I am going to tell you a short story about my girls, but please know this: the last thing I want to do is hold myself as a model mom with perfect kids. If you’ve been around here for more than a hot second, you know that’s not true.
But I decided to post this as an encouragement to you. Because so many of you are young moms (or know young moms) in the trenches. More than anything, Christian moms want their kids to grow up with a sense of their identity in Christ. They want them to cling to Jesus in hard times, and learn the value of prayer and study.
If you’re like me, as a young mom you have tried implementing Bible reading after dinner, or heartfelt prayers before bed — and the whole thing investably ends with one kid demanding to “go first” or the other saying she’s bored, falling asleep in the middle of a Psalm. Tell me I’m not the only one whose kids wanted to reenact Jacob wrestling with God, right here on the living room floor, only to have both of them in tears when the match ended with hair being pulled.
It may seem like you will never see fruit from the seeds you are planting now.
Friend, you WILL see fruit. Keep going. Keep planting!
These photos were taken yesterday morning while our oldest daughter was writing in her prayer journal.
Quite some time ago, Lydia developed the practice of prayer journaling. For Christmas, she asked for the 2020 prayer journal from Val Marie Paper.
Over the years, she has tucked her prayers into Moleskines and notepads. Her very first prayer journal was a tiny spiral bound notebook that she would pull out when she saw me doing Beth Moore Bible studies at the kitchen table.
Anna had one, too, where she would record Bible verses. I loved the questions she asked about complicated verses that sometimes made her laugh out loud. Imagine a five-year-old trying to make sense of dry bones hearing the word of the Lord!
Back then, I led community Bible studies. Some moms desperately wanted to join but told me they couldn’t because the homework was too intense while raising little ones. Yes, the studies were very time-consuming. Even as the leader, I had trouble keeping up.
But I kept going. And my girls were silent witnesses. Sometimes, I wonder how much of the Bible study was actually “getting through” to my brain, because I was constantly interrupted by another request for a snack, or the need to break up a scuffle on the living room floor.
But I kept at it.
And now I see my girls doing the same. I am not taking credit for their spiritual growth. That’s between my girls and God. However, I do know this: Some lessons are taught. Many are caught. Our children will model what they see in us.
I suspect that many of you made a commitment in the new year to read more Scripture or be more intentional in prayer. Both practices will help you grow in your personal relationship with Christ. But there’s an added benefit—you are discipling your kids and grandkids by example! They will see that, even on busy days and hard days, time with Jesus is a worthy investment.
Keep planting those seeds, friends. In time, you will see growth. I promise you; you will.
“… my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Are you looking for a way to develop a spiritual practice of prayer and reading this year? I recommend: