At the beginning of this year, I decided I would jump on the band wagon of some of my favorite homeschool mom bloggers and claim in Jesus’ name, one WORD for the whole year to live by. A one word mission statement that is the starting place for God’s will in my life. I prayed and prayed for God to reveal that word to me. Many of them came to mind. Words like Love, Grace, Faith, Persevere, Pray and Forgive. But He placed only one on my heart. My word would be ABIDE. Without abiding in Christ, I really can’t love or forgive others well, have grace for someone else or even accept God’s grace in my own life, persevere through tough times, have a strong faith or come to God with a humble heart in prayer.
This was a tough one to follow, but I knew that if I claimed it because God placed it on my heart…He would also make a way for me to truly abide. I can’t tell you how many days over this past year, and many before it, that I sat in frustration because staying close to Jesus throughout my day nearly seemed an impossible task. Often, in my sleep deprived state with four active boys running around, clean unfolded laundry piles so high they begin building forts within them, dishes literally covering every counter space, behavior issues mounting, school lessons left untaught and me in the middle of it all…wondering why for the one hundred and fourteenth attempt that day I couldn’t find a single moment to read my bible or pray. The enemy loves to hear us say we just can’t abide. I, at least, felt like I wasn’t abiding very well and on some days, it felt nearly impossible.
My heart changed, therefore my faith did too.
What happened this year in my heart was nothing short of a miracle…. I learned rather quickly that I was forgetting something. Our God is a God of Grace! He knows where us moms are at…the season we’re in, the feelings we feel, the challenges we face DAILY. He knows when our hearts, minds and bodies are tired…even weary. He sees it all and loves us anyway. He hears every thought that crosses our mind our still…He loves us beyond comprehension.
God taught me many lessons this year, but one of the biggest lessons I learned was that even a very busy homeschooling mama can stay close to God throughout her day…no matter what her circumstances. It’s in the moments when we choose joy instead of defeat, when we speak gentle words of encouragement instead of harsh ones because some expectation wasn’t met, when we ask for forgiveness after we mess up and when we pull our kids in close to pray because the day is not going the way we hoped it would. Abiding means we seize even the tiniest moments between cooking a meal and washing the dishes to listen to a bible teaching on an iPhone or online. We leave our bibles open so when there is a quiet moment we can grab a fresh word and we stand as close as we possibly can to the One who will hold us up in every moment by just whispering His name. THAT is how we remain in Jesus.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. -John 15:7
Making time to be with God is a lifestyle choice.
…much like homeschooling. We choose to embrace it in all we do, not give it a separate box up on the shelf that gets pulled down when the moment is right. That box, I realized, was my problem. So, I unpacked it, gave it all to God in prayer and asked Him to help me never ever again place Him in a neat little container labeled “Things to Do When I Have Time”. There may be a time down the road when I can spend longer moments deep in the Word or actually attend an outside women’s bible study group, but for now…God is showing me how to abide in this season of life, well.
What word will I claim for this year?
According to my revolving rolodex of lists on file and the fact that somehow I never manage to complete them and maybe they’re not all that realistic in the first place….you would think that Balance might be the word for me. Close. God has spoken a different word over my heart this year. It’s one that builds upon the lessons I’ve learned this year. Surrender. In order to gain some healthy balance in my life, I first need to surrender my plans, my ways and yes, even my lists.
Is there a word God is leading you to claim as your one word mission statement for this next year? What is it?
Megan and her amazing husband, along with their four young sons live in Washington state. She is a homeschooling mom after the heart of Jesus and wanting to make Him famous to her boys each and every day. As often as possible, Megan and her boys spend their time away from the table learning with a very hands-on approach. They love unit studies, science experiments, great books and especially the outdoors. One of her sons was born with a significant hearing loss, so her family learned American Sign Language, which has been an amazing blessing to all of them. Megan is passionate about encouraging moms in their faith, is inspired by others willing to share their real-life stories, finds joy in the everyday of Motherhood and loves spending as much time as possible in God’s creation with her family.