Monday, March 4, 2013

Being the Mom God wants me to be

My name is Jessica Thomas and it gives me great joy to say that I’m a mother. While we were never certain how we were going to have a family, there was one thing for sure that I knew in my heart of hearts—one day I would be a mom. My journey to motherhood has been my testimony and through it God revealed His healing, faithfulness, grace, and the power of prayer. I am so thankful and honored to be blessed with the very best from God above, the blessing of two beautiful daughters-Aubrey Hope and Avery Grace. 

God has entrusted Aubrey and Avery to my husband Jason and I. Even before they were born, we dreamed of them, we imagined them, and we prayed for them. Now that they are here, we hope for them, we love them, and we thank God for them. Just like any other parent, I want so much for our children. I want them to be raised in a home where they feel safe and loved, I want them to be happy and void of struggles or worries, I want them to be able to maintain the innocence of a child’s heart, I want them to be able to have the opportunity to have an education, I want them to be healthy and have access to health care, I want them to be surrounded by a community that will support them through the good and bad, and I want them to have a relationship with Jesus, I want for Jay and I to be intimately involved in their spiritual growth, and…the list could go on and on. When I think about all these things, there is one dream that I esteem as being most important and that is that they know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. Many times my mind becomes clouded which what temporarily seems important for their well-being and recently God has been working on my heart to redefine what it means for me to be a mother. God wants my focus not to be on what can I do for them, but what can God do for them.

So what does that look like? Our phenomenal children’s pastor, Sherri Campbell, performed an excellent illustration at the baby dedication class held for all parents that wish to have their children dedicated to the Lord. By using cheese ball puffs, Sherri demonstrated the number of hours we as parents have in comparison to the time church has towards the development of our children’s spiritual growth. As a mother, with subtracting sleep and school time, I have approximately 3,000 hours every year to influence my children’s spiritual growth. On the flip side, church has only 60 hours every year with my children teaching them about Christ. It couldn’t be more obvious as I was staring at lots and lots of yummy cheese puffs in comparison to a small container that looked anemic in comparison. God has trusted me with his children and has therefore called me to the greatest responsibility that could ever be bestowed on me—to be a mom, a mom that puts Christ first in our mother-daughter relationship, a mom that submits to her husband, a mom that loves her husband, a mom that abides in God’s commandments, a mom that forgives, a mom that loves unconditionally, a mom that serves, a mom that takes every opportunity to share the love of Christ in and outside our home, a mom that prays, a mom that gives thanks, a mom that …I could keep on going. What an important and impactful role we as moms have on the lives of our children. Thank you God for making it obvious to me (through food because for those of you that know me, food is the way to my heart!) that the greatest influence on our girl’s spiritual growth happens right at home and perhaps even more important, with ME! I ask myself, do the girls see Jesus when they are with me? 

I pray that God will give me a heart that overflows with the desire to invest in my children’s relationship with Christ. What can I do? First, I need to grow personally. I need to be in God’s Word, I need to be having fellowship with other believers, I need to be a prayer warrior, I need to worship, I need to serve…in short, I need to make my relationship with Christ my top priority. Second, I need to be a Godly wife. I need to have a relationship with my husband that is God honoring and that my children can see Jesus through the love we share and through our actions. I want them to never doubt our devotion to each other or to God, our morals, or our beliefs. Next, as a mother, I need to be intentional about the influences around my girls. I need to strive to set my girls up for success in their social circles. I need to encourage interactions that will have a Godly influence in their lives and foster unconditional love.  The bottom line is that I need to be intentional and passionate about developing Aubrey’s and Avery’s relationship with Christ. I hope and pray that when I go to heaven and see God face to face that he will look at my journey as a mother and he will say: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

I will close with some versus from Deuteronomy which I pray will be the cry of my heart…

“And you must serve the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourself wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on your doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  (v. 6:5-9)

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