I looked down at the verses I was reading. I sat there amazed. Then I read them again, and again. I was just finishing up the book of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. I got to chapter 5, verses 16-18, words I have probably read a hundred times before. And all of the sudden, they lit up my heart in a completely new way.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
These three short verses hold everything I want to be in my “mom life.” They describe how I want to live and the qualities I want others, especially my children, to see in me.
At baby dedications parents often choose a “life verse,” from the Bible, words that they want to represent their child’s life, or a promise of God that they cling to as the child grows. Parents pray this verse or verses throughout their children’s lives. I love hearing the different verses that are meaningful to parents who want to bless their children and saturate them in the Word of God.
So that morning as I was reading, I decided that 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 would be my “Mom Life Verses”. They would be like my theme, my motto, my mission statement of motherhood. When I am feeling discouraged, these verses will encourage me. When I need to refocus on my calling as mother to my two sons, when my attitude or my heart is not in the right place; these are the verses I will come back to.
When my sons grow up and look back on their childhood one day, the word I want them to remember and associate with their mom is: rejoice. I want their memories of days with me to be filled with images of joy and rejoicing.
In this daily job of raising children, there is so much to do. So many things demand our attention and energy. Without even noticing it, we can begin to lose our joy.
Being with children is a such great reminder to rejoice. Little people are so joyful! Life is new and everything around them is a wonder to behold.
Before becoming a stay at home mom, I was a special education teacher. That work brought so much joy to my heart. My students may have had disabilities to face, but they also had unique abilities to see joy and love all around them. Seeing life through their eyes, made me want to rejoice.
Now that I stay home with my sons full time, I am again reminded of the endless reasons to rejoice in all that God has created. He has given us so many good things, loving relationships, and ways to enjoy life here on this earth. But above all, knowing Christ and His salvation is the number one reason to rejoice every day!
“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; It shall rejoice in His salvation.”
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
I can’t imagine what my life would be like without prayer. Whether I am happy, sad, stressed, or thankful, God is the first person I share with. I tell God the big things, and the things I wouldn’t share with anyone else. I also tell Him the little things that I think are probably too silly for Him to care about, because I know that He does care.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Pray without ceasing” reminds me that God is always with me, He is always ready to listen. When I am driving in the car with my kids, God is with us. When I am lying awake at night with thoughts and questions about life, He is there with me. I am never alone. I have an ongoing conversation with my Lord.
What a privilege it is to be able to go straight to the throne of God in prayer whenever we want. What a shame that so often, we ignore this amazing gift, or use it as a last resort instead of a first line of defense.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
As my sons continue to grow, I want them to look at me and see someone who prays, anytime, anywhere, about anything. Praying continually, or without ceasing, is a way of life, and a way to a life of peace.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS
Does this mean I have to like or even understand every circumstance in my life? My children don’t always understand when I ask them to do something they don’t want to do. And they don’t like it when I don’t allow them to have everything they think they need or want. But as their loving parent, I am always trying to do what is good for them, what is best. I am trying to help them grow and learn, to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. I want them to trust me with a thankful heart because of my love for them. And I want to trust God that same way.
Giving thanks in everything means that no matter what I am facing in the moment, I can thank God, not for every trial, but because of who HE still is in every situation.
God is good and He is always loving.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
God wants the best for you and me. Anything He allows us to go through has a purpose for our ultimate good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
God is always trustworthy to lead, even if I don’t like or understand my circumstances.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
THIS IS GOD’S WILL IN CHRIST JESUS
The best part about all of this, is that it is God’s will for me, as a mom, as a person, and as His child. The only place I want spend my life, is in His will and in Christ Jesus, abiding with Him, rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks!
I was looking back at my blog posts from a year ago, and my very first one was titled, “Rejoice Always.” My second was called “Pray Without Ceasing.” And the title of my page “Thankful Mommy,” was created in hopes of giving thanks in everything. These verses have really been in my mind and heart the whole time. I just finally made the connection sitting with my Bible last week. There is always something new for God to show us in His Word.
What Bible verse inspires your daily life as a mother? What promise or hope do you cling to? How do you want your children to remember you as a mom? It doesn’t matter what age your kids are, you are always a mother. I would love to know what you think of as your “mom life” verse if you have one. If you don’t have one, I challenge you to open your Bible and see what Scripture God will use to touch your heart. Leave me a comment below or on my “Thankful Mommy” Facebook page and share it with me. What is your “mom life” verse??