living on pb & j

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


Tied Down


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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My Life Is Like A Book


When I was a teenager,  I remember my sweet Grandma sharing some words of wisdom with me.  She told me that life is much like a book. You are faced with different “chapters” in your life.  It can be frightening and difficult to enter a new chapter, or to close an old one, but each chapter is unique and important, and with God’s help, can be good.  I have thought of this often as I have moved into new “chapters” of my life – college, marriage, motherhood, and more.

Several years later, I wanted to write something for a special young woman who was graduating high school.  I thought of my Grandma’s words, and wrote this poem.  I hope it will be a blessing, and perhaps a challenge, to someone today.


“…we spend our years as a tale that is told.” – Ps. 90:9


My life is like a book composed of many different chapters,

The lines I write within each one determine what comes after.


My book began before my birth. God formed me by His plan,

And in His book my members were recorded by His hand.


My early chapters, most were penned by those God placed around me ~

Parents, teachers, loved ones ~ to influence and surround me.


In the chapter of my youth, my story begins growing.

This is the portion of my life where I will do much sowing.


Will I be wise, and think about the harvest I will reap?

Or will I live just for today, and pleasures that I seek?


What kind of story will I tell within this book I’m writing ~

A tragedy, a comedy, boring, or exciting?


Will it be a saga of a life well-lived for God,

Or a tale of grief and caution of the sinful paths I’ve trod?


Who will be the author of each paragraph and line?

Will the penman that I seek be human or divine?


Will I use God’s precious Book to guide me in my ways?

And will I let the mind of Christ reflect in every phrase?


Will I accept the things God brings into my earthly story ~

Some of joy, and some of pain ~ but each to bring Him glory?


As a chapter closes, will I choose to dwell in sorrow,

Or will I choose to focus on the one that starts tomorrow?


Will my book be long or short? I cannot know the end,

But I must realize that each page could be the last I pen.


My book is being written, but it’s also being read,

By those who’ve seen the things I’ve done, and heard the things I’ve said.


Lord, write my book in such a way ~ each line, each page, each chapter,

Each character, each circumstance, each time of tears and laughter ~


So that the readers of my book will see, not me, but You.

And may Your grace, Your love, Your joy shine radiantly through. 

© Niki Lott.