Dear Moms of Boys,
First, I want you to know, I’ve been where you are at, a mom of boys. I’ve raised two sons, and this past year, my oldest son became a father…a father! It’s incredible to see your baby boy with his own baby. He holds her, kisses her, tells her how much he loves her, reads to her, bathes her, and already takes her on daddy-daughter dates to Publix so mom can have a few moments to herself. I’m so proud and blessed.
Which brings me to the point of this letter. I remember the following moments – in no certain order -with my sons, and I’m sure you’ve experienced them too.
· The moment you change your baby boy’s diaper and you realize it’s like changing a fire hose – and you get hit in the eye!
· The moment when your son tells you he wants to marry you and that you are the prettiest girl in the world.
· The moment you realize that there will NEVER be enough food in the pantry. It disappears before you get it out of the grocery bag!
· The moment he only wants you when he’s sick – even in high school.
· The moment he smiles at you sitting in the bleachers cheering him on.
· The moment he shares that he likes a girl.
· The moment you find out kids made fun of him at school and YOUR heart breaks.
· The moment your son asks Jesus into his heart at Vacation Bible School.
· The countless moments praying for your son, praying for his future wife, and his future children.
· The countless moments in the pediatrician’s office because of ear infections, fevers, and then concussions from football, skateboarding, and other “adventures.”
· The moment he drives down the street and around the corner as you stand out in the driveway until you can’t see his car anymore.
· The moment you pick your son up with a group of his friends from football practice and the stench is soooo bad you can hardly breathe!
· The moment you see your son graduate from high school and college and you thank God he made it!
· The moment he tells you he’s found the one he wants to marry.
· The moment you see him at the front of the church waiting for his bride.
· The moment he dances with you at his wedding and you can’t stop laughing because he’s cracking jokes and yet, you want to cry because it’s such a profound moment in your relationship.
· The moment you see your son hold his baby for the first time and he looks at you with tears in his eyes.
A lifetime of moments. Make each one count. It’s an honor to raise sons to be godly men, godly husbands, and godly fathers. As their moms, we have tremendous influence in their lives. Be intentional. Be prayerful. Be diligent, and when it gets hard because there are definitely difficult times, remember you are parenting them for the future. Bless each of you as you raise your boys to be men!
Well, Ladies, I’m a little sad that today is the last book study. I hope you’ve found it valuable. I know time is precious and I wanted this study to be worthy of your time. Thank you for joining me. Before we get started today, please know how much I appreciate you and I pray God’s blessing on your lives, your leadership and I pray you continue to make an impact with the love and joy of Jesus Christ. I want to end this book study by talking about the joys of leading.
Today, I want us to celebrate those women who have believed in us, invested in us, and inspired us to lead. So, l want you to share stories of women who have done this for you. Tag them, give them a shout out, and let them know how much they are appreciated. I’ll start!
I want to give a shout-out to my sister, Mary Reed, who has faithfully cheered me on in every season of my life – whether singing in plays as a child, to graduating from college, to getting married, parenthood, and up to this point, you have been a voice of encouragement, love, and support. Thank you. All my love!
Have you ever had to lay down a dream? Perhaps the dream of having a child, a certain career, a house, it could be a million things. Mine was for my husband and me to be in full-time ministry. This dream caused tension in our marriage. When I did lay it down, peace resonated in my soul and in our marriage. It became evident to me that I was focusing more on the dream of full-time ministry rather than on following Jesus Christ. Ministry was my idol. I knew I needed to lay down my dream of full-time ministry. At that time I didn’t know that His dream for us was infinitely greater than anything I could think or imagine. I just knew I was laying down a dream that was seemingly embedded into the very fiber of who I was. So, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. I declared to the Lord that I was going to be the best wife and mother I knew how to be by supporting Mark’s thriving career in advertising, and raising our three children.
It was an incredible transformation that occurred in my heart. I experienced the peace that surpasses understanding. When I gave up my dream, my agenda, and plans, our marriage became more loving and less contentious. Mark felt less pressured to be and do something he didn’t feel called to.
I learned so many lessons from this season in our lives. First, holding a dream so tightly that it robs you of relationships and hinders your ability to love the Lord and trust Him with your life, is not a dream worth having. Secondly, a ministry is not the goal, Jesus is. Third, laying your dream down gives God the opportunity to fulfill His dream for your life, in His time. Finally, I learned that God will always do infinitely more than I can imagine. Years later, Mark went into full-time ministry and is now a pastor at Bayside Community Church.
Questions: Share your first dream. Share about a time in your life when God’s dream was different than your dream.
Prayer: Father, let us experience the depths of your love for us when we lay down a dream. Help us to intimately know that you are infinitely more and we can trust You with our dreams; with our lives. We love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Join Author Julia Mateer as she shares a leadership tip in her vlog. She will also discuss her book “Life-Giving Leadership: A Woman’s Toolbox for Leading” You won’t want to miss this amazing advice.
You can purchase a copy of Julia’s book by following this link: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Giving-Leadership-Womans-Toolbox-Leading/dp/0891123415
For almost a year, I have been facilitating a group for women leaders where we study leadership books, share leadership joys and challenges, share our hearts, and pray for one another.
At our last meeting, it occurred to me how privileged I am to sit at a table with these women. I admire and respect each of them for a variety of reasons:
1. They are women after God’s own heart, spending much of their time serving and leading in the local church.
2. They are committed to their families.
3. They are committed to their respective ministries.
4. They are funny, creative, life-giving women.
5. They are careful with their words.
6. They value the gift of time and use it wisely.
As a mom of three, I often would remind my kids that they would be known by the friends they chose.
So, why…why did I name my blog and book, Life-Giving LeadHERship? Great question. Here is an excerpt from my book that explains Life-Giving LeadHERship. Why are some Christian women life-giving, while others suck the life right out of a room? I believe the answer lies in knowing and understanding grace. Life-giving women are God lovers and because of this great love, they are people lovers too. A Christian that focuses on right behavior and right doctrine strangles the breath out of relationships. A life-giving woman focuses on the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and understands that people are more important than right behavior and right beliefs. Relationship trumps rules and law.
Man, I got hit between the eyes while at church a few weeks ago. No, not literally hit, but the message I heard spoke to my heart and blew me away! Maybe some of you can relate to my situation. Here goes…
The message was taken from 2 Kings 7. Four men with leprosy were sitting at the city gates. They had a crucial decision to make, to stay and starve because the people of the city had no food or take a risk, venture out of the city gates, possibly facing execution by the surrounding army or finding food and life. Big risk…big reward.
Do you remember what they chose? They ventured out of the city gates and when they came to the edge of the enemies camp, no one was there! The Lord had caused the army to flee. The men were able to go into the abandoned tents and eat and drink. Their risk paid off.
So, I began to ponder the areas of my life that keep me sitting in the gates hindering me from choosing life. One area became clear to me. I have a certain dream in my heart that I want see accomplished and because that isn’t happening, I get discontent and frustrated. I stop focusing on what God has for me today. Eventually my joy slips away and I focus on what’s not happening rather than on the amazing blessings in my life.The vision, the dream became an idol instead of Jesus being the One firmly planted on the throne of my heart.
I knew I had to lay down my own dream, get out of the gate and choose the dream that God has for my life. Since that day, I’ve chosen to embrace what God has for me each day, and I have a new well-spring of joy. It’s amazing how a life-time of struggle can be changed in a moment by His Word.
So, I want to encourage you to discover what keeps you from stepping out into life and embracing each day… and remember, “This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!”