...as Thou deservest; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing that we do Thy will. Through Jesus Christ our Lord."
~ St. Ignatius of Loyola
I have been reading "The Stay at Home Mom" by Donna Otto. (I am also reading "Let me be a Woman" by Elisabeth Elliot and "Amillenialism" by Kim Riddlebarger (for the 2nd time)...I seem to read too many books at once). It is just chock *full* of great info. It was written in the 90's so some of the statistics and things she writes in it are outdated, but the scores of wisdom penned on each page is just wonderful!
I keep my highlighter handy at all times while reading so that I may highlight things I want to remember! I will share a few of those with you here today so you can at least have a taste of the wisdom in what she shares...but if you can, I encourage you to purchase your own copy (It is incredibly inexpensive to purchase on Amazon). You could see if your library carries it...but if you can buy it I encourage that more because then you can underline/highlight as you desire and can refer back to it at your leisure! All quotes you see below are from Donna Otto in the book I linked to above...
"No matter what you say about Christ, your children will learn more about Him from you as they catch your contagious spirit for serving Him. In everything we do we should be leading them to Christ."
I desire to serve Christ...as well as my husband, children and those around me. I often find, though, to my chagrin that *self* always has a way of rearing its ugly head. Self, Self, Self. Oh how I despise the fact that I can so easily lose my focus on serving others and instead look into serving myself. It is a daily, annoying battle. But the Lord is teaching me...every day...each moment. Struggling with it keeps me humble and completely dependent upon Him. *He* needs to be my focus.
"As you seek to know Christ better, you will begin to imitate Him as you minister to your family. As you learn to sacrifice and suffer loss, as you learn to set aside your personal desires, as you are willing to pray for your children and put them first, they will see what it means to serve Christ. They will see the invisible Christ in your visible example."
"The greatest problem among women today
is unhealthy comparisons."
Do you do that? Compare yourself to others who have more or less of this or that? If I just had...or if I just looked like...or if I could just...*on and on* we go...why do we do that??? All it does is make us discontent with the life we have.
"Yet, you have no reason to be discontent. The God of the universe created you individually and equipped you for your good and His glory. What a personal affront it is to Him to complain about how He made you by saying, 'If I only had...'"
"You must decide who will be the director of your life as a mother: the Lord or others around you."
I need to remember my worth comes from Him. He has made me His and now, I just need to follow His direction...given to me in His Word. I know I will always fall short of His perfection...thus why I *need* Him. Only Christ's perfection could save me (and you). I will continually strive to serve how He served and love how He loved.
"Be strong, stand still, and listen to the voice of the God who created you and called you to stay at home. Do what you can do in the way you can do it. Don't compare yourself to anyone. Don't worry about your identity now that you are a stay-at-home mom. You are a child of God, and He can use everything you are to minister to Him and to your family. Rest in your identity in Christ. Receive the full measure of His love because "perfect love casts our fear" (1 John 4:18). The fear of failing in your new role will vanish as you trust in Him and rest in Him."
"Fill and nourish your soul with high notions of God which yield you great joy in being devoted to Him."
It all makes perfect sense and seems so simple...and yet, when the trials of life pop up, it's terribly too-easy to veer off the path of serving others and onto the path of self. This is a place where I need to spend a lot of prayer and study in my Bible.
"So I find it to be a low that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliveer me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."
~ Romans 7:21-25
New (to me) books!! Yay!
I pray your heart is encouraged here as we learn to serve our families and neighbors with loving hearts to honor our Lord! May we continue to strive together to please Him in all things and put ourselves *last*! May you know you are not alone as you struggle to be the best wife and mama you can be! :)