This is Part 3 in a series titled Hidden in My Heart, a three-part series on treasuring God’s Word in our hearts as mothers and teaching our children to do the same. My prayer is that God uses these words to encourage moms and point them to Jesus, our Good Shepherd! You can read Part 1 – The Doorposts & The Gates here and Part 2-Hiding God’s Word in our Children’s Hearts here.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV
Motherhood has been a long awaited gift in my life. Little hands to hold, little hearts to shepherd, little lives to cherish, guide, and serve. It is the most beautiful season of my life and I cherish each child the Lord has entrusted to me. Just like a flower, so fragile and delicate, is constantly dependent on the sun and water to cause it to grow, so too are we as mothers dependent on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to cause us to grow and be sustained spiritually in the beautiful and challenging work of motherhood.
As mothers, we are busy caring for all the many needs of our families in so many ways. Oftentimes, we give of ourselves until we are utterly spent and need a little self-care. It is a legend that the mother pelican bird, in times of famine, will pluck her own flesh to feed her offspring. Motherhood is the self-sacrificial work of giving your life for others. Over the years of raising young children, I have had to find creative ways to stay in God’s Word and receive my spiritual nourishment.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-6 ESV)
Here, Moses calls the Israelites to “hear”, to open their ears to God’s commands and love Him with their entire being and way of life. These words shall be such a focus, a priority and sacred call to obey the LORD their God. God desires that intimacy with His people, and He knows we need that. Of course, the good news for those who repent and believe is that since we could not obey God’s Law perfectly, Christ has fulfilled the Law on our behalf which causes us to rest in Him.
My final encouragement in this series is to continue to love the Lord your God and spend time dwelling on His Word. Its in God’s Word where we find: His promises, His law, His testimonies, encouragement and comfort, strength and hope, rebuke and correction, faith instead of fear, and of course, grace, forgiveness, and joy.
How do we do this in our homes?
When I was just starting out in motherhood, I asked a lot of questions to other women who were a little or a lot ahead of me in parenting. I searched the internet for blogs that “fit” my style, convictions, and method of parenting that I aspired to. I enjoyed that season of learning about the little years. Now, I’m in a season of learning about the “older child” years. If you are in the “early childhood” years, I hope this is a place where you can find some ideas that work for you, a springboard to jump off of.
Bible: ESV online audio
This is an excellent way to hear Scripture when you are a busy mama. When my firstborn was a baby, I found that it took a long time to nurse and that those 45 mins could be effectively used for spiritual nourishment, whether reading or listening to a podcast and working through different sermon series. When I found the ESV online audio, I was ecstatic! Just click on a book and press play as you go about your day. Whether you are preparing food, folding laundry, gardening, or going for a walk with the baby, this is a great time to soak in God’s Word. There have been times when I’ve just turned on the Psalms and let the Word of God fill our home in the early mornings while the kids are up and about, playing and I am working in the kitchen. There are also many Bible reading plans available!
Devotionals: Morning & Evening Daily Readings by C.H. Spurgeon
I first heard of this book from a friend when we had just one wee baby. I loved the idea of a short reading for morning and evening for each day of the year. Each reading offers deep theological reflections from Spurgeon. I have feasted on the love and character of God more deeply from this devotional book than any other devotional I have read.
Prayer Books: The Valley of Vision
This is a collection of Puritan prayers. I first heard of this book from our church in Bellingham, Washington. Our pastor read a prayer from it every Sunday. The raw and theologically rich prayers of adoration, confession and petition have impacted me greatly. As a busy mother, my prayers are often like little desperate calls for help or short popcorn prayers of praise and gratitude. Not a lot of eloquence or depth in my prayers. Praying more eloquently will not make Him hear our prayers more. But what I love about a prayer book, is that it opens my eyes to pray things that I wouldn’t think of. Whenever I pick up this prayer book, I’m so glad that I did and it benefits me as I praise, confess and petition.
Read aloud: During particularly busy seasons, I often have just read Scripture or even my devotional aloud to my children. Usually, in a house of four children, at least one of them is awake. So why not just pull them up beside you with a blanket and read the Bible or Spurgeon or the Puritans together? Lots of good conversation starters right there!
Music: There are many Scripture music cd’s available. When I put on these albums for my children to listen to, they benefit me as well. Scripture songs bubble up within me and the Holy Spirit uses God’s Word in song to minister to my heart.
Other ideas include listening to sermon podcasts from your church, joining a Bible study group, or forming Scripture accountability groups and simply reading Scripture posted around your own home. I have used all of these ideas in my creative quest to dwell deeply in God’s Word during the busy season as a mom to little ones. The Lord has used these ideas to daily help me to dwell deep and rest in His Word.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11 NIV
Have you been blessed by this series? If so, would you be willing to share this post with others? My heart is to write as part of my Kingdom work. I have so much on my heart that I would love for God to use in whatever way He chooses. Thank you for sharing the love!