Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Liturgy for Mothers, Part 1

Years ago, I found myself struggling to get out of bed and face the day.

Okay, sometimes I still feel that way.

But it was years ago that I pulled together a collection of Scriptures and quotes that somehow help me move, on bad mornings, from "defeated before I even start" to "a little more confident that I can do this again today, with God's help."

I've been wanting to participate in "Walk with Him Wednesdays" at Holy Experience, so each week I will unfold a section of this "liturgy" in hopes that it will bless others!

So, ready to join me on Wednesdays?  Here we go!

A Liturgy for Mothers

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Ps. 81:10)

Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; 
lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs.
Instead of the thornbush, the cypress will come up.
Instead of the nettle, the myrtle will come up. (Is. 54:2)

These promises bring tears to my eyes on tough mornings. It is a test of faith, first thing. Do I really believe them?

I confess, right away, the things that block God's generous provision and action in my life.

Lord, I confess the things that constrict my heart:  [fill in the blank]
My list includes things like pride, judgment, criticism, selfishness, grim determination, stinginess, self-hatred, self-sufficiency, fear of suffering, lack of trust, lack of love.
These have bound my heart and made it small and dry.

I confess my desire to control my children, husband, schedule and circumstances. I confess that I cling to my agenda too tightly. Help me let go of my plans for the day and embrace Yours.

After admitting all this...I am ready to receive these words:

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Him, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death.

Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.

I am grateful to be reminded:

Every branch that bears fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (Jn 15:2)

No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. Remain in me and I will remain in you. (Jn 15:4)

For I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Gal 2:20)

This last assertion is so powerful.

I once had a vision of sorts, while in church, of Christ IN me, in my physical body--along with these assurances: "When you gave birth, I was IN you. When you nursed your infants, I was IN you. When you wipe their bottoms and their noses, or extend a cup or a plate of food to them, I am IN you."

Not I, but Christ. (Gal 2:20)

How is possible that He hallows my flesh, that the incarnation is happening every moment of my life? That we, his followers, form His body on earth as he inhabits each one of us?

He is in me, whether I fail or finish well. Whether it's a day to be proud of--or one to forget.

There is forgiveness...and there is grace.  Somehow Another delights to live in me, and it is his righteousness, not mine, that makes it possible.

Part 2
Part 3


Anonymous said...

I must say, Jeanne, this is the kind of post that makes me return to your blog. Of course I like the family photos, but I really appreciate your intermittent spiritual insights that are helpful to anyone (not just moms!). gratia vobis et pax, Matt

At A Hen's Pace said...

Matt, thanks so much for the encouragement to keep up the occasional devotional/spiritual posts. I struggle with feeling like I have anything worth saying in that area, so thank you!