living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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The Secret of Togetherness

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes my children drive me absolutely crazy! So many times, I want to push them aside so I can “get something done,” only to be sorry for all the things my children “undo” as I’m working. It’s like trying to wash the car during a hailstorm… it just doesn’t happen!

But the other day, my two boys were outside helping their daddy, and my almost three-year-old daughter was “helping” me in the kitchen. She really loves to help out, and is so excited and sweet that I can hardly tell her no. She can pour ingredients into a bowl, and she can stir. She can put away the cups out of the dishwasher, and also the plastic cooking and baking utensils. She can get things out of the fridge or the cabinet, when I point them out to her.

Even though, my kitchen work was a little slower, it was much more productive in the long run. 1. She wasn’t making any messes in another room. 2. She was actually learning to help Mommy, and beginning to learn to keep a kitchen.

The secret is togetherness.

As I pondered on that thought, I was reminded of God’s Word, and how we are commanded, and how God desires for us to have togetherness with Him.

I don’t know how many times I have to be reminded to spend time with God. It is the answer to everything!

Short-tempered? Get in God’s Word!

Scared, and in need of comfort? God’s Word has that comfort!

Unsure of what to do? Needing answers? God’s Word has that too!

Just as our children need to be with us to learn, and to stay out of messes, so we need to spend time with God. He can teach us and guide us along the way. Being with Him will give us direction, and comfort, and also keep Him from having to keep undoing the messes we create while in His absence.

The secret is togetherness. Our children need to learn alongside us, just as we need to learn alongside God. Every day.


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Tied Down

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I have recently been reading the biography of Amy Carmichael.  As she began to realize the plight of some of the Indian children, and God began to send them to her, she struggled with “giving up” the ministry she felt God had already given her.  Could it truly be the will of God for her to raise these children?  Would it not take time away from other important things?  She wrote,

He took a towel. The Lord of Glory did that. Is it the bondservant’s business to say which work is large and which is small, which unimportant and which worth doing? Children tie the mother’s feet, the Tamils say, and …. Paget said, ‘with the venture of faith there is need of self-discipline and effort.’ Babies are truly a venture of faith and, in India at least, they tie the mother’s feet. We knew we could not be too careful of our children’s earliest years. So we let our feet be tied for love of Him whose feet were pierced (from Gold Cord, by Amy Carmichael).

As mothers, it is often tempting to feel that the work of mothering is unimportant; or worse yet, Satan may whisper to us that the duties of motherhood hinder us from doing something “more important” for God.  Our children do “tie us down”, but rather than viewing that as a bondage of some sort, we should view it as a beautiful and awesome privilege.  

Spurgeon said this, O dear mothers, you have a very sacred trust reposed in you by God! He hath in effect said to you, “Take this child and nurse it for Me, and I will give thee thy wages.” You are called to equip the future man of God, that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. If God spares you, you may live to hear that pretty boy speak to thousands, and you will have the sweet reflection in your heart that the quiet teachings of the nursery led the man to love his God and serve Him.

Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship; but dream not that she is lost to the work of the church; far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord.

Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty. Christian women, by teaching children the Holy Scriptures, are as much fulfilling their part for the Lord, as Moses in judging Israel, or Solomon in building the temple.”

I will close with one of my favorite poems by Edgar Guest,

“Tied Down”

“They tie you down,” a woman said,
Whose cheeks should have been flaming red
With shame to speak of children so.
“When babies come you cannot go
In search of pleasure with your friends,
And all your happy wandering ends.
The things you like you cannot do,
For babies make a slave of you.”

I looked at her and said: “‘Tis true
That children make a slave of you,
And tie you down with many a knot,
But have you never thought to what
It is of happiness and pride
That little babies have you tied?
Do you not miss the greater joys
That come with little girls and boys?

They tie you down to laughter rare,
To hours of smiles and hours of care,
To nights of watching and to fears;
Sometimes they tie you down to tears
And then repay you with a smile,
And make your trouble all worth while.
They tie you fast to chubby feet,
And cheeks of pink and kisses sweet.

“They fasten you with cords of love
To God divine, who reigns above.
They tie you, whereso’er you roam,
Unto the little place called home;
And over sea or railroad track
They tug at you to bring you back.
The happiest people in the town
Are those the babies have tied down.

Oh, go your selfish way and free,
But hampered I would rather be,
Yes rather than a kingly crown
I would be, what you term, tied down;
Tied down to dancing eyes and charms,
Held fast by chubby, dimpled arms,
The fettered slave of girl and boy,
And win from them earth’s finest joy.”

Mothers, let us stop and be grateful for the precious little treasures that tie us down today.  Let us willingly, joyfully, prayerfully invest in them.  They are one of the few things we can take to heaven with us.

A Prayer for our Children

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A Prayer for Our Children
Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.
 
Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril,
From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand pluck them.
 
From the worldling’s hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Holy Father, save our children.
 
Through life’s troubled waters steer them,
Through life’s bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be Thou near them.
 
Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless, pleadings thronging,
Holy Father, for our children
 
And wherever they may bide,
Lead them home at eventide.
 
~Amy Carmichael
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