By Kay Frazier
“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
“What motivates you to keep going mom?” asked my usually carefree teen, as we sat down for breakfast one morning. It was a deep question for so early in the day. However, having his brand-new bike stolen the day before, must have started this contemplation of life.
“God’s love and God’s grace,” I answered trying to get my brain ready for wherever this discussion might go!
If I had longer to think about it, I might have added, “God’s plan and purpose for my life”. But it got me thinking back to when I was an unsaved teen struggling without a purpose or direction, living in a self-centered confusion. Salvation helped me discover I had a heavenly Father who loves me and had a plan for my life, and gave me a reason to live. Fast forward, however, a decade or so, and I found myself confused and overwhelmed as a wife and mother of 4 struggling to get through the day. I was choosing to look at the waves of life and my inabilities, not my loving Savior. I was reading my bible and going to church – what was wrong?
Like all home school moms I wanted the best for our kids and when I began this journey 15 years ago I had many ideas of how I was going to accomplish that. But I made every mistake in the book and even invented some of my own! This Type-A, list making, control loving momma had come to the end of herself –Hallelujah! My failure to give my kids the best (a loving, Christ filled home) was not my lack of knowledge or time but my lack of abiding in the life of Christ. I was trying to accomplish a spiritual work in my natural abilities. God saw my struggle and in His mercy showed me Romans 12 :1:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service, and be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of you mind that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”
I needed to make a point to daily surrender my life to Him and ask for His life to renew me to be the wife and mother He wanted me to be. It sounds simple but it transformed my day to surrender everything, focus my life, heart, family and humble myself before the day began.
So, every morning before the baby cried, or I spoke to my husband, before a toddler ran in, before my mind ran down the ‘to do list’ for the day, before my feet touched the floor, I prayed to surrendered my day, my kids, everything back to God, and asked Him to fill me with His life. I just knew I had to get myself off the throne and surrender everything up to God for this day to have any eternal value. My kids needed Christ not a crazy stressed out mom. If I give my kids the best education in the world, but I fail to give them Jesus, I am missing my calling.
Over the years the craziness of the morning has become less, but this priority of a morning by morning surrender has helped my marriage and my parenting. It has helped through the trials and change to keep pressing on in His power and provision, not being moved by the present circumstance. He is Lord and every day is His. He called us to this task of parenting and promises to supply all we need.There is such a peace and joy when we give everything back into His hands. “Give your burden to the Lord and leave it there!”
So, when the waves roll this year, I pray that we all turn our eyes upon Jesus early and surrender our lives that He might use us to bring His light and glory into the hearts of our children and those around us. That is one of the most wonderful things about home schooling – we get to share the Savior of the world with our kids every day. So, in the words of the songwriter,
In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus,
You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.