Listening With Your Face
By Cheri Fuller
What a privilege and gift it is to be our children’s mothers. Yet along with the honor comes so many chores and responsibilities: preparing meals, running a household, supervising homework, carpooling kids to activities and sports, tucking children in bed at night, church activities, perhaps juggling a job—and starting over the next day to do it again. At the end of the day, there is also the necessity of cultivating a marriage relationship and caring for ourselves. So much to do and so little time!
Mom, do you have more to do than you can manage sometimes? Do you operate into overdrive? Experts say many women are suffering from an epidemic disorder of the 21st century called “hurry-up sickness.” Like the mother I know who was preparing lunch in the kitchen. Her little boy followed her around as usual, telling a long story about something that happened on the playground at kindergarten. All the while his distracted, preoccupied mother bustled around. She threw in a load of clothes, then picked things up and whipped up a salad for two girlfriends about to arrive any minute for lunch.
“Mommy, are you listening?” he pleaded.
“Sure, honey, I’m listening…” she answered as she hurriedly poured the iced tea. Again he started the story.
“Mommy, are you listening?” he pleaded again.
Finally the precious five-year-old tugged on his mother’s pants’ leg until she got down on his eye level. “But, Mommy, would you listen with your face?”
As children of our Father God, He also longs for us to listen with our face and heart—to have times in which we give him our full attention and focus. You may have a schedule like Martha, the busy sister in the Bible (see Luke 10:41-42). But you can develop a heart like her sister Mary who took time to focus on listening to Jesus. As a mom, you need to hear what God has to share, for Him to show you His love and give you the wisdom and creative ideas you need to guide your children, solving all kinds of problems and challenges faced as a mother. God will show you solutions you never would have thought of to your dilemmas and challenges. He has so much blessing for you and such peace to give you if you’ll come to Him, share your burdens, cast all your cares, and ask Him for wisdom you need for TODAY.
God’s Word promises, “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things you don’t know,” Jeremiah 33:3, the verse that is called “God’s Private Telephone Number.” Call it often and don’t forget to listen for the answers!
Three ways busy moms can de-stress, calm, and focus on God’s presence:
1) Make space for the Lord. Take some intentional “quietening” time during the day to connect with God and listen, even you only start with five to ten minutes before the family awakens or after they go to bed. Read the Bible, a devotional, and talk to God about your greatest concerns.
2) See the everyday blessings God gives you as moments to connect with him and thank him for your child’s smile, the softness of a newborn baby’s skin, a brilliant sunset. Stroll a path in your neighborhood intent on listening to the Lord’s voice or consider your drive time after work as a time to turn off talk radio and tune into His voice.
3) Breathe! As you take a hot bath or shower, breathe slowly and deeply, relaxing your mind and body. Be aware of your senses and ask the Holy Spirit to create in you a “clean heart” (Psalm 51:10) and empower you just as the water cleanses your body.
As you do these simple things, you’ll find your mind and spirit will be renewed and refreshed, more able to handle mothering and life.
Copyright 2007 Cheri Fuller, adapted from When Children Pray (Multnomah Publishers) and The Mom You’re Meant to Be: Loving Your Kids While Leaning on God (Focus on the Family)
(Use only with permission of author.)