How many children do you have? I have 4 children.
How old are your children? My children are ranging in age from 9 to 18 years old.
Are you a mom of boys, girls, or both? Our sons are 18, 11, and 9. Our daughter is wedged between them at 14 years old.
How have I (and how do I) continue to equip my children to demonstrate boldness and bravery in the face of trials, uncertainty, and spiritual warfare?
Who were you before motherhood?
I became a mom and wife at 18 years old. Before going to college and meeting my (future) husband, I had no desire for a family of my own. As a child with an absentee birth father, I was pretty convinced that I would never bring a child into this world to experience what I did. Little did I know, that God had a beautiful story already written despite my fears!
One thing that I was confident about as an 18-year-old, parenting was not for me. I wanted to have control over my life to do whatever I wanted and when. I was not yet in an abiding relationship with Jesus. I was familiar with religion and church, but not with the God of the universe who loved me as I was. I was sure that I lacked what a child would need from a mother. (And even after becoming a mom, it took some growing in maturity to learn that God simply wanted me to follow Him in unyielding trust.)
Speak life to the Mom who is weary and burned out.
In my most recent book, Reignite: Awakening the Fire Within When Life Threatens to Extinguish It, I discuss burnout. I know from experience the weight of pressures as a mom that lead you to a place of dryness and emptiness. I know from experience what it feels like to look for hope and restoration but be at a complete loss at where or how to get them once they are lost. But the most beautiful ending to those stories that I still treasure (yes, even the hard parts can be treasured), is that God was not afraid of my burnout or disappointed by it.
What I love about Jesus is that He doesn’t leave when we are weary, just like He doesn’t leave when we are beaming with joy. He is ALWAYS present. When Mary was given the news that she would be the mother to the Son of the Living God, she was told by the messenger in Matthew 1:23 (ESV) that He would be identified as “…Immanuel…(which means, God with us).” Moms, He is still present today; in the mundane, in the struggles, in the days you are pushing through to bedtime, and even in the times you hope they come back home as adults. He has not left, nor will He ever leave because His character never changes. He remains the same (Hebrews 13:8)!
I encourage you to trust and abide in His presence. When you are tired, abide. When you doubt, abide. When you fear, abide. As Jesus tells us in John 15:4 (ESV), “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” We cannot be a mom without our source, Jesus. That may be a foreign concept or it may even be hard in your season, but trust me, He isn’t afraid of any of that. Right where you are, simply talk to Him about your season. He listens and He cares more than anyone ever could. Even more, He responds. I dare you to invite Him into your hard place.
What advice would you give to the Mom struggling to find time to fulfill her responsibilities and find time to spend with the Lord?
One of the greatest things I learned as a mom was that spending time with Jesus didn’t have to be separated from my daily tasks as a mom and wife. In fact, as we serve our families, we are worshipping the Lord! Colossians 3:23 (ESV) tell us that, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” So, even as we are changing diapers, helping with homework, doing school drop-offs, we are serving the Lord because we are stewarding all that He blessed us with. There have even been times where I was sitting in prayer and worship when one of my littles would come and dance as I worshipped. At that moment, I was teaching them that my love for them wasn’t segregated from my love for the Lord, but that I could only love them well when I invited the Lord to show me how.
From the place of serving the Lord with our whole lives, He reveals quiet times to sit with Him alone. We should never allow our desire to spend time with Him to turn into a chore or a checklist, but rather a joy of our lives. That will look different from season to season, but it should never replace devoting ourselves to Him. When my children were babies, spending time looked like me nursing a baby while reading a devotional and prayer. As my children were in school, it looked like hours of live worship sessions and intercession. As my children are all older, I can often begin my time with them at the table with my Bible.
The goal is not to allow the fear of missing time with Him to keep us from doing it at all. God is not requiring you to move your family aside to spend time with Him. He is asking to be invited into all of those things while seeking Him for time throughout the day to hear and speak to Him. Just as I cannot ask my children to stop needing me so I can spend time with Jesus, neither can I expect to see His character in my kids if I don’t invite Him into every aspect of our lives. He the root system that gives us life. Any other relationship with Him falls short of the beauty that awaits time with Him.
Natasha Tubbs – Pastor/ Published Author/ Writing Coach
Owner, Four Arrows Publications
I am all the more grateful for the women (like Natasha) who have chosen to join me on this journey of transparency and support – ESPECIALLY in addition to the life adjustments and loads we all experienced in the midst of the last year! I can’t thank you enough.
Connection and support are vital to our growth and survival as humans and as Women. I have met many Mothers (myself included at one point) who are going through the trenches and carrying loads solo. This has often led to depression, loneliness, isolation, and such guilt and shame in “not measuring up”.
My prayer is that the women who lay eyes on “Bold & Brave”, will be encouraged, emboldened, and all the more hopeful.
For the Moms,
This series is for the Moms! In honor of Mothers, this May will be chock-full of real stories of Motherhood from Moms of all ages, in all stages. Join me as I feature different Moms (on a weekly basis) who will so graciously be sharing their life in words.
Stay tuned for more stories of triumph, valleys, and faith!