*This is the first post in a new link-up series called Build ‘Em Up. I’m participating with Kelly from Kelly’s Korner, Jennifer from Life in the Green House and Courtney from Little Light O’ Mine. I want to encourage you to visit their blogs today, too, to see how they’re encouraging you and to write your own post and link up with us. If you link up on one of our blogs, it will show up on all four blogs.
I was raised in a home of believers. My mom and dad instilled in me a very firm foundation for my faith. I committed my life to Christ at a young age, and as I grew older, I became distracted. My faith was always there in the back of my mind, but unless I went on a mission trip or to church camp, I wasn’t always right where I needed to be.
When I became a mother, I realized more than ever my deep need for my Savior.
As I was faced with lonely days and temper tantrums, I realized I couldn’t get through these days- the good and the bad- without drawing near to the Lord each day.
And there has been nothing quite like motherhood to show me how my “fruit” needs strengthening each day. I lose my patience, I’m not always kind, I don’t always show self control, and my words are not always loving.
I’ve been given this gift, and this incredible responsibility, of raising two precious children who were created in God’s image.
There will be days when I will fail. I pray each day that I can always show them and teach them as much about Jesus as I can. And I recognize that they will learn more about Jesus through my actions rather than my words.
For me, this means daily efforts (and I do mean a LOT of effort) to remember to have my quiet time so I can start or end my day in conversation and in communion with my Savior. It’s taking time to reflect, to listen, and to praise Him.
It also means doing my best to surround myself with friends who build me up.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
I try to show my kids as much of Jesus as I can through my works and my actions and my words. But the biggest thing for us is just how God comes into our family and our decisions. Todd and I know that we’re responsible for showing our boys what faith means.
We let our boys hear our prayers in the hard times and the good times. We read them Bible stories and try to bring those lessons from the stories into our every day life.
For me, it takes effort every single day. In the midst of laundry, tantrums, cooking, running back and forth, kissing boo boos and breaking up fights, I have to remember to stop and be in conversation with the Lord.
People often ask me about different books, Bible studies, ways to pray, etc. And the truth is, those things are useful and are all little seedlings along the way to growing in that relationship with the Lord. But being a Bible scholar or having the most eloquent words in a prayer aren’t the things that matter to Him most. He just wants my heart.
My faith comes to life through my family as we look around and see the many blessings we have and thank Him for never leaving us or forsaking us.
Many days go by when I don’t get to do my quiet time. Sometimes I do all of my daily Bible study “homework” all in one night because I didn’t make time to do it every day of the week. Some nights I go to bed and beat myself up over the rotten day we had and the way I reacted, and then realize that I hadn’t been in prayer at all that day.
But I give myself grace, and talk to Him the way I would talk to a friend. Because those reminders that He is with me through each little moment pull me closer and closer to Him.
And those little seeds are sprouting in Hudson and Hayes. Their nightly prayers, their compassion for others, and their young love for Jesus encourage me to keep doing what I’m doing. No matter how imperfect it is.
I’d love to hear how you are bringing your faith to life. What does that look like for you?
(If you are interested, my favorite daily devotional is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. We also read Jesus Calling for Kids to the boys, though it’s a little over their heads right now. Hudson loves The Beginner’s Bible by ZonderKids.)