Abba's Little Girls: Mama-sisters

Abba's Little Girls:  Mama-sisters

Motherhood is a Sisterhood...unrivaled by any other (except perhaps, Grandmother-hood). So if you are a mom, you are my beloved sister...

And sometimes we mama-sisters just need to be daughters...Abba's (Hebrew for Daddy) little girls.

So this Mothers' Day, let us hear these restful words of promise from our Abba:

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Alone on Mother's Day?

Alone on Mother's Day?

There are lots of emptyings in life.  There are deaths and losses of every kind.  There are ends of relationships...ends of jobs...ends of school-years...ends of eras...ends of phases of life.  Some of these are expected.  Some catch us by surprise! This Mother's Day, I think of an emptying that affects all mothers sooner or later...the emptying of the nest!

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An Open Letter to a New Mom

Dear new Mom!

Welcome to Motherhood! You have entered a whole new mode of existence --that of being forever "MOM."  Your life will now take on exciting dimensions you’ve never before imagined.

You've probably gotten all kinds of advice -- some great, some good, some best to be forgotten!  Well, here's mine to add to the mix: “Stay a beloved child in dependent and intimate relationship with your Abba Father” (1John 3:1).

God tells us that we become like what we focus on  (1John 3:2; 2Cor 3:18).  As you focus on Him, you will more and more become like the Only Perfect Parent.

So let yourself “be parented” by Him everyday.  All else flows from that:  strength, wisdom, patience, insight, peace, rest, etc.  And you’ll need all of these and more!

Refuse to think of yourself as separate from your Father God (Col 3: 1-4) – that’s the devil’s trap.

Return in your mind and heart to that sacred, secure place in God from whom flows everything and anything that you will ever need.

Many blessings on you and your precious little one.

As I affectionately say,

We moms are ‘ruined’ for life – we can never not care again!

Welcome to that glorious Sisterhood!!!

With much love Jan & other  Old Experienced Moms of every generation

Beth with William 2015

 

 

 

Alone? On Mother's Day?

There are lots of emptyings in life.  There are deaths and losses of every kind.  There are ends of relationships...ends of jobs...ends of school-years...ends of eras...ends of phases of life.  Some of these are expected.  Some catch us by surprise! This Mother's Day, I think of an emptying that affects all mothers sooner or later...the emptying of the nest!

I know!  This is what we have been preparing our children for, right?...the launch, the flight out of the safety, security, and nurturing of their childhood home...out into the excitement of what God has for them up ahead.   But who ever prepares us moms?

I've always been an independent person. So releasing my children into adulthood...to make their own way...has caught me by surprise.  It has been harder than I ever thought!  In fact, it's been one of the swords that have pierced this mom's heart.

My mind goes back to a Mothers' Day at the very start of the emptying.   The Lord in a unique way comforted this grieving mother's heart.  It was at a time when my children, who were young adults, had just gone through some serious health crises.  So I was drained emotionally.

At that time, there were significant others in the picture.  So the issue of celebrating Mothers' Day became somewhat of a dilemma.  John & I decided to defer to the other mothers and postpone our celebration to the following Sunday.

That should have taken care of it, right?  But to my surprise, being alone on the real Mothers' Day was a grief to me!  I was doing my best not to wallow in my sadness, when the Lord surprised me with three gifts...three delights for a hurting mama's heart!  Three God-winks that most likely would have gone unnoticed had we been celebrating that day.

The first gift was finding old cassette tapes of my babies' voices.  (Keep in mind that in the 1970's early 80's, that was the best you could do to record audio.)  There were tapes of Jeremy and Beth when each of them was just starting to talk.  Others, when they were very young.  One was even labeled "doing school and being obnoxious!"  I listened...I laughed...I cried...as the bitter-sweetness of those precious voices washed over me!

The second sacred wink was catching sight of a mama house finch launching her babies.  Talk about the perfect metaphor at the perfect time!  Here the mama of the little family of house-finches, that had nested in a bush next to our porch, was giving this sorrowing mama a lesson in the circle of life.  I imagined mama finch saying her good-byes as each left the safety of her nest.  Was she grieving the way I was, or was she more courageous than I?

And last but not least, I just happened to come across a monthly letter from Telling the Truth, a ministry I had begun to follow.  I had tossed it aside to join my stack of others to be read someday.  By God's grace, in that alone time, I picked it up and started reading.  It all came together...

Stuart Briscoe, describing how motherhood changed his wife Jill, wrote:

When the baby was born, I stood by helplessly and watched the transformation that took place in my wife.  Motherhood changed her irrevocably.  As she nursed her child I detected a mysterious gleam in her eyes--a certain glow, a knowing, a secret insight that she shared with the new arrival.  She and he knew something that I didn't know.  I could do nothing more than observe and wonder at the mystery of motherhood.

He went on to say...

It occurs to me that the unique bond between mother and child makes possible an intimate nurturing relationship that men never know for they, by definition, are removed--they stand at a distance from the mother-child phenomenon.  But hard as it can be for the father to make the adjustment to the beloved intruder, there is divine genius in the arrangement.

For the day comes---all too soon--when the child must spread his wings and take flight from the nest.  Guess who struggles at this point?  The mother, of course!  Releasing and relinquishing are not mother gifts.

Guess who knows how to handle distance?  The father, naturally.  So as the wise mother has steered the puzzled father through the mysteries of nurturing, so the wise father now steps forward to guide the fearful mother through the anxieties of relinquishment.

And the child receives what he needs -- a healthy balance of mother nurture and father freedom... (Stuart Briscoe, Telling the Truth newsletter, May 1999)

What a comfort these words were.  Having never gone through this phase of life before, I was struggling.  And as hard as it was and would continue to be for some time, I had to realize in my experience that it is God's way to move my children into responsible adulthood.  It's their turn to step up to the plate of life and fulfill the will of God in their generation.

Emptyings are never easy...

But God's intent in the emptyings is never to leave us void.  He wants to fill us with a greater capacity for Himself...to fill us with a greater experience of WHO HE IS in every phase of life.

So dear mama-sister, if you are going through THE emptying of all emptyings (or so it seems at the time), open your eyes...there may be God-winks all around you, visitations from your Abba-Father to comfort a relinquishing mama's heart.

Living as Abba's Child: "darling little children"

Years ago, when a friend had lost her last remaining parent, she said to me, “Now I feel like an orphan!” I’ve thought about her statement over the years and come to realize that we believers usually live like spiritual orphans.  We live as if we don’t have a Father Who tenderly loves and cares for us.  We live as orphans in a scary world.  But His heart is that we would live as His children in union with Him in His Son.

In his first epistle, the apostle John, by then an elder father of the faith, appeals to his readers (and to us) as “little children”.  The Greek word used has the idea of “my darling little children” or “honey” (“Hon’” as I call my little grandsons).  The word is in the diminutive form and so conveys great affection.

Spend some time exploring the seven verses in 1 John where he uses this sweet, affectionate word…keeping in mind that God our Father is speaking these words to you, His darling daughter or His precious son.

What is He saying to you? (Don’t forget to check the context, the surrounding verses, to get the whole message.)

1.  1John 2:1

2.  1John 2:12

3.  1John 2:28

4.  1John 3:7

5.  1John 3:18

6.  1John 4:4

7.  1John 5:21

Now that you’ve listed the Father’s encouragements and exhortations, pray over how they affect you and your relationship with your Abba Father, with His other children, with God’s enemy, and with the world.

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Now look again at the second chapter.  In that chapter, the apostle John has special instructions to “little children” at varying stages of spiritual growth.

So within the context of being the Father’s darlings (and complete in Christ, Col 2:9-10) comes the realization that on the human, earthly level, we are at different stages in our walk with the Lord.  John pictures it as different stages of human growth:  babies, young men (teenagers), father (or mothers).  Keep in mind, though, that these are not chronological ages, but rather spiritual stages, no matter the chronological age.

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. [Jehovah = I AM] I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children. [different Gk word, “a baby, infant”] because you know the Father [“Abba”].

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. [Jehovah = I AM]. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:13-14

List the characteristic(s) of each stage of growth from these verses:

1.   babes, infants =

2.   young men =

3.   fathers =

While we are on this earth, there will be pitfalls and dangers at every stage of growth.  Read through 1 John again, making note of exhortations that could be particularly helpful to “little children” at each stage of spiritual growth.

1.    Baby Christians

2.    Maturing young Christians:

3.    Fathers/mothers in the faith:

Meditate on this central thought of 1 John.  Thank the Father for loving you and choosing you to be in His family.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when he appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3

If you are studying with a group:

1.    What characteristic of a child do you feel you particularly need?  Why?

2.    Read each of the 7 exhortations to the “little children” in 1 John.  Discuss any that jump out at you.

3.    Which stage of spiritual growth do you think you are in?  Does it still help to know that you are a “little honey” to your Abba?

4.    Are there any pitfalls or struggles in your life that you would like to share with your sisters/brothers for prayer? Any exhortations from 1 John that match these?

Pray for each person immediately after sharing.  Invite the Lord into the area of concern.

 

Alone? on Mothers' Day?

There are lots of emptyings in life.  There are deaths and losses of every kind.  There are ends of relationships...ends of jobs...ends of school-years...ends of eras...ends of phases of life.  Some of these are expected.  Some catch us by surprise! This Mother's Day, I think of an emptying that affects all mothers sooner or later...the emptying of the nest!

I know!  This is what we have been preparing our children for, right?...the launch, the flight out of the safety, security, and nurturing of their childhood home... out into the excitement of what God has for them up ahead.   But who ever prepares us moms?

I've always been an independent person. So releasing my children into adulthood...to make their own way...has caught me by surprise.  It has been harder than I ever thought!  In fact, it's been one of the swords that have pierced this mom's heart.

My mind goes back to a Mothers' Day at the very start of the emptying.   The Lord in a unique way comforted this grieving mother's heart.  It was at a time when my children, who were young adults, had just gone through some serious health crises.  So I was drained emotionally.

At that time, there were significant others in the picture.  So the issue of celebrating Mothers' Day became somewhat of a dilemma.  John & I decided to defer to the other mothers and postpone our celebration to the following Sunday.

That should have taken care of it, right?  But to my surprise, being alone on the real Mothers' Day was a grief to me!  I was doing my best not to wallow in my sadness, when the Lord surprised me with three gifts...three delights for a hurting mama's heart!  Three God-winks that most likely would have gone unnoticed had we been celebrating that day.

The first gift was finding old cassette tapes of my babies' voices.  (Keep in mind that in the 1970's early 80's, that was the best you could do to record audio.)  There were tapes of Jeremy and Beth when each of them was just starting to talk.  Others, when they were very young.  One was even labeled "doing school and being obnoxious!"  I listened...I laughed...I cried...as the bitter-sweetness of those precious voices washed over me!

The second sacred wink was catching sight of a mama house finch launching her babies.  Talk about the perfect metaphor at the perfect time!  Here the mama of the little family of house-finches, that had nested in a bush next to our porch, was giving this sorrowing mama a lesson in the circle of life.  I imagined mama finch saying her good-bye's as each left the safety of her nest.  Was she grieving the way I was, or was she more courageous than I?

And last but not least, I just happened to come across a monthly letter from Telling the Truth, a ministry I had begun to follow.  I had tossed it aside to join my stack of others to be read someday.  By God's grace, in that alone time, I picked it up and started reading.  It all came together...

Stuart Briscoe, describing how motherhood changed his wife Jill, wrote:

When the baby was born, I stood by helplessly and watched the transformation that took place in my wife.  Motherhood changed her irrevocably.  As she nursed her child I detected a mysterious gleam in her eyes--a certain glow, a knowing, a secret insight that she shared with the new arrival.  She and he knew something that I didn't know.  I could do nothing more than observe and wonder at the mystery of motherhood.

He went on to say...

It occurs to me that the unique bond between mother and child makes possible an intimate nurturing relationship that men never know for they, by definition, are removed--they stand at a distance from the mother-child phenomenon.  But hard as it can be for the father to make the adjustment to the beloved intruder, there is divine genius in the arrangement.

For the day comes---all too soon--when the child must spread his wings and take flight from the nest.  Guess who struggles at this point?  The mother, of course!  Releasing and relinquishing are not mother gifts.

Guess who knows how to handle distance?  The father, naturally.  So as the wise mother has steered the puzzled father through the mysteries of nurturing, so the wise father now steps forward to guide the fearful mother through the anxieties of relinquishment.

And the child receives what he needs -- a healthy balance of mother nurture and father freedom... (Stuart Briscoe, Telling the Truth newsletter, May 1999)

What a comfort these words were.  Having never gone through this phase of life before, I was struggling.  And as hard as it was and would continue to be for some time, I had to realize in my experience that it is God's way to move my children into responsible adulthood.  It's their turn to step up to the plate of life and fulfill the will of God in their generation.

Emptyings are never easy...

But God's intent in the emptyings is never to leave us void.  He wants to fill us with a greater capacity for Himself...to fill us with a greater experience of WHO HE IS in every phase of life.

So dear mama-sister, if you are going through THE emptying of all emptyings (or so it seems at the time), open your eyes...there may be God-winks all around you, visitations from your Abba-Father to comfort a relinquishing mama's heart.

My Mother...My Hero

mommy & me
mommy & me

Mothers are awesome creatures.  They are the lovely reflections of our Father God's unconditional, sacrificial, faithful LOVE!  Moms are the true HEROS of life, or should I say, HEROINES! My mother, Jeanette Galuszka Renner, is MY hero!

A few years ago, I wrote a letter to honor my "Mommy" as she turned 85.  We published mine, along with others from her children, grandchildren, and other relatives, in a book to honor this amazing lady.

I'm posting my letter to thank God again for the gracious gift of my MOM, my HERO ...and to encourage YOU to give thanks to the Maker of Mothers...for YOUR mother!

letter writing
letter writing

Also, don't wait to eulogize your mom.  If you are blessed to still have her in your life, tell her!  Better yet, prayerfully and thoughtfully write her a letter.  Don't assume she knows how wonderful and important she is...put it in print! (I think there's something sacred about the written word!)

Summer 2009

Dearest Mom,

Someone once asked me, “Who was the person who influenced you the most?”  Without hesitation I answered, “My mother!”  You, dear Mommy, more than any other human being, have profoundly impacted who I am and how I live my life.  I will be forever grateful to God and to you for your sacrificial love, your teaching, and your example.

young jeanette
young jeanette

There was never a question in my mind that you loved me unconditionally and with great sacrifice.  You were always on my side and helped me with school work, projects, etc. even though you had the others to take care of too.  I remember how skinny and tired you always were, forgetting to even to eat lunch (amazing to me as a child!) because of your constant care for all of us. You would always make sure we had what we needed and often even stayed up late sewing to make clothes and costumes for us.  I remember wondering how you could be happy never getting anything new for yourself.  Now I know that your happiness was in giving to your family.

mom & dad, young
mom & dad, young

I also remember your teaching.  You taught me to write my name in cursive before I went to school – something I took pride in!  You taught me to crochet, which gives me great pleasure even today.  I know you drilled school work with me and really wanted me to do well.

But most of all, I remember you taught me about God.  I have memories of us sitting together on the couch in our living room in Tucson, looking at the big family Bible together.  There were some pictures in it, so you told me about those Bible stories.  I remember that you often quoted a verse from the Bible that I have never forgotten:  “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1Corinthians 2:9)

You gave me a view of God and His ways that has remained at the center of my life to this day.  You instilled in me that the most important thing in life is to do the will of God.  I heartily agree!

mommy & me
mommy & me

But you not only taught me about God and His ways and about life in general.  You showed me and my brothers and sisters what it is to live out faithfulness to God and your family by your example.  You didn’t have an easy life…there were heartaches, difficulties, and struggles.  You have often doubted yourself, but you have never doubted God and your love for your family.  You have always set us a good example of devotion to God through prayer, giving, and attendance at church.  And you have always been loyal, loving, and generous to all of us, your children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren.

It is a great pleasure to honor you today at this celebration of your 85th birthday!  The Bible says that a woman like you is a treasure to find.  I consider you among the greatest treasures of my life, and I do truly “rise up and call you blessed!”  (Proverbs 31:28)  You are my hero!

My love always

Janet Gale

mother of 7
mother of 7
great-g'ma of 4+
great-g'ma of 4+
grandmother of 12+
grandmother of 12+

++++++++++

I cry every time I hear this song...always thinking of my mom!  My niece Noelle sang it to my mom at her celebration. Listen and think of your mom...

Wind Beneath My Wings

It must have been cold there in my shadow To never have sunlight on your face You were content to let me shine, that's your way You always walked a step behind

So I was the one with all the glory While you were the one with all the strength A beautiful face without a name for so long A beautiful smile to hide the pain

Did you ever know that you're my hero And everything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle For you are the wind beneath my wings

It might have appeared to go unnoticed But I've got it all here in my heart I want you to know, I know the truth, of course I know it I would be nothing without you

Did you ever know that you're my hero? You're everything I wish I could be I could fly higher than an eagle For you are the wind beneath my wings

Did I ever tell you you're my hero? You're everything, everything I wish I could be Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle For you are the wind beneath my wings 'Cause you are the wind beneath my wings

Oh, the wind beneath my wings You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings Fly, fly, fly away, you let me fly so high Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings

Fly, fly, so high against the sky So high I almost touch the sky Thank you, thank youThank God for you, the wind beneath my wings


1000 Moms Project

Abba's Little Girls

Jan Youth07
Jan Youth07

Motherhood is a Sisterhood...unrivaled by any other (except perhaps, Grandmother-hood). So if you are a mom, you are my beloved sister...

And sometimes we mama-sisters just need to be daughters...Abba's (Hebrew for Daddy) little girls.

So this Mothers' Day, let us hear these restful words of promise from our Abba:

1.  Open wide...and be filled...

I am the Lord your God...Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.  Psalm 81:10

open your mouth wide ps 81:10
open your mouth wide ps 81:10

2.  Dwell in Him...and find refuge...

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty... He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge...  Psalm 91:4

Psalm 91:4  Under His Wings
Psalm 91:4 Under His Wings

3. Lift up your eyes...and receive help...

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

mountains
mountains

This Mother's Day...

may you open your heart wide to befilled with Him and His provision!  (Psalm 81)

may you dwell in Him and find refuge and protection from all dangers under Abba's wings! (Psalm 91)

may you lift up the eyes of your heart to your sovereign Creator Abba God for the help you need -- strength, safety, and stability! (Psalm 121)

Yes, even we mamas still need to be Abba's Little Girls :)

Total PraiseLord I will life my eyes to the hills Knowing my help is coming from You Your peace you give me In time of the storm You are the source of my strength You are the strength of my life I lift my hands in total praise to you Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills Knowing my help is coming from You Your peace you give me In times of the storm You are the source of my strength You are the strength of my life I lift my hands in total praise to you Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen

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cild reading bible
cild reading bible

Psalm 121 is very memorize-able.

When my kids were very young we used to take car trips to New Jersey to visit my family.  It was a l-o-n-g drive, so one year we memorized Psalm 121 together as we rode along. To this day, I have fond memories and sweet emotions whenever I read or hear that comforting psalm.

Why not spend a little time this Mothers Day memorizing Psalm 121 together.  Bask in the care and protection of your Abba Father!

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deut 6:4-8

You may also like to visit some other Mama stories 

...especially Open Letter to a New Mom

Beth with Kaden 2006
Beth with Kaden 2006
Evan Arrives 002
Evan Arrives 002
Cortney with Carter 2008
Cortney with Carter 2008
Beth and Eli at birth
Beth and Eli at birth
John at playground in Metafe 138_5764
John at playground in Metafe 138_5764

You might also like to read Children Incognito