How’s your to-do list looking today?
I wish I could show up on your doorstep to help you check off a few items. Do you need a nap? Go take one. (I’ll read to your littles.) Do you need those veggies chopped for dinner? I’ve got it. Papers filed? Check. Laundry folded? Check. Bathrooms cleaned? Check. Oh, how I wish I could help you in a practical way today! Even though I can’t chop veggies or file papers for you, I can offer you five sources of practical help for you to utilize ASAP. These sources come right out of the Bible because God cares for mamas and wants to help us along the way.
Help #1: God’s Holy Spirit
Much of motherhood is done in the privacy of our own home and it can feel lonely. We’re loving, serving, comforting, correcting, and teaching our children alone. But Jesus said, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:26–27 ESV). Take heart that as we raise our children, the Holy Spirit is with us! He’s here to comfort us when we are weary and counsel us when we’re overwhelmed. He will groan with us and pray for us when our concerns for our children are too deep for human words. And He will teach us, even as we scurry about, preparing meals, wrangling clothing, making doctor’s appointments, and researching ways to nurture our children.
We can turn to the Holy Spirit for help anytime. I like to open my hands (unless they’re full—in that case, I just “open my hands” in my mind’s eye) and say a simple prayer:
“I surrender, Holy Spirit.”
“Please help, Holy Spirit.”
“Please come, Holy Spirit.”
“Thank you, Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit listens when we pray and responds in real time. Reach out to Him today and keep your eyes open for how He guides you and provides for your needs.
Help #2: God’s Word
If you struggle to find time to read God’s Word, you’re not alone. Our attention is pulled in many directions: babies, toddlers, children, and teens must be fed, washed, clothed, held, comforted, inspired, enjoyed, taught, and discipled. Husbands, churches, family, neighbors, schools, teachers, lessons, sports, and jobs all need our attention. Our own bodies, minds, and emotions need our attention. Then, just when we are about to collapse into bed, we remember that the Bible needs our attention too. No wonder we struggle to get around to it.
But what if we looked at it through God’s eyes? He doesn’t think the Bible needs our attention. On the contrary, He thinks we need the Bible’s attention. God says His Word is like food for the hungry, a light for the traveler, money for the poor, a balm for the wounded, and a surgeon for the injured. The Bible doesn’t need us: we need it. And it is here for us.
Consider these incredible benefits of God’s Word:
- It assures us of God’s character in the ups and downs of motherhood.
- It reminds us about our identity in Christ when we feel worthless.
- It helps us discern between things that sound right and things that are right.
- It equips us to do good work.
- It gives us life-sustaining truths to share with our children.
Let’s pray and get creative about how we can enjoy God’s Word in this season of motherhood. Perhaps you’ll discover that you can meditate on one verse as you do household chores, drive to and from work, or change a baby’s diaper. Maybe you can feast on God’s Word with your child as you read a storybook Bible or listen to Scripture-based songs together. Or maybe you’re available to attend a weekly Bible study and soak in the solid teaching. Whatever season of motherhood you are in, I encourage you to consume God’s Word. I can’t wait for you to see how it helps you as you raise your child.
Help #3: God’s Wisdom
One night when I was a young mom, I lay in bed with a racing heart. I was so anxious! I didn’t want tomorrow to come because I didn’t know what to do with my two-year-old daughter. I felt overwhelmed by my lack of structure and I was sure things would fall apart if I didn’t come up with something. But I was drawing a blank.
I remembered the promise in James 1:5, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.”
I asked God, “What should I do with my daughter tomorrow?”
I laughed when my next thought was “puffball art.” But because the idea was doable and wouldn’t compromise any biblical commands, I received it as an answer from God Himself. My anxiety eased and I fell asleep. The next day, I pulled a page out of a coloring book and showed my eager toddler how to glue cotton balls onto the paper. She loved it. And I loved witnessing God’s promise fulfilled, even regarding a humble craft idea. Thus began my daughter’s puffball art kick and my ongoing pursuit of God’s wisdom in every area of motherhood, whether it be simple (like arts and crafts) or more complex like technology, friendship, and academics.
The promise in James 1:5 applies to you too. God will give you the wisdom you need to make good decisions as a mom. I’m a witness to the reality of James 1:5, and I encourage you to try it too. Ask for His wisdom today.
Help #4: Older and Younger Women
Maternal love doesn’t always come naturally: we need help, instruction, and encouragement along the way. One of the ways God teaches new moms how to love is through older women. In fact, when Paul wrote to Titus, he told him to encourage the older women to “train the young women to love their husbands and children” (Titus 2:4 ESV). With my precious baby in my arms, I began watching and listening to older women more keenly. What had they learned about love as they raised their own children? What could they see from their vantage point that I couldn’t see from mine?
I wasn’t disappointed. Godly, more seasoned women wrapped their arms around me. They carried, calmed, and befriended my children. They noticed good things about them and said so. They gave me whatever I needed to thrive as a mom, like books, music, food, prayer, and a listening ear. From where I stand today, I can confidently say that older women have taught me more about love than I could ever calculate: their practical advice and spiritual insights have shaped my daily habits and given me a vision for the future.
Similarly, when we live according to the Titus 2 model, we can share what we are learning with even younger women. I am grateful for friends who are five, ten, fifteen years younger than I am because they are wise, kind, and generous. While I love giving them every ounce of encouragement and wisdom that I have received so far, I find that they teach me just as much. They help me to be honest and humble. Our friendships thrive on authenticity and accountability.
Older and younger women have shown me how to walk with the Lord through motherhood, and they’ve taught me how to be a good mom. We’ve shared playdates, hikes, recipes, advice, and all the joys and sorrows of motherhood together. I don’t know what I’d do without them. But let’s be honest: good friends like this are more difficult to find and access than, say, God’s Spirit, Word, and wisdom. Yet, older and younger women are an important part of God’s plan for our lives. Let’s pray and ask Him to provide one or two women who will teach us how to love God and honor His good plan for motherhood. A wonderful first step is to look in a local church, which brings me to my final point of practical help for moms.
Help #5: A Local Church
While getting children to church on a Sunday morning can be challenging (oy!) there are so many benefits to committing to a local church. The body of believers is meant to be life-giving to you as you raise your child. It is meant to be a source of practical and spiritual strength to you. Jesus has given people in your congregation with evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching gifts in order to equip you for the ministry work you are doing as a mom. He is working through people in the body of Christ to build you up and to pull you in closer, so that we all will be unified in our faith and will know Jesus better.
Your church meets regularly to help you and your child grow in Christian maturity. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a place of worship, service, refuge, sanctification, and love. In some seasons of motherhood, you will lean heavily on the help of others in your church—being honest about what you need regarding Bible instruction, childcare, practical assistance, and encouragement. In other seasons of motherhood, you will be available to instruct, care, assist, encourage, and serve. May God grant you a local church where Jesus is King and the Word of God is honored, where you can grow and thrive as a mom for His glory.