by Stephanie Blackiston


My husband and I just welcomed our seventh child into the world. We have six sons and one daughter. We never dreamed we would have a large family. The road here has required much faith and surrender.

I didn’t know motherhood demanded great courage and spiritual strength. The funny thing is… I don’t have either.

Instinct tells me to grab hold of fear and disbelief. My natural brain works like Gideon’s. Remember where Gideon was when God called him? Hiding in a winepress.

“Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah…Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.  

The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!

“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”

Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!

“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

The Lord said to him, I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

(Judges 6)

Like Gideon, I am shaking in my boots (I do love BOOTS!). God ignores Gideon’s OBVIOUS shortcomings and calls him “Mighty Hero.” My conversation with God is very similar to Gideon’s. 

Me: “You chose the WRONG girl.”

God: “I am sending YOU.”

Me: “I don’t have what it takes.”

God: “I will be with you.”

Me: “I am too weak!”

God: “I have given you my strength.”

My motherhood verse is Colossians 1:29.

“To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

Let’s unpack this verse.

  • “To this end” (dos) –  for this purpose.

What is “this end”? To walk by faith! To obey His Word and produce lasting fruit (John 15). At the end of my life I desperately want to say what Jesus did: “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4)

  • “strenuously” (kopiaō) – to grow weary, tired, exhausted, worn out

Amen! Right moms? We should be exhausted from doing the work of the Lord! Lately, I am feeling too weak to complete the work, so I hold my hands up toward heaven and pray this verse…

“Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed. But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” (Nehemiah 6:9)

  • “contend” (agonizomai) –  to contend with adversaries, fight, strive, struggle…with difficulties and dangers, straining every nerve to the uttermost, to be a soldier, to GO TO WAR

Put those two words (“strenuously contend”) together and you have got my experience of motherhood. My knees are knocking (in my cute fall boots) as I stand behind the armor God has given me. But you and I must remember, His armor not only protects us, it guarantees victory and the ability to take ground. 

“Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter.” (Deuteronomy 11:8)

  • with all the “energy” (energeia)  

When this word is used in the New Testament, it is always referring to superhuman power. I love when God tells Gideon, go with the strength you have.” Moms, He is sending us into the battlefield and it is HIS strength we have been given (past tense). You already have it. Walk in it!

  • “so powerfully” (dynamis)

I love the word “so.” I overuse it. God doesn’t overuse it. He wants us to GET IT… because He says “so.” God SO loves you and He SO powerfully works in you. This is dynamite power. This is power for performing miracles.

  • “works in me” (energy) to work for one, to prevail, to execute

I describe it to my boys this way: I ask them what they would do if we got a call asking them to play quarterback in the Superbowl this year. They say, “No way, mom. We would get killed. Those guys are 10 times our size.” I say, “What if the greatest football player who ever lived unzipped you, climbed inside and played the game THROUGH you. You can have all of his strength, skill, and experience. Then, would you do it? You just have to rely completely on him.” Nervously, they say “Yeah, then we would do it.”

That’s the secret, mommas! We have access to this type of strength and power. We just have to release it by faith in our lives. That truly is “the secret!”

“And this is the secret: Christ lives in you.” (Colossians 1:27)

Mommas, I don’t want to keep doing motherhood hiding in the winepress like Gideon. I want to strenuously contend with all Christ’s energy, which is powerfully working in and through me. I want to bring God glory by completing the work He has given me to do. I want to destroy the Midianites (one diaper at a time).

I have no idea why He chose me for this, but He did. He has chosen you too, Mighty Mom! Let’s not miss out on anything He has for us!

“That I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)

It’s time for us to put on His armor (and a cute pair of boots), and walk in the victory He has already won!

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10)

Stephanie Blackiston



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