Developing a Personal Relationship With God
Getting His Support
Sick Days and Nights
|Developing a Personal Relationship with God
Developing a relationship with God is much more than just attending church and saying prayers at meals and bedtime. You must work to develop a personal relationship with God, not just a “sit in church Sunday morning for an hour” one. The prophet Isaiah promises that, “The Lord will keep in perfect peace all those . . . whose thoughts turn often to the Lord.” (Isaiah 26:3) That’s what it means to have a personal relationship with Him.
Your religious beliefs should become an integral part of your life, every day, in everything you do. You have many opportunities to become closer to God. Join the choir. Teach Sunday School. Organize a church fund-raiser. Volunteer to help clean up the church grounds, or decorate for Christmas. Help with Vacation Bible School. These are all ways of serving God and becoming closer to Him. Sandy remembers, “I liked my church, but really didn’t feel a part of it until I joined the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) steering committee as the treasurer. Then I met lots of moms and worked with the pastor and got to know him better, too. Jesus became more real to me through MOPS. I made some wonderful friends, and even though I’m not in MOPS anymore we talk every week in church.
Through MOPS, I also became more comfortable talking with people I don’t know.” But don’t get over-involved in church activities; you still need time for personal devotions and prayer and reflection, and family and personal obligations.
As an at-home mom, your family is obviously high on your list of priorities. Is God in his proper place, first? A good way to evaluate this is to ask yourself, “What is the first thing I think about in the morning?” Do you wake up worrying about what the day will bring, and running through your to-do’s for the day? Or do you begin your day with prayer or Bible study? God may be the furthest thing from your mind as you face a mountain of laundry or wipe up yet another juice spill. But He is there! Having a personal relationship with God means realizing that He is part of your life everyday, during even the most trivial tasks. God is a part of every aspect of your life, from diapers to dishes to vacuuming and vomiting and everything in between.
He has given you the food you cook, the kids whose clothes you wash (and the washer and dryer that make it so much easier than it was for our grandmothers!), the body you use when you shop and clean, and so on. As you perform these never-ending household tasks, remember how God is an integral part of them. Thank Him for allowing you to do these things. Be conscious of, and joyful about, all the ways He is in your life.
Your attitude probably won’t change to thankfulness overnight, and you might never look forward to doing the everyday, around-the-house tasks. Your kids won’t start thanking you for serving vegetables at every meal and reminding them to brush their teeth, but you’ll know you’re starting good habits to ensure their health. Your husband probably won’t suddenly appreciate his neatly folded clothes and organized closet, but know you’re making it easier for him to do his job, which allows you to be home with your children. These tasks are part of the job description of “mom,” and there are rewards. Think of how cute your daughter looks in her favorite outfit, the one you washed and ironed for her.
Relive the happiness in your son’s eyes as you serve his favorite meal of meatballs and mashed potatoes. See the pride in your husband’s eyes as he relates his latest accomplishment at work, and know that by supporting him, you were part of that.
In Matthew 25, Jesus explains how God will take note of the righteous on Judgment Day. He will recognize the times we clothed Him and gave Him drink. When we ask Him when we did this, He will reply, ". . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me." (Matthew 25:40) So as you perform the seemingly mundane tasks of everyday life as an at-home mom, you are doing them for the King!
our awareness that God is with you and part of everything you do will give you a new identity and outlook. Paul says; “Rejoice always . . . in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Ephesians 5:19-20 says, "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Notice the inclusiveness in that verse; “. . . always giving thanks . . . for everything . . .” You might ask, "Even if . . . the toilet is overflowing? Even if . . . I had a fight with my best friend? How can I be thankful for a tragedy?" Yes, God commands us, we are to be thankful "even if." Practice by praising Him for the small things, like hearing the first bird of spring, or the very short line at the grocery store. Being conscious of God’s hand in every part of my life reminds me that even during a bad day, He is there, and there is something to be thankful for.