This is our second guest post this week, and it includes an exciting GIVEAWAY! Stephanie Shott, author of The Making of a Mom: Practical Help for Purposeful Parenting, shares with us 3 reasons why we should be intentional moms and 3 ways we can purpose to do so. She is also giving one Missional Motherhood reader a FREE, signed copy of her book! Giveaway details are at the bottom of this post.
I have a confession to make. I wasn’t always an intentional mom. Oh, I wanted to be the mom who never raised her voice, never counted to three, and baked her own bread.
But somehow the mom I thought I would be got lost somewhere between the mountain of laundry, the never-ending pile of dishes, and the unending to-do list.
Funny how the life a mom lives often obscures her view of the significance of her role.
How about you? Have you ever felt like you weren’t the mom you hoped you would be?
Today, I want to share with you three reasons why it’s important to be intentional and three ways you can become an intentional mom.
Let’s start with the 3 reasons why we need to be intentional moms…
1. Because parenting shouldn’t be random.
Someone once said if you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time. Without a plan and a purpose, motherhood is like a random and messy experiment and our children are the guinea pigs. “Random parenting” is a recipe for a child who struggles to fulfill their God-given destinies.
2. Because you are molding the heart of your children and the next generation.
Make no mistake about it…YOU are significant beyond your wildest imagination. What you do, how you act and react, your integrity, and the way you live your life in front of your children is leaving an imprint on their hearts. And ultimately, you are not only molding the heart of your children, but the heart of the next generation.
3. Because no one else loves your children like you do.
Love is so much more than a four letter word with a two word definition. Love goes way beyond the warm, fuzzy emotion we feel for our children. Moms love their children like no one else can and like no one else will. It is because of the deep love we have for our children that we must choose to parent on purpose and to live intentional lives.
So there you you have the “why” behind the “what.” But how can we be intentional when we live from one need to the next? It’s hard to even catch our breath, let alone take time to think about how to be intentional.
Here are three tips to help you become more intentional as a mom and more purposeful as a parent:
1. Prayerfully and carefully make a strategic but practical list of the five areas in your children’s lives you want to work on.
In The Making of a Mom, I share about how we can set goals for our kids and goals for ourselves by focusing on how Jesus “grew in wisdom and stature with God and with man.” He grew spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally. These are the areas of development in our children’s lives that we have the opportunity to mold. If we aren’t intentional about each of these areas, there will be gaps in their development wherever we lack intentionality. And please don’t go it alone! You weren’t meant to do motherhood alone, and it’s very hard to consistently be intentional without a momma friend and/or mentor to take your mom journey with you.
2. Intentionally parent the adult you want your children to become and not just respond to the behavior of the children that they are.
It’s so easy to respond to their behavior in the moment, but if you are going to parent intentionally, consider the purpose behind your response. Curbing their behavior doesn’t necessarily cultivate their hearts. As parents, we need to learn how to shepherd the heart of our children and because each family and each child is different, that will look differently for each individual and each family. If your child lies or talks back, consequences are necessary, but those are issues of the heart. Shepherding the heart of your child means not only dealing with consistent consequences to unacceptable behavior (which is definitely important), but also demonstrating what kind of behavior is acceptable and why.
3. Give yourself and your children room to grow, room to fail, and room to spontaneously enjoy life.
There is no such thing as a perfect mom or a perfect child. There are no cookie-cutter parents, no cookie-cutter kids, and there are no cookie-cutter solutions. You won’t get it right every time and neither will they. Sometimes when you decide to become intentional, you set your expectations so high that you set yourself and your children up for failure. It’s important to teach your children how to fail well, not to expect such perfection from them that they can never attain it and give up trying. Be intentional, but don’t be so regimented that you leave no room for failure, no room for flourishing, and no room for fun.
Motherhood may be the most wonderful role on the planet, but being a mom can be hard and messy. It can also be the most amazing and beautiful mess we could possibly imagine!
We will never be perfect parents, but we know the One who is. His name is Jesus, and He hears the prayers of a momma’s heart and promises to give you the wisdom you need when you seek His face.
Today, I want to encourage you to seek your Father’s face for the hearts, souls, and minds of your children. Be a mom who not only parents on purpose but prays purposefully as well.
These are the years you have to mold the hearts of your children. Don’t let them slip by and then wonder where they went. Become an intentional mom today. You’ll have forever to be glad you did!
*If you would like to enter for a chance to win a FREE, signed copy of Stephanie’s book, The Making of a Mom, we’d like to invite you to subscribe via e-mail to the Missional Motherhood blog on the top, right of this page, like us on Facebook (if you have not already done so), and comment below this post. The giveaway will end Friday at Midnight and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator.
Winner: Katie Yaun! Thank you all for participating! You can purchase a copy of your own here.
*Stephanie Shott is the founder of The M.O.M. Initiative, a ministry devoted to making mentoring intentionally missional. She is an author and a popular speaker who helps women live full, fearless, and faithful lives. To invite Stephanie to speak at your next event, visit her website at www.stephanieshott.com. To find out more about The M.O.M. Initiative or to begin a M.O.M. Mentor Group, visit www.themominitiative.com.