Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Mother's Heart, by Jean Fleming

Mostly my blog is about writing (and my writing progress, by the way, is still going strong; have another couple thousand words this past week to add to my tally).
However the title of my blog also refers to "while attempting to raise four children, stay happily married, and stay focused on God." So this blog entry is devoted to the "while attempting" part.

My women's Bible study has just finished reading "A Mother's Heart" (by Jean Fleming), a great book for inspiring moms who might feel a little overwhelmed or burned out. Now that we've spent 7 months studying motherhood, we've voted to read "Love & Respect" (by Emerson Eggerichs) next, and focus on marriage. This morning we spent our time praying about the things we've learned in the past months about being a mom before moving on to the subject of marriage.

There is so much good stuff in "A Mother's Heart", and yet I don't feel like I've really applied any of it. It doesn't do much good just to read something about doing something, unless you actually DO something. Fortunately, praying is doing something.

One of the suggestions in the book is to pray over your childrens' strengths (and how to encourage them in their strengths), and their weaknessness (and how to help them overcome them). But I found myself praying mostly over my own weaknesses.... My main weakness as a Mom is selfishness. I like having my own time to read and to write. And for once it would be nice to get to watch a movie from start to end without a million interruptions or having to show subtitles for "the hearing impaired" because all the noise my kids make means I qualify for "hearing impaired."

And with so many things needing to get done, it's hard to focus time on my kids when I have so little time just for myself. But this book certainly inspires me to keep trying. It's worth it.

So this coming week when Blaze bugs me to listen to one of her "stories", I will stop and listen to her... for at least 15 minutes. Lately she's been wanting me to help her "write" her stories, too. I'm tickled - she wants to be a writer, like me! Now if only I could get her to want to be devoted to the Lord, like me. Whoops, am I really all that devoted to the Lord? In theory, yes. In reality... questionable if you see where I spend most of my time - doing "me" things. I'm going to hold my babies more, and tickle Dreamer more. And somehow find some time to spend with my husband too.

I've already skimmed over that "Love & Respect" book and, in honor of Valentine's Day, I have something special planned for my hubby. I'm definitely better at showing him love, than I am showing him respect. So I need to pray more about the respect part. Respect doesn't not come naturally to me. But like love, respect shouldn't have to be earned. It should be freely given... but it takes a humble person to give someone respect when they don't appear to deserve it. I truly want to be not just a more loving person, but also a more humble person.

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