God is Near: Certain Comfort for Moms

LISA UPDIKE|GUEST I walked into Walmart thinking about purchasing a watermelon and salad greens to create a nice, fresh summer meal. I pushed my sunglasses up on my head and proceeded through the route I always take: through the seasonal and sale stuff (just in case there is something good) and then past the candles, women’s clothes, and straight to the produce. Walking my route, I was taken aback. Where the sunscreen had been showcased just last week stood huge displays of glue sticks, pencils, markers, and crayons. Excuse me, Mr. Manager; don’t you know I haven’t even gone on my summer vacation? It is certainly not time to think about school yet! Still, no matter how frustrated I might get with the early arrival of school supplies in my store’s aisles, the new school year is just around the corner, and mothers everywhere are preparing their hearts for the new school year—homeschoolers, Christian schoolers, and public schoolers alike. A Fear We All Have Felt In my role as the Director of Children’s Ministries at my church, I’m privy to the thoughts of many mothers. As moms think about “back to school,” one emotion keeps bubbling to the surface over and over. I hear it in their voices, in the questions they ask, and the conversations they have. It’s not a pretty emotion. It’s one that can sometimes paralyze us.  Fear. We’ve all felt it. Moms are afraid of the task of raising children in today’s culture. When kids are home with us all summer and activities are more family based, that fear slips into the recesses for a bit. But the thought of sending our kids out again to interact with others at school, sports, even our homeschool co-ops, means exposure where we might not have control over what comes in...

God is Near: Certain Comfort for Moms2023-08-15T13:17:08+00:00

Passing on an Eternal Legacy

RACHEL CRADDOCK|CONTRIBUTOR I love traditions. I can be persnickety when it comes to the execution of my precious practices and rituals. One Thanksgiving, my brother, who is a very talented chef, fancied up the cranberries. His adding to the traditional recipe sent me into a frenzy—and I cried. However, my love of traditions has mostly had a positive impact in my family life. There are several ways I created traditions for my four children: back-to-school photos on the front porch; family-themed Halloween costumes; March Madness bracket challenges; listening to a state-line songs on road trips, and pizza on paper plates in pajamas when my husband has a late meeting—just to name a few. The natural cadence of life in our home is bolstered by such traditions. As much as I cherish my traditions—which I assume as women we all love to create lasting memories with our children—traditions like that back-to-school photo on the front porch this fall will (perhaps) leave a lasting legacy; however, the traditions which we tend to fuss over while our children are in our homes will not extend into eternity. Reader, I am going to be honest with you here: I am human, both wretched and redeemed. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, my heart is prone to wander, and I am distracted by light and momentary afflictions. But God is faithful to keep me on the course. When it comes to being a parent, my love of earthly traditions can hinder me from being intentional to pass on the most integral and eternal tradition I have the privilege of passing on to my children— passing on the truth of who God is to His covenant people...

Passing on an Eternal Legacy2023-08-15T13:17:49+00:00
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