Uplifting Devotionals for Parents
Ruth L. Snyder
Sunday mornings are rarely the peaceful, worshipful times I would like them to be. They usually start off well, especially when I get up and spend a few quiet minutes reading my Bible and praying. However, once I rouse the rest of the household we start down the slippery Sunday slope.
First there’s a mad rush to get dressed. One son can’t find matching socks. My youngest daughter complains she’s still tired and hides under the covers. Another son puts his dirty clothes on from yesterday after I tell him to put on CLEAN clothes.
Then, there’s breakfast. Children squirm and fidget during our family devotions. One of our sons reaches for something and tips over his full glass of milk. Another son refuses to eat because he doesn’t like what’s on the table.
Next comes the ride to church. We wait for our sixteen-year-old daughter. She gets in and glares because she wasn’t allowed to practice driving today. Seat belts are finally on and we’re off. Two minutes later, one son is crying because his brother walloped him across the face. When I ask, “Why’d you hit him?” he shrugs. “Hands to yourselves, everyone,” I plead. A few minutes later our youngest daughter starts whining that she’s thirsty. There are no water bottles in sight. Fortunately the drive to town only lasts ten minutes.
We’ve made it to church. While I’m catching up with my friends, one of my sons is running laps. I remind him to walk. We resume our conversation. Another son is using the bathroom and forgot to close the door. When we enter the sanctuary, I focus on quieting my heart and mind. That lasts a couple of seconds—until my kids start fighting over who gets to sit beside me. We get the seating arrangement sorted out. Then my youngest son needs to go to the bathroom. He’s sitting the farthest from the aisle and trips over someone’s foot on his way out. Now his nose is bleeding. I rush him to the bathroom where I discover splatters of blood all the way down his brand new shirt. We clean up the best we can and return to the sanctuary. Again, I try to calm myself and focus on what God wants to teach me.
Sometimes I grasp most of the Pastor’s message; many times I don’t. But I’ve come to love and accept Sunday mornings with my imperfect kids and my even more imperfect parenting. After all, God doesn’t love me because I’m perfect; He loves me because He chooses to love me.
I’ve also found peace in the midst of the turbulence of raising five challenging children, because God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. Here are some choices that help me cope:
1. Celebrate the “gifts” I receive every day, no matter how insignificant. (e.g. My washing machine works, I’m alive, The sunset is beautiful)
2. Acknowledge that I cannot successfully do anything without God
3. Spend time reading the Bible and praying
4. Remind myself that God is always with me and talk to Him about my joys and frustrations throughout the day
5. Share my journey with other women who will be brutally honest with me
Prayer: Father, Thank you that you understand the challenges of parenting. Help me to rely on your wisdom and strength today in all I do and say. Amen
Ruth's Devotional is available on B&N Nook, Kobo, and Amazon Kindle. Here is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Uplifting-Devotionals-Parents-Ruth-Snyder-ebook/dp/B00OSSQLE4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1441829345&sr=8-6&keywords=ruth+l.+snyder