Hello fellow mommy readers. I decided this week to take a break on the series "Don't Let The Devil Steal Your Motherhood". I have had something weighing on me for a little over two weeks now and had validation to write about it from more than one spot. So, without further delay lets get started on this week's topic.
I was at the water park a couple of weeks ago, sitting in the water just people watching while I waited for my kiddos to come down the slide. As I watched I started to notice something. There were women there that were thin and not thin, old and young, healthy and unhealthy, different colors, different races. You name it, it was a collection of everything. Not all of them were mothers either. There were younger teens there and it also wasn't only women. There were men there too, all with the same diversity as listed above.
As I sat and watched I started to notice something. Not one person was sexy... not even one. I started to ponder this reason. Over the past years of being a mom and diving deeper into faith I will admit that my TV consumption certainly has changed. If I am being honest the shows I typically watched (Lost Girl) were not Christlike even a little (back before I leaned in closer to my Savior). I am more of a Heartland or at the very least clean comedy type of person now. Heck the anxiety alone of watching shows I used to enjoy would be too much for me to bear. But maybe that was why I couldn't find sexy that day. Maybe society wasn't able to control my perspective any longer through vulgar shows and commercials. Who knows.
But here is the thing. Not one person in this water park did I find unattractive. Now hear me out before you might try to pass judgement, wait and see where I am going with this. All these people were very attractive but it had nothing to do with a sexy body, it had to do with who they were being at this water park.
Every single person at this park was engulfed in doing what God had intended for them to do. They were all in a state of fellowship with someone. The teens were all playing tag with each other or racing down the slides. The dads were chasing little ones around or helping them navigate the fun. And the moms? The moms were so beautiful to me. I tried so hard to find the fittest, skinniest, prettiest mom I could find so I could say "Now that is a sexy mom. I want to be like that.", but I couldn't because every time I looked what I saw was a beautiful mother with a nurturing look on her.
See, their outward appearances were beautiful because they were doing what God had intended them to do. Nurturing their children. It made me start to think, who in the heck came up with "sexy"? So I did some research on the word sexy. The first notation of it that I could find was in 1923 in reference to Valentino. Who else finds it funny that the earliest record of the word sexy was in the 20th century?Next, lets look at the definition of sexy. The Webster dictionary states it means sexually attractive or exciting. The synonyms? Seductive, desirable, alluring, inviting, sensual, sultry, slinky, provocative, tempting, tantalizing, and the list goes on. So what about beautiful? Pleasing the senses or mind in a way that gives pleasure. These people, these mothers were all beautiful to me. I could look at each one and see the compassion and love they had. I could see the teenagers' faces full of joy and excitement. The fathers had looks of pride and admiration. Beauty was abound at this place.
I am realizing as I grow as a mother and a Christian that I am seeking things that are beautiful not sexy. I am seeking the real and the true. Mothers, we are beautiful. When we are focused on our calling we are pleasing to the senses to everyone we pass. We are the light of Christ and the world around us is seeing that and it is drawing them closer. Closer to wanting what we have emanating from us, a joy that is super natural to this world. So the next time you look in the mirror, smile at that beautiful face staring back at you. Because she has a super power surging through her body, a power so strong it can change people; and one day soon she is going to send forth her little ones into the world with that same beauty. So forget about sexy and embrace beautiful!
As a personal testimony, allow me to show you these three pictures. The one on the right is from January 2017, middle January 2018 and left is January 2019. From 2017 to 2019 I gained 50 pounds. But I look at these pictures and I truly believe I look beautiful in all of them. Yes, I have plenty where I am like "Holy crap that is going to break the glass!" but in those ones I am usually on my time of the month, no make-up and grouchy. But when I am not bloated and in pain, showered and put together, and finding joy in my calling as a mother, I am beautiful. So tonight I am asking you mommies to start seeing yourselves as I see you. I see you all as beautiful women because of your love and sacrifices. I see you as beautiful because you know the value and the responsibility of the task you have been trusted to see through. I see you as beautiful because you know the truth about this world and you have chosen to rise above and I admire you all for that!
1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious ~
IF I WAS YOUR ENEMY, I'S SEEK TO DISINTEGRATE YOUR FAMILY AND DESTROY EVERY MEMBER OF IT. I'D WANT TO TEAR AWAY AT YOUR TRUST AND UNITY AND TURN EVEYONE'S LOVE INWARD ON THEMSELVES. I WOULD MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY DIDN'T LOOK ANYTHING LIKE IT'S SUPPOSE TO. BECAUSE THEN PEOPLE WOULD LOOK AT YOUR CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE, YOUR CHRISTIAN CHILDREN, AND SEE YOU'RE NO DIFFERENT, NO STRONGER THAN ANYBODY ELSE - THAT GOD, UNDERNEATH IT ALL, REALLY DOESN'T CHANGE ANYTHING.~ Fervent
It is a scary kind of knowledge, knowing there is someone out there trying to do this to you and your family momma. What is even scarier is knowing that this enemy never rests, never eats, never sleeps; he is unrelenting in his cause to destroy everything you have work so hard to create.
The devil almost got away with this when we first moved into our new home. Things were BAD! Lance and I were constantly fighting and it was getting worse every time it happened. The kids were becoming timid and walking on egg shells. Our family was being broken down and was on the verge of destruction. Had it not been a friend of mine and her love for me and my family I don't think we would have made it. She gave me a book titled, Created To Be His Help Meet. It was a hard read but I discovered what the devil was doing and how to fight back and it saved us.
Don't get me wrong. It still takes a conscious effort to keep the devil out of our home. But just like anything good that was designed by God, it is a constant battle to win against the attacks of the devil. Even as recently as this very minute the devil tried to weasel his way back into our home. But as these attacks come and I win with Lance by my side, we become wiser to when the devil is trying to advance and can be quicker to lean on God.
So, where is the devil attacking your husband and you (if married)? Where is the devil attacking your child(ren) and you?Where is the devil attacking your extended family and you? Do you think your relationship with your husband and extended family has any hidden attacks towards your children and you in it?
We need to fortify the lives of those we love. There are no "buts" to this. Because there may be family (husband, extended family) that you don't love but that your children DO and unless it is an emotional or physically abusive relationship you are required to forgive. Strengthen the family, the more cords that intertwine with Christ in the middle, the stronger that family will be against attacks, against hardships. You will have a generation of VICTORY warriors!
Since we know the devil is behind the attacks, stop fighting those people and bring the fight to the real enemy. There will always be disagreements, but the devil is the one that needs the power the Holy Spirit has given us, fired into the places where he is slithering about, not your family members.
Step 1: Fight FOR Your Husband Instead Of Against Him
Gulp! We must learn to be respectful and submissive to our husbands for OUR CHILDREN'S SAKES. This is a hard role to play since as mothers we tend to act like lionesses when anything involves our children, running the house and yes even the finances. We must do this because are children are watching how we act towards our husbands. They are learning how to give love (if you have daughters) and how to receive love (if you have sons). We must think in the long picture. Would we like it if our daughters treated the little boy down the street as we sometimes do their own father? Would we like our sons taking a beating from the bully down the street that happens to be a girl since they see their own father beaten down constantly? In our hearts we know that answer very well. Fighting alongside our husbands FOR our marriages consists of the following:
I. (In case you haven't guessed it) Prayer: We must pray for our husbands! Pray and give thanks for them. Pray and ask to be forgiven for the wrongs you have caused him. THEN, we pray God changes our husbands' hearts to seek God relentlessly. We pray for the areas that are under attack. Because with God on our side WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS!
II. We PRAISE the good: All the time mommies. If we constantly are praising the good aspects of our husbands then our children's love for their father AND for us will grow because the Christ like seeds of who our husbands are will pass to our children TENFOLD! Leave the negative things to God's doing because ONLY HE can fix what is broken.
Proverbs 16:23-24 - A wise person's heart controls his speech, and what he says helps others learn. Pleasant words are like honey from a honeycomb - sweet to the spirit and healthy for the body
Ephesians 4:29 - Don't say ANYTHING that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help WHEREVER it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you
Step 2: Fight FOR Your Children Instead Of Against Them
Satan is after our children! We must not allow him to run roughshod over our children. We must fight for them and with them. Satan knows the parts of their characters - both their strengths and weaknesses - where he can worm in and try stunting their growth, their potential, and their confidence. Watch for these strengths and weaknesses. Know when and how to nurture the strengths and how to fight against their weaknesses. Fighting alongside our child(ren) FOR our relationship consists of the following:
I. Prayer: We need to pray FERVENTLY for our children. Their very souls are at stake. They are already being schemed against and attacks may already be happening. We need to take action now. We need to pray God amplifies their strengths and defends these attacks.
II. Pray with them: We need to start teaching them now how big OUR GOD is, because let me tell you, the devil is not going to wait a second longer to make his attacks look like he is the biggest thing out there. If they have nightmares, if they fear something, anything negative is mentioned we can not AFFORD to blow it off and tell them it's nothing. Pray with them, let them know our Savor died because He loved them that much, so of course He can and WILL take the fear away and replace it with peace and comfort.
III. Bonding: This is probably going to the be the hardest area since some of us have jobs, others have more than one child. But doing things with our children, being involved COUNTS FOR EVERYTHING! Even if it is as simple as a walk to the park or a movie, or go big with date nights, go small with reading a book to them before bed. And be consistent with it! I say this for our own good, because if we do this our children will literally crave it and want it to continue. They are being attacked so show them God and you are not afraid to fight back and keep WHAT IS YOURS! Our children are "like arrows in the hand of a warrior (yes, we are those warriors), we raise them up to shoot them out into the culture, bearing the image of Christ to the world (Psalm 127:4)
Isaiah 8:18 - Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts
3 John 1:4 - I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth
Step 3: Fight FOR Your Extended Family Not Against Them
We must realize the real enemy at work here. As I am writing the devil is pissed and is even making my computer glitch. LOL. Tough! Our extended family whether non believers or not, may be feeling attacked themselves by the devil; or even intentionally or unintentionally participating with the enemy's design against us. It does not excuse us from the seeds we may be planting in our children by our words and actions on these members. So what to do? Fighting alongside our extended family FOR our relationship consist of the following: (But before I begin this part we need to know that this area is the 'highlight" attacking spot. He can do more damage with less effort by attacking us here, within these relationships than in any other area)
I. Prayer: I can see it on some of your faces now, do what?! But our extended family allows the devil so many avenues of attack. I know this from personal experience. If we fight with one person it can lead to fighting with our husbands and/or children. We must pray for them in the same manor we do our husbands and children. The areas under attack, the parts that are broken, we must ask God to heal and repair.
II. Forgive: I see it again, "Christen you are not serious? If you only knew what I go through!" Hey, don't get mad at the messenger, lol. God calls us to forgive, not forget, not pick up where we left off, not act as though everything is fine and dandy (because it isn't but that's okay you are praying God heals those areas and you have faith He will answer you). We do it … and listen very closely to this … we do it so WE can move on, so we don't hurt, so we don’t have the anger and anxiety anymore. Okay, well how do we forgive someone that has us so furious and so anxious and so
… lets face it PISSED OFF???? Read on and you will see.
III. Move forward: Last we need to move forward. We need to be cordial to these family members for the sake of our children. They may adore the person you can't stand. We are doing them an injustice by putting them in the middle of our issues. They will have plenty of issues of their own, with their own spouses, their own children, their own extended family, their own relationships… but that one is for a later discussion. Don't allow your troubles and hurts to be shared with your children.
Colossians 4:6 - Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
The enemy who's intent on disrupting the peace in our homes doesn't flinch when we try to force our own fixes upon it, but HE DOES start worrying when A WIFE, A DAUGHTER, A SISTER, A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW starts avoiding the noise at the periphery (remember we need to keep our identity, our focus, and our passion on our calling) and starts making some noise of her own, RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR TO THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP! Get ready to go to war FOR your family!
Romans 14:19 - Pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another ~
If I was your enemy, I'd DEVALUE your strength and MAGNIFY your insecurities until they
This week I have been dealing a lot with identity. My friend and I were working on my official logo (gulp) and all the first ones she showed me were great except that I didn't quiet feel my identity in them. It took a lot of trial and error and back and forth at the drawing board for the logo that was to become my new identity to surface. But with love and a lot of hard work the logo that will be forever (God willing) be Halfway To Sunday Mom was formed. (A quick shout out to Greenlight Graphics for the awesome work!)
Our identities as mothers work the same way. Most of us don't like feeling like we are labeled "moms" like there is nothing else to us. But the truth is we have many labels (mom, servant, lover, wife, nurse, teacher, cook, cleaner, helper, need I go on?) but as we have been discussing the past two weeks; we are mothers. So motherhood for the time being needs to be a focused identity of who we are. But the devil, using the world to corrupt us, is trying with all his might to make us lose our identity as mothers. With equal rights for the sexes, non sexual orientation, women can do anything men can do lies. Now that in no way means that we should not be able to work or have hobbies or travel and so on. But if we chose to have children our identity is motherhood not CEO of a large company that steals all our time away from our family. Hope that makes a lot of sense. Just because women can do what men can do doesn't mean we should be. If you are feeling like being a mother is something your doing on the side, what negative identities is the devil whispering in your ear (Your job is more important, you deserve to go out and party still, you aren't their slave)? What negative identities is the world yelling at you (their teachers are making sure they are doing well, kids need their independence, if you want them to be happy buy them things)? What negative identities are friends and family telling you (you shouldn't be handling them that way, let them find themselves, you are over disciplining them, you are under disciplining them)? Have you let everyone crack away at pieces of your identity until you can't even tell what direction you are suppose to be going anymore?
So how do we fight back against this attack? We need God and us to stamp what our TRUE identities are repeatedly onto our hearts. Key word there being repeatedly. Fervent prayer keeps our identity in FOCUS! It reminds us of who we really are and taps into the power we really have in Christ to be the mothers we are called to be. ~ Fervent
To accomplish this try following these 4 steps and remember this will take time and practice to turn it into habit.
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As mothers we need to be PROUD of the identity that is motherhood. Not every women out there will get that identity even though she may cry herself asleep wishing that she could. We were given a gift (or in my case gifts) and we should be proud and thankful we were chosen for those gifts. So the next time someone tries to put a break in your identity, a crack in your love of motherhood you stop it by giving praise for the wonderful mini yous. You are training up the future parents of this world and that is something you need to be able to stand tall about.
Isaiah 49: 16 - See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me ~
If I was your enemy, I'd disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you'd focus on the wrong culprit - a clean house, phone calls, social media, other mothers, your friends, your failures; ANYTHING to pull your focus away from your call to motherhood ~
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Our focus needs to never waiver. But it will, we are humans after all, we live in a broken world. But with God at our back guiding us we can keep trying, keep getting stronger in our focus, recognizing the devil's hackers before they snare us. So keep the focus and if you fall off that horse (no matter how many times) get back up and try again. You got this!
Micah 7:8 - Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light ~
Passion is what burns up the road between a child in danger and a parent in pursuit. It glows red-hot. And goes on driving. And grows even larger, the larger the obstacles become.
So at the end of the day mom, if this is ringing a familiar tune to you, stand up and take back the passion of your motherhood. Do it in the knowledge that God is for you and will fight for you, that your friends and loved ones are there to help you but you have to ask. And remember that feeling when your child was born and take your stand against the devil's arrow. You got this!
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up ~