When You Need More Than Flowers & Chocolate

by Jenny Stricklin

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Hopefully the day after Mother’s Day finds you to be a happy, well-loved, content momma who is confident in her God-given role of raising and shaping the character of your little people.

Truth be told, on the regular days of the year, I’m a little skeptical of my own mothering ability.  And not because we eat way too many chicken nuggets around here or only manage to bathe every couple days.  Like, amidst the joyful moments of mothering my boys, there’s this persistent feeling that maybe I’m doing it wrong—or even just not as “right” as I should be. And since I can’t know for certain that they’re gonna turn out okay, what if they don’t?

On a good parenting day, these little wonderings can trip me up. But throw in any kind of variable—a strong willed child, uncertainty about how to discipline, losing my temper, dealing with a diagnosis, even just a good rush of hormones —and these lingering lies start to make me walk with a limp.

A couple years back I was exhausted from shouldering the weight of my worries and weak from dodging the jabs of the enemy. My stomach was knotted tight as I tried to untangle the doubts that had come as a result of some things we were walking through with one of my boys. The kids were in bed, and my husband was away for the evening, and in my desperation, I plopped down and opened my Bible.

Experience had taught me that the Lord was close in times like this, and I knew He had something to say.

And I wanted – needed – a word from Him. Of comfort. Of direction. Of hope. Anything really. So I cried out to Him, and mercifully, He lead me to Isaiah 44:2-5 and gave me four things to pray and believe Him for when my feelings try to be the boss:

“Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
O dear Israel, my chosen one.” (vs 2)

He saw where my heart was that night and spoke straight to it. “Don’t be scared, Jenny.” If anyone else had said it, I’d probably think, “Well, easy for you to say!” But the God who DOES see into the future and Who knows me cover to cover has a right to say it. So I decided to listen. I chose that night to put my confidence in Him even BEFORE I saw His hand move in my situation. Lord, give me faith instead of fear.

“For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
and to irrigate your parched fields.” (vs 3)

Really?? You will, God? I found myself questioning. But I knew the answer. He had the kind of water that would quench my soul thirst. I was emotionally depleted and needed replenishment. And here He was offering it. I’ll take it, Lord. Help me drink deeply of You and be refreshed.

“And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.” (vs 4)

I read these words and burst into tears. That’s all I need Lord! Just give them your Spirit and that’s enough!

Because I knew that with the Spirit, my children would have:

  • All that the Spirit produces (The fruit of the spirit – Gal 5:22-23)
  • A constant comforter (John 14)
  • Help in recalling truth about God when they need it (John 14:26)
  • A counselor Who will guide them and convict them of sin (John 16)
  • Power to accomplish the mission of God (Acts 1:8)
  • An intercessor Who prays for them according to the will of God (Romans 8)
  • Freedom to see and reflect the glory of the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:17)
  • Eternal life (John 6:63)

There is literally NOTHING I want more for my kids than for them to possess these things. I get tired when I try to take on the role of the Spirit.  Lord, don’t delay! Fill my kids with your Spirit.

Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord.’
Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’
Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands
and will take the name of Israel as their own.” (vs 5)

Through that last verse, He whispered the confirmation I needed that night: “Jenny, your boys will submit themselves wholly to the Lord, and will live for His interests, His people, and His name’s sake.”

Isn’t that just a miracle any way you look at it? That we as imperfect, needy moms, can with the Lord’s help, raise up children that are honoring to Him.

Lord, I believe I am not powerful enough to derail your plan and purposes. Accomplish your will in my kids’ lives.

I learned that night (again) that God’s Word is life. His words brought courage and peace. And when I get suspicious of my own ability, I must get to Him to hear what He says about my reality.

So when the Mother’s Day chocolate and flowers run out, or when you need a boost of confidence in the motherhood department, plop down with the Word and beg Him to speak.

Jenny Stricklin

Jenny Stricklin

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