Parenting is the toughest job in the world.
Well, for one thing, parenting is a job you can never truly master. By the time you figure out one stage of life, your child has already moved on to the next one, and you have to start all over.
For another thing, you can never quit. You will come to the end of yourself regularly and often, but somehow, someway, you have to keep going. That small person depends on you, and God has entrusted him or her to your care.
Add to that the desire for a good relationship with her husband, and most moms have little time for meaningful devotions with the Lord.
Many women feel guilty about their relationship with God. They believe they should try harder and do more. But striving to “be better” and to “accomplish more” will only get you so far.
It also strips the Gospel of its central truth: Jesus rescues us precisely because we cannot always “be better” and “accomplish more.” God is about grace, not works. Love, not exhausted striving.
If you’re a mom struggling to stay close to God, I encourage you to listen to my conversation with author Courtney Ellis on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Staying Close to God as a Busy Mom.”
Courtney is sharing how she stays connected to the Lord as a busy, working mom with two young children. She developed an approach that attaches specific spiritual disciplines to routine parenting tasks and time structures already available to her, breaking her efforts into seven easy categories:
- Car Rides and Contemplation
- Sleepytime and Service
- Eating and the Examen
- Laundry and Listening Prayer
- Suffering and Stillness
- Travel and Pilgrimage
- Celebration: Discovering a Playful God
Courtney is an author, speaker, and associate pastor with her husband Daryl at Presbyterian Church of the Master, in Mission Viejo, California.
Before I close, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Courtney Ellis’ book, a collection of heartwarming short stories that will encourage you with God’s truth called Almost Holy Mama: Life-Giving Spiritual Practices for Weary Parents, as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
We’ve also got a free parenting assessment for you at our website. It will quickly give you an overview of how your family is doing in several key areas. It also offers suggestions for improving the relationships in your home.