

One of the biggest heartbreaks for children is not being the one picked. You might even have flashbacks to your own childhood as your youngster tearfully recites how he was the last one chosen for a team at recess, or how all of the seats were saved for someone else at lunch, or that she wasn’t invited to a birthday party. And the flattery of being one picked—perhaps for girls’ night out or a day at the mall—can be as exciting for us moms as it is for our children.

How much more thrilling it is to realize, and to help your child realize, that even if you aren’t chosen by people, you have been chosen by God! He himself picked you as his friend and as his representative of love to others who might be feeling sad or lonely too.

If you have a child who is feeling left out, talk to your child’s teacher to determine if there might be some social skills that you can practice. Your child may be very outgoing at home but shy at school. It might be good to partner with your child’s teacher for help.

JANUARY 7

TIME TO GET BUSY

It will happen suddenly, quicker than the blink of an eye. At the sound of the last trumpet the dead will be raised. We will all be changed, so that we will never die again. Our dead and decaying bodies will be changed into bodies that won’t die or decay. The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true, “Death has lost the battle! Where is its victory? Where is its sting?”

Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin. But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory!

My dear friends, stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile.

1 Corinthians 15:52–58 CEV

A popular country song says, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now.” As a believer you most assuredly want to be in the presence of Jesus. But as a mother you understand your purpose and importance in raising your children to be able to make the same decision in their lives. Although most of us like to think about heaven, few of us really want to ponder death, especially our own. But this passage, even though focused on this undesirable subject, is still encouraging. It assures us that we have an appointed time to live and fulfill our purpose. We are to keep at our purpose until it is fulfilled.

The time is now to take advantage of every opportunity possible. Watch for, arrange, and grasp the teachable moments. Teach math in the grocery store. Rehearse Bible songs with your toddlers during car rides. Discuss modesty or dating as you browse magazines with your teens. Everyday situations offer occasions to teach everything from the alphabet to the Ten Commandments to relationships to self-respect. Moms, you have so much to teach!

JANUARY 8

MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY

Be filled with the Spirit by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your own good. Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Place yourselves under each other’s authority out of respect for Christ.

Wives, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority as you have placed yourselves under the Lord’s authority. The husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. It is his body, and he is its Savior. As the church is under Christ’s authority, so wives are under their husbands’ authority in everything.

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. He did this to make the church holy by cleansing it, washing it using water along with spoken words.

Ephesians 5:18–26 GOD’S WORD

Mothers often find themselves playing the lead role in many areas of their lives: career, social networks, running the household, parenting. Accepting the supporting role in marriage, then, can require finesse. Do you have to give up your individuality to be a godly wife? No. Understanding the meaning of the Greek word translated as authority allows moms to fully embrace the power within it.

Authority in this case refers to a wife cooperating with or assuming responsibility with her husband—voluntarily. A wife positions herself by choice in this supporting role of cooperation; it is not forced upon her. Think of volunteer soldiers in a military troop following their commanding officer by taking their place in formation.

Balancing being a submissive wife with being an in-charge mom can be challenging at times. It can be especially interesting if you and your husband have different ideas about discipline. But when all in the family voluntarily align themselves in proper formation, the mutual respect and responsibility actually create an interdependence that allows everyone to flourish. Following the advice of the apostle Paul in this important passage is an essential way for moms to fulfill their purpose.

JANUARY 9

UNIQUELY YOU

God’s strong foundation continues to stand. These words are written on the seal: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Everyone who wants to belong to the Lord must stop doing wrong.”

In a large house there are not only things made of gold and silver, but also things made of wood and clay. Some things are used for special purposes, and others are made for ordinary jobs. All who make themselves clean from evil will be used for special purposes. They will be made holy, useful to the Master, ready to do any good work.

But run away from the evil desires of youth. Try hard to live right and to have faith, love, and peace, together with those who trust in the Lord from pure hearts.

2 Timothy 2:19–22 NCV

There is no such thing as being “just a mom.” Being a mom is one of the most important assignments in life. Even if you feel there is nothing particularly special about your ability to be a mom, God picked you to raise the children he has given you. Every mother has been given the special qualities that her children will need to be nurtured and taught in the way that is best for them.

Think about how many different “vessels” are available for use in your kitchen. How specifically each one fills its purpose! Look at spoons, for example. There are sugar spoons, grapefruit spoons, slotted spoons, ladling spoons, serving spoons—the list goes on. All are spoons, but each one has its own distinction, and purpose.

God assigned your personality and skills specifically to meet the needs of your family. You have your own attributes that set you apart from all of the other mothers in the world. God gives each mom the unique potential to accomplish whatever he has established for her to do. As long as you focus on pursuing God’s purposes for you as a parent, you’ll fulfill your potential.

JANUARY 10

RISE UP!

Mordecai told [the messenger] to reply to Esther, “Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”

Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.”

Esther 4:13–16 HCSB

Thankfully, most moms today are not faced with life-or-death situations when they are trying to defend their families. But we do face situations with teachers, coaches, and other parents that require confrontation.

Esther’s husband, the king of Persia, was unaware of Esther’s Jewish heritage. Influenced by a court official angry at Esther’s cousin Mordecai, the king issued a proclamation allowing his people to destroy the Jews in Persia on an upcoming specified day. Persian law forbade Queen Esther to present herself to the king without an invitation, and he had not called for her for an entire month.

Esther’s bold resolution to confront the king with her request sprung out of her obligation and love for her people and her sense that this mission was from God. But she didn’t go to the king unarmed. Esther knew that for such a bold move, she needed support from other believers.

The next time you have to face another mom, a teacher, or a coach on behalf of your child, prepare yourself fully first. Then rise up with boldness and go armed with prayer support for wisdom and favor.

JANUARY 11

PERSONAL TUTORING

God had special plans for me and set me apart for his work even before I was born. He called me through his grace and showed his son to me so that I might tell the Good News about him to those who are not Jewish. When God called me, I did not get advice or help from any person. I did not go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was. But, without waiting, I went away to Arabia and later went back to Damascus.

After three years I went to Jerusalem to meet Peter and stayed with him for fifteen days. I met no other apostles, except James, the brother of the Lord. God knows that these things I write are not lies. Later, I went to the areas of Syria and Cilicia.

Galatians 1:15–21 NCV

A mommy manual with definitive answers to every question moms ask would be a best seller. However, there isn’t one. So what is a mother to do with all of those questions? It begins the first week home with a new baby—Why is she crying in the middle of the night? How can I get some rest? It doesn’t end when children grow older—How can I help her find a job? Should I help him out financially?

After Paul had a miraculous transformation in his life when he encountered God, he most likely had many questions too. Throughout his life he utilized many sources of help. He relied on the Scriptures, he traveled with other believers like Barnabas, and as he noted in this passage, he spent time in prayer with God.

When you are inundated with questions as a mom, there are many resources that can help you, including friends, your own mother, your pediatrician, and great books by experts. But don’t forget the most essential source of wisdom for a mother—God. Go straight to him daily for direction and answers to all your questions as a mom.

JANUARY 12

STRAIGHTEN UP!

Don’t all parents correct their children? God corrects all of his children, and if he doesn’t correct you, then you don’t really belong to him. Our earthly fathers correct us, and we still respect them. Isn’t it even better to be given true life by letting our spiritual Father correct us?

Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace.

Now stand up straight! Stop your knees from shaking and walk a straight path. Then lame people will be healed, instead of getting worse.

Hebrews 12:7–13 CEV

Creative moms use all kinds of disciplinary tactics. You may have tried redirecting, encouraging, think time, lost privileges, and of course time-out. Let’s be honest—most of us have even tried the less effective coaxing, begging, and bribing too. But whatever our strategy, the goal is the same: a change from undesirable to desirable behavior.

Have you ever wondered if God has you in time-out? When things seemingly are not going the way that he (or you) designed, you might be quick to think that you are not fulfilling your responsibilities to your family well. Oftentimes, though, God might just be allowing you time for reconsideration, restoration, or maybe even repentance.

Even though we are moms, we also are children—God’s children—and subject to his correction. So if you feel like you are in a time-out, use your time wisely. Straighten up your thoughts and ways. We don’t need to be afraid of God’s discipline. Like the wise Father that he is, God wants to refine you and make you more like Jesus, more useful to others and more able to be the mother he created you to be.

JANUARY 13

YOU’VE GRADUATED—SO GET TO WORK

I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”…

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:2–4, 6–7 MSG

Feeling like an expert as a mom doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, the feeling can be quite elusive to both new and experienced moms. But you don’t have to have a degree in psychology or theology to have wisdom and expertise to fulfill your purpose as a mother.

The most vital information that a mom can teach her children are those things with an eternal impact. Stories from the Bible, the mysteries of heaven and earth, and the secret things of God are all treasures that a mother can discover along with her children. As God teaches you, you then can teach your children his virtues.

Consider beginning a thematic Bible study with your children to discover the treasures of Scripture together. If your son likes dinosaurs, study Creation. If your daughter is into princesses, learn about Queen Esther. Maybe your teen would rather investigate love or friendship; there are hidden treasures in store for you there too. Children cherish time with mom! Why not combine that time with biblical treasure hunting too? You will see the impact quickly, and the results can last a lifetime.

JANUARY 14

SPEAK UP

This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Timothy 4:9–16 NIV

No matter how old we get, there always seems to be someone wiser and more mature than us. It can be intimidating to think of teaching someone twice your age who has more life experience. But that shouldn’t stop you—you might have insight or knowledge that she’s been searching for.

Evidently, people were already watching and listening to Timothy, a young minister. But Timothy must have been a little reticent in sharing his knowledge and gifts to prompt the encouraging words in this passage. The apostle Paul, being more experienced, recognized that youth doesn’t disqualify anyone from service.

Don’t let your age or inexperience stop you. Think about what you can do to make another mom’s daily life easier. You might be able to teach another mother something as simple as handling coupons or household budgets to make her family life more enjoyable. Or you might be just the right person to offer fresh new ideas to the older, more experienced church nursery director. Pursue your purpose and use your gifts that can help others. You never know; they might be praying and waiting for your help or expertise.

JANUARY 15

BE READY FOR THE REQUEST

I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”

Nehemiah 2:1–5 NASB

Nehemiah had the heart to help the Jewish people advance the rebuilding of their city wall after they had returned from Babylonian captivity. Nehemiah was certainly no weak man, and he was not afraid to be in the king’s presence, as that was part of his daily job as the king’s cupbearer. But when the king asked Nehemiah a provoking question, his immediate reaction was fear. Yet Nehemiah did not respond impulsively to the king. He had already spent time in prayer about the need of his people. But as he considered his response to the king, he prayed once more before giving his answer. He knew that this opportunity was to fulfill God’s purpose.

We mothers tend to want to fix situations immediately for our children, no matter what their age. When you see that your child has a need, follow Nehemiah’s example. Wait. Pray. Then react to the need after you have instruction from God. Waiting is important because God might show you a better way of handling the situation than what you would do on your own. He might even show your child how to resolve the matter for himself.

JANUARY 16

IT’S UP TO HIM

As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.

Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words. Yes, they will sing about the LORD’S ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great. Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.

Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.

Psalm 138:3–8 NLT

David encouraged himself with this prayerful psalm. Here he reminded himself, even as he spoke to God, of God’s authority and faithfulness in his life. He understood that his life had a plan and a planner. God, the faithful planner of David’s life, is your life planner also. He has a purpose in everything he creates or allows in your life.

Sometimes purpose is exposed through the challenging seasons of motherhood. Purpose arises in simple times when you find yourself once again consoling a crying child in the middle of the night, and your eagerness to comfort outweighs your desperate need for a good night’s sleep. You may also find purpose in more solitary times like entering your empty nest to find yourself with an unfamiliar fear of insignificance, yet with a yearning to remain an influence in the lives of others in a way that matters.

Look back at God’s faithfulness in your life during other times of difficulty. You can see his direction and guidance. He will accomplish his plan for you. Look to God for strength and purpose in every experience, whether it is one of ease or hardship.

JANUARY 17

UNFATHOMABLE WAYS

I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.

Isaiah 55:8–12 MSG

You never thought that you would resort to using your parents’ phrase “Because I said so,” did you! But one day it seems to escape from your mouth too. Then you realize that some things a mother just cannot explain to a child. Even if there are very good reasons for your answer, sometimes your child doesn’t have the requisite experience or maturity to understand it.

Consider how many times God must have to say, “Because I said so” to us too when we inundate him with the whys of life. We just cannot understand his reasons or ways sometimes. It is hard to understand why he would say no to what seems like a godly request or make us wait for answers in the midst of a challenge. But just as we know what is best for our children, he knows what is best for us.

We try to encourage our children by saying, “Trust me.” God asks us to do the same with him. We must trust that he will accomplish his purpose in and through us. Sometimes we might not understand the method, but we can trust his motive.

JANUARY 18

PERSONAL EFFECTS

[Jesus said,] “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

John 12:23–28 NKJV

In this passage John gives us some of Jesus’ words during his last week on earth, between the triumphal parade into Jerusalem and his death on the cross. Jesus knew how his mission would end, but he did not let that distract him from his purpose.

As mothers we tend to have life planned out. You probably have definite ideas about what your children’s life plans should be. You observe their temperaments, gifts, and interests, and your mission includes strategies to help them develop their strengths and talents. But the journey of life often offers bumps and unexpected curves. Sometimes our circumstances appear to be contrary to our plans. But looks can be deceiving.

Don’t let today’s situation detour you. Even if your soul is troubled and you see impending pain or challenge coming your way, embrace your mission. Living a purposeful life will influence your children to do the same. You may have many goals and passions as a mom. But remember that when you fulfill your mission of teaching your children to glorify God in their own lives, you will have accomplished the most important purpose assigned to you.

JANUARY 19

CUSTOM-CRAFTED

Are you going to object, “So how can God blame us for anything since he’s in charge of everything? If the big decisions are already made, what say do we have in it?”

Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right?

Romans 9:19–23 MSG

Paul addressed the remarks in this passage to Jewish Christians who weren’t sure that God should have extended his saving love to anyone but the Jews. Like those Jewish believers, we moms tend to compare ourselves to other mothers to mark our own journey toward success. But we must be careful not to allow those comparisons to create envy in us. The illustration of the potter and clay in this passage makes envy plain for us to see.

You might see another mom who is wonderful as the classroom mom at school, but you know that you just aren’t crafty enough to do as well. Instead of envying her purpose, recognize and fulfill your own. You might be surprised to find that another mom would love to be a great soccer coach like you are.

You don’t need to question how God created you. You can fully embrace your own purpose only when you have no desire for someone else’s. Don’t compare your purpose to someone else’s and think that you are less important. God knows how many vases and how many pots he needs to accomplish his purpose on the earth.

JANUARY 20

TRY A LITTLE OF THIS AND THAT

Send your bread on the surface of the waters, for after many days you may find it. Give a portion to seven or even to eight, for you don’t know what disaster may happen on earth…. One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap. Just as you don’t know the path of the wind, or how bones [develop] in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you don’t know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.

Ecclesiastes 11:1–2, 4–6 HCSB

The old cliché “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” provides a simple understanding of this passage, which was most likely written by King Solomon as he reflected on his life. Both the cliché and the king caution us that risk is a part of every investment.

All of our resources are tools for investment, whether our time, talent, or treasure. We can’t depend on a sure return for our outlay of expertise or emotion in professional or personal relationships, but our investments retain their value nevertheless.

Don’t let risk stop you from investing. Instead, we’re encouraged to invest in more than one place at a time because we do not know what is going to be most profitable. For moms, this is a key concept. Your children and family are a great investment, worth your time and attention. But there are other areas that may return a great benefit from your investment too. Consider relationships and projects that reap a mutual benefit from your investment of time, talent, or treasure. Maybe it’s time for you to get involved in a charity event, encourage a younger mom, or rekindle a friendship.

JANUARY 21

THERE IS A REASON

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting so they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1–3 NASB

In a synagogue in his hometown, Jesus read aloud a portion of this prophecy about his purpose and ended by stating that the prophecy was being fulfilled at that moment. One interesting point is the reaction of those who heard Jesus that day. They were all amazed because the young man they knew as Joseph’s son was so gracious yet so bold in his reading. Jesus recognized his purpose and embraced it in a way that others noticed.

God has a purpose for all of the intellect, compassion, expertise, and zeal he has developed in you. He has also gifted your children with qualities that will help them accomplish their purposes. Imagine that your children could express their hopes and dreams for the future with great conviction and intention—what would they say? As you recognize your own purpose, nurture the dreams of your children and help them identify their purposes too. The Bible will help you. As you read it, ask God to reveal his purpose for creating you and each of your children. Then as you begin to recognize it, embrace it, so that you can impact others just as Jesus did.

JANUARY 22

FULLY EQUIPPED

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.

Hebrews 13:17–21 ESV

Mom’s in charge—except when she’s not. Being a leader and following a leader at the same time challenges moms who dictate their day according to its purpose. How does a woman lead her children, lead herself, and follow her own leaders simultaneously? These verses assure you of success when you do what they outline. Whether your leader is your husband, your boss, or your committee chair, your responsibility is to have a submissive spirit with a joyful attitude when you are in the role of follower.

Even if you are torn between roles, switching gears from time to time, this Scripture reminds you that you are equipped to handle each day’s purpose. You can help prepare your children to accomplish their purpose whether they are the leader or a follower. Let your children take turns being the leader with their siblings. The older child will benefit from learning how to follow, and the younger will learn by leading for a change.

The same God who raised Jesus from the dead and remains the model Shepherd equips you with the power, passion, and purpose you need to lead—and to follow—every day.

JANUARY 23

PURPOSEFUL CONFRONTATIONS

The LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ ”

Exodus 9:13–16 NIV

Most moms don’t like confrontation. But when the stakes are high enough, we are more willing to confront matters of importance. For Moses, it was freedom for a nation. For you, it might be a sassy response from a teenager.

Some important aspects of confrontation are revealed in this Scripture. First of all, God provoked Moses, not anger. If you go back earlier in the story, at the very beginning of the confrontation, you find that Moses’ initial response was, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?” (Exod. 6:12 NIV). His first thought was his own inadequacy, not revenge. Secondly, this confrontation was on behalf of others, not self-focused. Finally, part of the purpose of this confrontation was to help Pharaoh fulfill his own purpose in glorifying God.

The next time you want to confront a matter, take the Pharaoh test with these simple questions: Did God initiate this desire? Is this self-serving or others-serving? Will this help the other person better align with his or her purpose? The answers to the test will reveal to you whether you should proceed.

JANUARY 24

WHAT’S YOUR GRACE?

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Ephesians 3:7–13 ESV

Imagine a box wrapped in gorgeous paper, gilded with a flowing ribbon and a card that says, “Just for you, because I love you.” How long would you wait before tearing into the beautiful package to find the treasure inside?

Have you ever thought of your abilities as perfectly wrapped treasures? In this passage, Paul calls his ability to preach a gift of grace from God.

Maybe you are a great baker, singer, nurturer, or organizer. What are you going to do with that ability? Recognize how you use your gifts every day with your children. If you love to bake, encourage them to create new recipes with you and tap into their own love for math, art, or imagination in your baking. If you are a great organizer, put your gift to good use by teaching your children how to organize their study time and space.

Most moms have an emergency gift drawer for unexpected occasions. Often it contains “re-gifts” too—you know, the gifts given to you that someone else would love to enjoy. Think of your gifts from God as a grace re-gift that someone is waiting to receive from you.

JANUARY 25

THERE’S PROOF IN THE PLAN

O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them….

Therefore, strong nations will declare your glory; ruthless nations will fear you. But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall, or like the relentless heat of the desert. But you silence the roar of foreign nations.

Isaiah 25:1, 3–5 NLT

Isaiah declares that God is an accomplisher of what he plans. He praises God not only because of the wonderful things he does, although he was thankful for them. Rather, in this passage Isaiah praises God because he is his own God—One whom he values and loves.

If you pause and give Isaiah’s thoughts some reflection, you realize that his insight takes a little pressure off you as a mother. You are not responsible to accomplish everything on your own. Your first purpose is to love and glorify God. You are responsible for that primarily. He then enables you to accomplish everything else that he has planned for you.

You may still have to fold mountains of laundry each week, along with all of your other chores. But if the laundry stays in a pile a day longer than usual, it is OK! You will find your refuge and fulfill your purpose by loving him.

The wonderful things that you see happen in your everyday life are because of God’s planning and purpose for you. You are accomplishing great things because he is the great accomplisher through you.

JANUARY 26

ONE MORE CHANCE

This is what the LORD says: When Babylon’s 70 years are over, I will come to you. I will keep my promise to you and bring you back to this place. I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you. When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me, I will let you find me, declares the LORD. I will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I’ve scattered you, declares the LORD. I will bring you back from the place where you are being held captive.

Jeremiah 29:10–14 GOD’S WORD

Did you notice that this popular Scripture doesn’t begin, “To all of you who always follow my every instruction without fail”? No, this passage was directed to the Israelites in Babylon, exiled because of their disobedience to God time after time, even though God had warned and forgiven and rescued and provided numerous opportunities to begin again. Yet this passage tells us God still had great plans for his people.

Just as a child might not always follow all your instructions or meet all your expectations, there will most likely be times when you do not accomplish all that you hope for your family. Even if you miss reading your child his favorite book at bedtime because you worked overtime this week, God can still accomplish his plans for your family.

God is the giver of new beginnings. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t lived up to your own expectations for the mom you always wanted to be. Whatever your mistakes, just do what God asks: pray, request his help, mean it with your whole heart, and obey him. Then he will answer you with his promise of a very good future indeed.

JANUARY 27

STRONG-WILLED OR GOD-WILLED?

He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:35–40 NKJV

A determined young mom was facing off with her strong-willed, two-year-old son. He had refused to obey his mom’s request, so she sent him to the time-out chair. The little boy was determined to keep getting out of that chair, but his mom was equally determined to put him there again. After she spent a full thirty minutes chasing her zooming toddler and placing him time and again in the chair, she finally prevailed. The little boy succumbed to the will of his mom.

Have you ever been that mom? Have you been like her strong-willed child, zooming around, determined to have your own way? As tenacious as the mom was to teach her son to do right, God is as caring for you to do his will.

Jesus did not always have an easy, enjoyable life. He was betrayed, misunderstood, and mocked. Yet he always surrendered to the will of his Father. Follow Jesus’ example and yield to God’s will. Think about what God as a caring Father wants you to enjoy in your life. You can trust that he always has the best in mind for you.

JANUARY 28

IT’S A SURE THING

Can you compare me to anyone? No one is equal to me or like me….

Remember what happened long ago. Remember that I am God, and there is no other God. I am God, and there is no one like me. From the beginning I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago I told you things that have not yet happened. When I plan something, it happens. What I want to do, I will do. I am calling a man from the east to carry out my plan; he will come like a hawk from a country far away. I will make what I have said come true; I will do what I have planned.

Isaiah 46:5, 9–11 NCV

As much as we mothers try to be strong and committed to our purpose, there are times when doubt creeps in. When your teenager declares that she detests your rules because you will not allow her to wear the outfit she would like, you may feel like an unsuccessful mom. Though we may doubt our purpose or our ability to achieve it, we never need to doubt God. His declarations in this passage help us conquer double mindedness and doubt.

Every mom needs two things to sustain her during the challenging times and seasons of motherhood: a clear vision of God’s plan for her life and the assurance that God will help her accomplish the purpose he planned for her. These are not simply nice ideas you can think about if you want them to offer you strength and support—you must grip them and rely on them until you see them being fulfilled.

Write down God’s purpose in your life. What do you feel is your number one reason for existence? Write down a verse from this key passage too. When you start to doubt your purpose, read both of these together: your purpose and God’s promises.

JANUARY 29

IT ALL COMES TOGETHER

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

Romans 8:26–30 NASB

We need encouragement that everything will work out all right only when circumstances say that it might not. Maybe that is the reason Romans 8:28 has long been a favorite of moms. When we take a closer look at the surrounding verses, this passage becomes even more heartening.

Many times you know exactly how to pray for your children and your family. The will of God in some situations is easily discernible. But difficult situations that are not so easily understood sometimes challenge you even to know how to pray; all possible answers seem to have risks. Even if all possible answers seem impossible, be encouraged to know that the Holy Spirit himself is praying for you! He is praying God’s will for you and your family.

Mothers face many decisions in a day. Some days hold big decisions: In which school should we enroll him? Who is the best doctor to provide treatment? Which part-time job should I accept, if any? When you have tough decisions facing you, don’t focus on the issue at hand. Instead, pray and ask God to do his perfect will to fulfill his purposes for your family.

JANUARY 30

HE CAN EXPLAIN IT ALL

It is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us….

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:9–12, 14 NIV

In the movie Return to Me, the main character is a young woman who receives a heart transplant after many years of waiting on the donor list. A very spiritual woman, she deals with mixed emotions about receiving a new heart, feeling as if she is benefiting from someone else’s grief. When she learns that her donor is her new boyfriend’s former wife, her tearful response is, “What was God thinking?”

Sometimes we just cannot know what God is thinking. When we look at situations, we see the surface one-, two-, or maybe three-dimensional version. But God looks at situations from angles and dimensions we cannot. He navigates in ways we cannot understand, but he has a purpose. An unexpected pregnancy just when you felt your family was getting settled, a job loss right after a move, or an illness might not make sense to you. But God has purpose even in his timing and surprises in your life.

When you must deal with situations that just don’t make sense, search for spiritual understanding. Ask God to reveal his purpose to you. Seek to understand, but even if you cannot, trust God’s perspective and his process.

JANUARY 31

SPA FOR THE SOUL

We know that the one who brought the Lord Jesus back to life will also bring us back to life through Jesus. He will present us to God together with you.

All this is for your sake so that, as God’s kindness overflows in the lives of many people, it will produce even more thanksgiving to the glory of God. That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine. We don’t look for things that can be seen but for things that can’t be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can’t be seen last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:14–18 GOD’S WORD

Human nature is to fight any appearance of physical or economic distress. We are tempted to keep it together and look like we have it together. But the truth is that all families go through difficulties. Paul faced many challenges and confrontations that not only affected him but also impacted the Corinthian church to whom he wrote this passage. When you or your spouse, individually or as a couple, go through difficulties, your whole family is affected. Yet however significant family problems might be, they are only temporary concerns that should be overshadowed by eternal purpose.

Especially during times of difficulty, it’s vital to spend time in prayer without distractions. You must be able to pour out your innermost thoughts to God and hear his response to you as well. You might have to offer to exchange child care with a friend for a couple of hours, but arrange to spend time alone with God, your Bible, and your journal, to renew your focus on the future. When difficulty hits, take some time for yourself to contemplate God’s eternal purpose for your life and how you can partner with him to accomplish it.

FEBRUARY 1

TEAMWORK IS ALL YOU NEED

“All this he made clear to me in writing from the hand of the LORD, all the work to be done according to the plan.”

Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished. And behold the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and with you in all the work will be every willing man who has skill for any kind of service; also the officers and all the people will be wholly at your command.”

1 Chronicles 28:19–21 ESV

King David’s words to his son Solomon in this passage were spoken immediately after David charged Solomon with building the temple in Jerusalem—a huge undertaking. No wonder David had to remind Solomon to be strong and courageous! David had hoped to take on this task himself. He had created detailed plans—everything from design to materials to the teams of builders and artisans that would be needed. God did not allow David to proceed, however, and David understood that some things could be delegated and purpose could still be fulfilled. He focused on preparation, not execution, and then gave the responsibility and authority over to his son to complete it.

Most mothers have sensed the overwhelming responsibility of creating a well-established home as well as instilling in their children all they will need for a successful life. Control is sometimes hard to relinquish for moms who want the very best for their families. But delegating responsibilities can be a great method of teaching too. Are there some tasks, whether simple or significant, that you should delegate to your children? Sometimes a mother’s purpose is to develop potential in the next generation and nurture it to fruition.

FEBRUARY 2

THE POWER OF WORDS

His father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people…. And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”

John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.

Luke 1:67–68, 76–80 NLT

Zechariah’s words of blessing to his son John began at an early age. He understood the importance of helping his son create a vision—God’s vision—for his life. John would need strong conviction about his purpose as the “announcer” that the Messiah had come and people should get ready—because not everyone wanted to hear his message.

When you bless your children (to bless is to speak positively about someone’s future), you are building their confidence to accomplish the purposes for which they were created. At times like birthdays, weddings, and other landmark occasions, you can formally bless your children, but you can also affirm them every day. Mornings for most mothers can be hectic, but you can still begin each day with a blessing. When you awaken your children, or during your drive to school, remind them of the qualities that God has given them. If your son can make others laugh, tell him so and encourage him to spread joy through his humor.

Speak words of blessings to your children as Zechariah did to John. Let them hear promise, potential, and purpose in your positive words toward them.

FEBRUARY 3

READY, GET SET…

“Be like servants waiting to open the door at their master’s knock when he returns from a wedding. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes…. They will be blessed if he comes in the middle of the night or toward morning and finds them awake.

“Of course, you realize that if the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let him break into his house. Be ready, because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him.”…

The Lord asked, “Who, then, is the faithful, skilled manager that the master will put in charge of giving the other servants their share of food at the right time? That servant will be blessed if his master finds him doing this job when he comes.”

Luke 12:36–40, 42–43 GOD’S WORD

Getting the whole family ready on time for church on Sunday mornings can be stressful, if not chaotic, for a family with many children. Maybe you have gone through the routine of asking each child, “Are you ready to go?” and hearing a resounding “Yes!” from each one, only to find one child missing shoes, one missing hair ribbons, and the other with unbrushed teeth. Your response? “I thought you were ready!”

Ready means to be in fit condition for immediate action. This passage gives both positive and negative scenarios to show us our need for readiness. As a mother you have to be ready for anything, from an unexpected visitor to a burst of tears over a scraped knee. Your life is much like a car with the engine idling.

Notice that we are not encouraged to be busy—just to be ready. What will it take for you to be in fit condition for immediate action? Maybe more rest would prepare you, or eating more healthily, or more time for prayer, or feeling better organized in your home or life? Give some thought to what God desires from you; are you ready yet?

FEBRUARY 4

WHAT AN EYE-OPENER!

The Lord also said, “I will protect you from the Jews and from the Gentiles that I am sending you to. I want you to open their eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God’s holy people.”

King Agrippa, I obeyed this vision from heaven. First I preached to the people in Damascus, and then I went to Jerusalem and all over Judea. Finally, I went to the Gentiles and said, “Stop sinning and turn to God! Then prove what you have done by the way you live.”…

But all this time God has helped me, and I have preached both to the rich and to the poor.

Acts 26:17–20, 22 CEV

When you read this passage, do you tend to focus on Paul’s statement of accomplishment rather than his assignment? Mothers often take on full responsibility for situations inside and outside their homes. We feel accountable not only for the initiative but the process and the results too. Yes, Paul obeyed the vision God gave him. But see the simplicity of what God asked of Paul—“open their eyes.”

The people that Paul would speak to needed to turn to God. They needed God’s truth to invade their darkness like lights going on. Paul’s assignment, however, was not to assure that every person responded positively. He simply had to be an eye-opener.

As you look at the assignment of motherhood that God has given you, focus on what he has asked you to do—simply to raise your children to know and love him. You will have to release them to make their own decisions one day, and that brings a great sense of responsibility for any mother. Don’t get burdened by this but focus on opening their eyes to the great love God has for them as the only sound foundation for their future.

FEBRUARY 5

ABSOLUTE RESOLUTE

The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. The Sovereign LORD has spoken to me, and I have listened. I have not rebelled or turned away.

I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting.

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.

Isaiah 50:4–7 NLT

The book of Isaiah is full of words that encouraged the people of his day as well as us today. This portion of Scripture is actually a foretelling about what Jesus would experience and how he would react to it. His purpose was set in place before his birth on the earth, just as yours was. He experienced both emotional and physical harm, but he did not let it distract him from his purpose.

We mothers often know what future situations will hold for our children because we have gained discernment that comes from God through previous experiences, prayer, or counsel. You may predict an impending breakup for your son with his first girlfriend long before he does. Not every situation will be enjoyable for your child to experience or for you to watch, but your purpose to glorify God with your children through the unpleasantness must remain steadfast.

As God reveals his will to you, you must decide what to do with it. Like Jesus, set your face like stone, staring at the day ahead, feet well grounded, arms ready for work, eyes focused on fulfilling his purpose and will for you.

FEBRUARY 6

PLANNERS AND JOURNALS

You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.

God, your thoughts are precious to me. They are so many! If I could count them, they would be more than all the grains of sand. When I wake up, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:13–18 NCV

How exciting to see the first sonogram during your pregnancy! With each succeeding sonogram you see your child in more and more detail—eyes, nose, fingers, every part formed with exactness and intricacy. So exciting are these visits to the doctor that many new moms return home to journal about the growth of their baby and the maternal feelings of nurture growing along with the child.

Just as we watch, mark, and embrace the growth of our children even while still in the womb, God not only notes their progress too but he is the very one forming each part. And he did the same for each of us as we grew within our mothers. He has planned out each season of our lives to fulfill his purpose through us.

Our little ones cannot fathom how often we think of them, their choices, their future, and we cannot imagine God’s constant thought and care for us, but the words of this psalm of David picture it for us. Spend time reflecting on the seasons of life as a mother. As you remember, journal all the ways God has nurtured your growth and trust in him.

CONFIDENCE

In the seasons of motherhood, confidence comes and goes with each new endeavor. Whether you are facing your first night at home with your newborn infant or your first night alone after seeing your young adult off to college, new situations can cause uneasiness, even doubt. Feeling confident in the transition to new motherhood, going back to work after a baby, leaving a job you love to be a stay-at-home mom, or becoming an empty nester requires reliance on more than just the decision to do it. God gives us great comfort in his reminder that we do not have to be confident in our own abilities.

Look! God is my Savior. I am confident and unafraid, because the LORD is my strength and my song. He is my Savior.

Isaiah 12:2 GOD’S WORD

FEBRUARY 7

MY MIND’S MADE UP

I will not fail you or abandon you.

Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:5–9 NLT

Joshua was the man to follow Moses, a great leader of thousands. It is no wonder that God had to remind him to have confidence. Can you imagine being the one to follow Moses, the man to whom God gave the Ten Commandments? But God didn’t simply tell Joshua to be confident; he also told him where he could find the confidence he needed—in the “Book of Instruction.” Joshua would not gain his confidence through becoming most popular. He wouldn’t get strength by fighting battles. Instead, making good decisions based on Scripture was the way for him to become strong and courageous.



Continues...

Excerpted from The 365 Most Important Bible Passages for Mothers by Cornea, Sheila Copyright © 2012 by Cornea, Sheila. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    THE 365 MOST IMPORTANT BIBLE PASSAGES FOR MOTHERS:DAILY READINGS

    THE 365 MOST IMPORTANT BIBLE PASSAGES FOR MOTHERS:DAILY READINGS AND MEDITATIONS ON EXPERIENCING THE LIFELONG BLESSINGS OF BEING A MOM by Sheila Cornea and Karen Whiting is a devotional for all mothers. What a wonderful guide to verses,God’s promises,wisdom,throughout the bible that will help you understand why these passages are so important in your everyday life. As mothers,daughters,sisters and grandmothers you will enjoy these words of wisdom. While, I read this at one setting,I would suggest you read it over the coming year. As it says 365 important passages from the Bible. It has everything from change,purpose,hope & peace,faith,balance,decision,love and so much more. I would highly recommend this inspirational/devotional book for anyone who looks for insights wisdom,purpose,and knowledge from the Bible. Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details can be found at FaithWords,a division of Hachette Book Group,Inc,and My Book Addiction and More.

    RATING: 5

    HEAT RATING: NONE(DEVOTIONAL)

    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More

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