A friend of mine is mama to three wonderful sons. I’m sure they’re quite human, with flaws and weaknesses. But I only know that because they have pulses beating. From my friend’s mouth comes life spoken over these sons of hers. She may be younger than me, but she’s a mama-mentor to me especially on those difficult days when it’s hard to see the amazing in my children.
She has names for her sons that call them into their identity, like “The Strong One” and “Lil Warrior.” I’ve never heard her complain about her sons. I’ve only ever heard her speak of her prides and joys with genuine pride and joy. These names she calls them by not only lift them up, but they call out identity from within.
So, when God spoke to my heart last month, giving me new names for my family members, I was thrilled! I was at a women’s conference and it was during worship on Friday night when I heard Him speak. And He spoke newness and life and identity. He gave me new names that I was now tasked with speaking over my family members.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” Revelation 2:17
When bedtime comes for the little ones, I’m usually more than ready for it. But that night was different. I gathered my brood on the living room floor…me, with bubbling-over excitement and a sense of urgency…them with a look of confusion on their faces. And life tumbled from my lips.
My daughter, I declared, is called “The Worshiper.” It’s fitting for this little girl who can sing praises for hours with hands lifted. It’s a challenge, calling her to focus on the blessings all around, thanking the One responsible for giving.
My son, “Servant Leader”…in that order. He loves to serve and he loves to lead. This name puts in focus the reality that in order to be a leader worthy of being followed, he must first be a servant. Then, those he serves will know that he leads with their best in mind rather than according to his own agenda.
My husband received his name, “The Tackler,” which is hugely appropriate for this football fan. But, football aside, here stands a man of God who moves forward in fearless obedience to God, ready and willing to tackle any challenge before him. Here is a man who can be trusted with immense tasks because he first trusts God to equip him.
Then there was me: “Water Walker.” Of late, songs like Oceans and You Make Me Brave have spoken vibrantly to my soul, calling me out beyond the safety of the shore and into the unknown. Whether the waters are choppy due to storms or calm in the mundaneness, walking across them is miracle. God is calling me out to walk over the impossible situations, be they stormy or mundane…and to see the miraculous in every moment.
What about you? Do you have names for your children? Your husband? Yourself? Are they names full of life or are they, honestly, full of death?
In the recent weeks since being given these names, there have been some tough mommy moments, where my kids’ behavior hasn’t aligned with who they are. This reminder is where I go; what I speak over them again and again.
To the son demanding his own way, “Who are you, son?” “I’m the Servant Leader.” A shift occurs…
To the daughter beginning to whine…. “Who are you, daughter?” “The Worshiper.” A new perspective…
To my own soul, when I feel pulled down under the weight of impossible things, “Who am I?” Water Walker…taking miracle-steps through storms and mundane alike.
God has a new name for you too. One that speaks to who you are, how He sees you. Would you stop today and ask Him? What does He declare over your children? How does He see your husband? Who does He say you are? And…will you agree with Him?
[This post first appeared at Next Level Mama.]
Are you inTENtional in your relationships with your children? Beneath the weight of living and day-to-day responsibilities, it’s so easy to stay in survival mode. We think it’s too hard…we aren’t doing enough…WE aren’t enough. But God always is. When we partner with Him in raising these kiddos He’s entrusted to us, when we put aside time on purpose, we can live inTENtionally. Check out my latest ebook, The inTENtional Mama, a quick-read where the inspirational meets the practical day-to-day. You’ll be blessed, uplifted, inspired, and equipped to become an inTENtional Mama! [Available where ebooks are sold!]
Some days, being “mama” isn’t all-too easy. It can be far easier to see the bad behavior rather than the amazing gift standing before us. So, what do we do when the amazing seems hidden? How do we call out our children to be who God has designed and declared them to be?
Today, I’m over at Next Level Mama talking about this very thing…and how God gave me new names for my each member of my family (even me!) These new names come straight from His heart and have the power to instill life and destiny in dark and frustrating places. Come join the discussion HERE!
Are you stuck in a cycle of wondering if you are in God’s will…asking “What is my purpose?”…”What does God want me to do?” God is everywhere and can be in every situation. So, instead of sitting in this stuck place, hoping, wondering, unsure…let’s stop and take a look at a few places where God is already working and how we can join Him.
Me…God created me and He is highly vested in His creation. So, before I try to go “out there”, I need to ask God what He is doing and what He wants to do in me! What is He trying to teach me? Where is He leading me? How can I trust Him more? This place of opening myself up to Him is something I can always come back to. He will only work through me and in me as much as I am willing to allow Him.
And, if you’re married, the next place to look is what God wants to do in your marriage and in your spouse. How can God work through me to bless my husband? How can I encourage and trust my hubby more? Not only did God create something new when He created your spouse, but He created something new the day we committed our lives to each other…the day we became one.
Do you have children? If so, they are gifts from God…whether they’re throwing a temper tantrum or coloring you a beautiful picture, they are precious! How am I partnering with God to guide them? How am I showing them love? What can I do to show them who God is?
Do you see the ripple effect happening? God invites us to join with Him, to partner with Him in His work that’s already in progress…starting with ourselves and moving outwards.
Each ripple, just like a single drop into a pool of water, affects the next…outwards to family, friends, co-workers, strangers and eternally onward! When we partner with God He multiplies our efforts!
How can you join His work today?
I came across this snippet of thought a few months back, from the time nearly four years ago when I had a two-year-old and an almost one-year-old keeping me very busy. Now, I’m still busy, in a different sort of way. Those two are older, but still have their definite needs. And now, with adding home school and fostering to the mix you get the idea that life just keeps expanding for us.
When I found this piece, I printed a copy and stuck it on my fridge, on the side right next to the stove where I spend plenty of time preparing food for this ever-expanding family. It is a daily reminder of the why behind my chosen profession. Despite the lack of glamour in my day-to-day, and in the midst of those “about-to-pull-my-hair-out-if-you-ask-me-one-more-question” moments, this helps me refocus on the beauty of this season of motherhood. It helps to recall that mine is not a place of drudgery, but rather one lived while sensing the beauty of each moment.
Enjoy! And, if you’re a mom, I pray you are encouraged!
“An Honored Position”
I am a wiper of runny noses, a tucker-inner come bed-time. I am an expert at the sensitive variances of my baby’s cries. And I am a linguist specialist in the realm of toddler-translation. I am the changer of sheets, the administrator of medicine, the chauffeur and entertainer. I am the maker of the food and the cleaner of the messes.
When the world is frightening or painful, I am the one they run to for comfort in a reassuring hug. When a mighty accomplishment is made, I am available for a cheer and a high-five. Every step is precious to me. Every smile and clap of the hands. Every acquired word and every ounce gained.
I am a witness to each little life. For every bit of progress made, I am there. I am the one with ears straining to translate the subtle movements heard over the monitor. I am the one policing television intake and protecting their world. I am the teacher, introducing these babes to the world around them. I am Mom.
Now, many see this role as less than a dime-a-dozen, for, after all, there have been billions of mothers throughout the expanse of time. But one thing that makes my role unique from every other and privileged above all else is that I am the only one entrusted to be Mom to these two precious souls (and any future children we will have).
Sure, there are days that are tiresome. Even now, I type with one hand, while my other arm keeps my baby in my lap. My days, and nights for that matter, are no longer my own. For two-and-a-half years, I was either pregnant or nursing; my stretch marks are my battle wounds. My body’s purpose was primarily to pour into another’s livelihood. Every bite I ate was calculated, every medicine carefully chosen. But would I ever trade it, this role, this position in life? Never, ever, ever. (May 5, 2009)