Wherever You Are

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got! Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (The Message)

I don't know if I'd ever read this verse in the Message until today. I love how it's worded. Talking about God wherever you are is so encouraging to me.

Have you ever thought that being a good Christian family meant you had to do certain things a certain way?

I used to feel like us becoming a good Christian family meant I would have be a good Christian mom and fit into a good-Christian-mom mold. For many years I didn't even come close to what I thought that looked like. After several failed attempts to do daily devotions or get through a whole Family devotion workbook with my kids, I determined we might never become a good Christian family.

Oh, how I wanted to be consistent. I wanted to memorize Bible verses with my kids. I wanted to develop a routine of morning devotions. But there just wasn't anything "routine" about me.

My personality requires randomness. I can get bored and distracted easily. I need variety. So when God gave me the idea to create a character chart where we could learn and live God's Word in our everyday lives in a "wherever you are" kind of way, it was a perfect fit.

Now, God knew this "wherever you are" woman still needed some focus. So He gave me a simple way to start with a simple goal in mind - His character traits would be our family's focal point. He showed me that my kids had no clue what the traits meant so I found simple ways to define them in easy to understand terms. Those child-like definitions helped me. Obviously I hadn't a clue either.

Since our goal was to get God's Word in our hearts and apply it in our lives, each character trait needed a verse to go with it and simple application ideas we could do "wherever we were." Knowing my kids hadn't responded to my "preaching" in the past, God gave me a gold-mining mom" mindset which helped get His Words in my heart and His perspective in my thoughts.

Soon after all that happened, I said good-bye to guilt and embraced my new identity as a "wherever you are" kind of mom.

Have you been feeling like you don't measure up to the good-Christian-mom standard? Maybe you've fallen short of your goals of perfection. Me too. But you know what, we just need to get rid of those expectations and like Lysa's shared in her great post about embracing who we are as moms, we need to do just that - be the mom God created us to be.

If you simply long to be a mom who loves God and does the best she can to show it by teaching your kids about God's love and how they can experience His truths in their everyday lives, you can be! You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have it all together. You just need to get started - wherever you are!

The winner of Friday's drawing is: Michelle from My Journey to Hope

Michelle, whether your family loves structure or needs something that fits "wherever you are" I pray that our Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child CD and Chart will be a great tool to help you talk with your kids about God's ways and His Words "from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night."


Blogger Sarah said...

Hi Renee! Is there some way I can purchase your resources in Canada?

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Hi Sarah :-)

I wish I could say yes. At this time, my character chart is only available through Proverbs 31 Ministries. I am going to look into listing it on Amazon but that would still mean shipping.

I know that P31 ships to Canada. Just not sure how much it costs.

Thanks for asking!

Blogger lisasmith said...

I used to always dream of my family waking up really early, eating a huge homemade breakfast before we leave for school while reading the Bible together.

Well, we are usually running around like crazy, trying to get in the car, find a shoe or two and finish homework while a grabbing a granola bar. Really.

The Lord showed me this verse last year. I wrote a similar post about how He showed me our car pool drive could become a time of devotion to Him. We read, practice Awanas verses or pray during this time now. I love how He can give us the time to teach our kids about Him when we seek Him.

I'm so much more of a "wherever you are" type gal than a "schedule a time to sit around the table" gal as I can't get it all on the table at the same time anyway!!

Blogger Renee Swope said...

I am right there with ya! I can't get it all on the table or everybody around the table at the same time in the morning. My favorite time is like yours' - with my kids in the car on the way to school. It's one of the reasons we carpool instead of using the bus.

Andrew and I just started a new devotional together that is just right for his age. It's short, to the point, has a great verse for each day and has topics he can really relate to.

It's called "Just for Kids" and it's by Family Christian bookstores. The one we are doing now is called "Self Esteem" and it's all about who God is, who he is in Christ, how much God loves him, what to do when someone is mean, etc.

Andrew reads it out loud to me on the way to school and then he reads the prayer and asks me questions like he's leading our "discussion" group - but it's just the two of us.

I hope to find one like it for Joshua that is more suited for teens. For now he does one on his own that the youth group is doing.

Would love to hear what other moms are doing as far as ideas and resources.

I totally agree with lisasmith- that was my ideal image too! Unfortunately with an ADD mom and two ADHD/ADD kids, that just isn't happening! We barely make it out the door dressed and not smelly, but we DO always say a prayer of thanks to God for our day and a prayer over our friends and families, and end with a huge WE LOVE YOU GOD, followed by as much worship music as we can fit in before we get to school. My kids love it!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes so much pressure off when we allow ourselves to be a "wherever you are" kind of gal, rather than extremely organized. We too pray and learn Bible verses in the car on the way to school... and it seems to get our days off to just the right start. I believe it also teaches my son... it doesn't matter where you are... God will meet you there.

You're a blessing Renee!


Blogger JottinMama said...

A "wherever you are" mom.

I've been learning over the last few years that being a Mom can bring on mounds of guilty feelings and self-condemnation. This whole "wherever you are" stuff sounds so refreshing - what an awesome approach.

Thanks so much Renee :) Enjoy your week!

-Kate :)

I wrote my "ruby tuesday" post today...I talk about my trust in God as it pertains to my son's upcoming college decision. Having gone through this once before, things are a bit easier this time; still and yet, I pray that the seeds I have sown over the years and through the power of God's tending Spirit, will blossom into Godly and good living.

It's been a good week in our household along these lines. Come over if you can, and thanks, Renee, for being the mom that you are.

Your work, your prayers, your willingness to parent, will not return void. I promise.


Blogger Aimy said...

Hey Renee, Thanks for pic. I'll check email. Aimy

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