Liz Curtis Higgs offers a fresh perspective on the Christmas story as she examines it through the lens of three women in Jesus’ life, revealing how Jesus’ coming to Earth impacted those around Him and can impact your family this Christmas, too.
Mrs. Deb Weakly: Then I would ask God to help me. I would say, “God, you know the desire of my heart. I want to have a Christian home. I want to have kids that know You and love You more than anything else. Help me.” And He did.
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John Fuller: Hmm. Well, Deb Weakly joins us today on Focus on the Family, helping you ease your mom guilt and embrace the grace that Jesus has for you. You host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.
Jim Daly: John, a group of researchers crunched the numbers and found that, in an average year, a mom of a baby changes over – get this – 2,000 diapers, does almost 200 loads of laundry, loses almost 900 hours of sleep, and, of course, many moms work outside the home, too.
John: Oh, my goodness. Those are startling numbers. I might have thought they’d be a little higher on some of it, though.
Jim: You’re probably right. They underestimate it. And although motherhood can be wonderful, I know that when the boys were really young, Jean often felt no one really saw or appreciated everything she was doing. If you’re feeling that way today, know that you’re not alone. The Bible tells us that, in the same way you constantly care for and think about your kids, God is doing the same for you.
John: That really is a great encouragement. And we’re going to remind you of that through this wonderful conversation we had with a panel of moms – Deb Weakly, Krystle Porter and Mari Jo Mast. And, uh, Deb has two adult children, Krystle has five young kids, and Mari Jo is a mom to seven. And all three women are part of a community called “The Help Club for Moms,” and they’ve written a book of the same title. More information at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or when you call. And we should make note, Jim, that we recorded this before the pandemic, so we also at that time had a studio audience of moms during the entire recording. Let’s go ahead and listen in now, as, uh, Jim, you welcomed the ladies to the broadcast.
Jim: Deb, Krystle, Mari Jo, welcome to Focus on the Family.
Deb: Thank you.
Mrs. Krystle Porter: Thank you.
Mrs. Mari Jo Mast: Thank you.
Jim: Okay. Let me start here. Every mom seems to have this, uh, question in the back of their minds, maybe deep within their own hearts. And it’s this. They worry that they’re not good enough, that I’m not an okay mom. Why is that? And what can a mom do to fill that gap a little bit to say, “Just don’t worry as much (laughter)?” Many husbands would like you to answer that question.
Jim: Go ahead, Deb.
Deb: Well, I don’t even know where to begin with that one because that was my biggest struggle as a young mom – is worried about messing my kids up and not doing a good job. I didn’t come from a Christian home. And so, had no…
Jim: Right. Your mom was not part of the picture, right?
Deb: No, she died. She – I lost her emotionally when I was 12 and then – or 10 to 12, really. And then whenever I was 20, she died.
Deb: And so, I didn’t – I never saw being a mom played out. If you have a mom in your home and if she’s a Christian, tell your mom, “thank you” because just having that example is beyond – I mean, I try to tell my friends this – our team. You don’t even know what it’s like not to have – I mean, some people know, maybe some listeners here today. To not have a mom is – is overwhelming.
Jim: It’s a big gap…
Deb: Especially – yeah.
Jim: …In your heart.
Deb: It’s a big gap.
Jim: So, what did your children do that, uh, opened up this idea that you weren’t meeting the mark?
Deb: Well, they were being kids. And…
Deb: I was – I was being neurotic.
Jim: You had that funny smile on your face.
Deb: I was being neurotic because…
Deb: …I just thought, “I’m messing them up. I’m messing them up.” And they would be little sinful children. And I’d be like, “Oh, they’re sinful, and I’m messing them up.”
Deb: And so, that’s – that – and I would lose it. I would lose it.
Deb: I’d yell or lose my temper. And then I would feel worse because that condemnation. You know, when you – when you yell – I think the enemy sometimes tempts us to yell. And then right away the enemy comes back. And he’s like, “You’re the worst mom in the world.”
Jim: Really? Moms yell? I didn’t know that.
Deb: Yeah, right. Can you believe that?
Jim: I thought that was just a dad thing.
Jim: Boy, Jean hid that really well for me. I never saw her yell. But that’s so amazing. Mary Jo, you say that you were shocked by how difficult being a mom was. I think that’s kind of funny. But, um, paint a picture.
Jim: Paint a picture for us. And, uh, what was so shocking for you about it?
Mari Jo: Yeah. I would say it was surprising for me. My husband and I, we wanted to have a large family, and we ended up having an extra-large family with seven.
Mari Jo: And so, I came…
Jim: What – I don’t know the definition. What’s the difference between large and extra large?
Mari Jo: Seven is extra large.
Jim: Okay, good. All right. All right. Two cars, that’s – when you got to transport…
Mari Jo: Yeah. Right.
Jim: …The family in two cars.
Mari Jo: Right. Yeah.
Jim: But that’s great. I think that’s wonderful, actually.
Mari Jo: Yeah. And I really wouldn’t trade it for the world now. Um, but I came from a small family, so I only had two sisters and no brothers.
Mari Jo: So, it was – having boys was completely just out of…
John: How many boys did God give you?
Mari Jo: Four.
Mari Jo: Four boys and…
Mari Jo: …Three girls.
Jim: Wasn’t that great?
Mari Jo: Oh, amazing.
Mari Jo: It’s – it’s amazing. And actually, I – you know, boys are soft. They’re so tender. And I love them. I mean, God has really shown their heart to me, uh, since I had four. I mean…
Mari Jo: Now I live with them every day. So, yeah. It was surprising.
Jim: But you had – you had to feel overwhelmed.
Mari Jo: Yeah.
Jim: I mean…
Mari Jo: I was.
Jim: You’re like the queen mom here – seven kids.
Mari Jo: No.
Jim: I mean…
Mari Jo: I think it’s just that God stretches you. And when you’re put in that situation, um, there’s no way that you can actually do what you’re called to do unless the Lord helps you, so…
Mari Jo: Yeah.
Jim: Another struggle many moms have is little to no time for themselves. I mean, that’s just the way it is. Krystle, um, you have a story about, one morning, you thought you were, uh, going to finally get some of that quiet time.
Jim: Uh, what happened?
Krystle: So, I – I struggle with waking up early as it is. My kids wake me up in the morning. “Mom, I need cereal” or whatever it is, you know?
Krystle: And that’s how I wake up to my day. Um, but this morning, I was feeling victorious. Like, it is 6 a.m. I got up. And so, I went, and I made some hot tea for myself.
Jim: Oh, it sounded good.
Krystle: I could see, like, the sun shining through the window.
Krystle: And I had sat down with my Bible, and I’m like, “This is, like, what all my hopes and dreams are made of – like, this kind of morning.”
Jim: A little devotional time.
Krystle: It was silent in the house. There was absolutely not a sound. And so, I open up my Bible and, like – I feel like I’m just relaxed into my couch. And then my little girl – I just hear little footsteps coming down the hall. And her hair is, like, all disheveled – you know? – just a total wreck, a total mess. “Hey, Mommy.” And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.”
Krystle: “What am I going to do?” That moment is over, and now I have to put on my mom hat and be a mom. And it is hard to not have – even when you search and try so hard to find those times, and you just can’t get it.
Jim: It does seem like a lot of it – and watching my wife, Jean, it’s give, give, give, give, give and give, give, give, give, give, give more.
Krystle: Mm. Mm-hmm.
Jim: And I – I can only imagine how draining that feels. So, how – what reservoir do you go to at that moment when you had those expectations, and your little daughter’s going, “Mommy, I’m hungry. Mommy, my hair’s all needing a brush”?
Krystle: Except she’s like, “Don’t brush it ever.”
Jim: Yeah, right. But don’t brush it. That’s even worse.
Krystle: Yes. Exactly. Well, I think what I have to do is kind of bring them into the moment. That’s my reality as a mom right now. I have five kids, and a lot of them are small. And so, that moment now becomes, I get to bring her alongside. And whether she’s sitting there with me while I finish my Bible reading time and it ended up being much shorter than I had anticipated, or I make a little busy toy for her on the floor, you know, it’s, like, you just have to always adapt and do your best. And…
Jim: Right. But you do.
Krystle: Sometimes – yeah.
Jim: That’s the great thing about moms. That’s what – dads kind of check out.
Jim: “I’m out. See you later.”
John: “I’m going to the office.”
Jim: But moms always hang in there. And that’s the thing. Deb, you said, um, that your childhood made you feel like a lost puppy.
Jim: You’ve referenced that a couple of times.
Jim: It’s such a powerful word picture, a lost puppy. How did that feel? What did that mean?
Deb: Well, when you don’t grow up in a Christian home or you really want it so badly – that’s the thing. I wanted – I would go to people’s houses. So, I was like a little lost puppy. I felt like – I would go to this person’s house, and I would – I would see their family and their pictures on the wall and their dinner table that – they would talk about having dinner. And I’d go to this person’s family, and – and I’d see just like – just the love that they had. And I’d look at their books. And I would ask them, “What are you doing with your kids? And, you know, tell me what to do. I don’t know what to do.” And I was always just going from place to place.
Jim: When you got home, what did that look like?
Deb: I felt really bad about myself.
Deb: Because I was trying to compare myself to other people. I mean, I got ideas. But then I would come home to my reality of all the things I wasn’t doing right. But then I would ask God to help me. I would say, “God, you know the desire of my heart. I want to have a Christian home. I want to have kids that know You and love You more than anything else. Help me.” And He did. But it was just a – I can’t even explain, just the comparison – I don’t know if you – you talk about comparison, but it’s just – it’s hard when you think everybody else is doing it right, but you’re doing it wrong.
Jim: And it just drip, drip, drip…
Deb: It does.
Jim: …Keeps coming at you.
Deb: It does. And then you act differently.
Deb: When you – when you feel that you’re falling short and you mess up, you act less nice. You act – you could be a better mom if you just thought to yourself, “God is with me. God is helping me.” But when we compare ourselves or when we – all we see is our flaws, what we do is, is we instead beat ourselves up. And so we act that way. We act grouchy. We yell. We do – we’re worse when we don’t say to God, “God, You help me. I need You.” Instead, when you put everything on you or people around you or your sins or your shortcomings, that’s when you’re going to act that out versus trusting God.
Jim: You – you talk about the 20 minutes, uh, the power of 20 minutes. So, this is a solution moment, so everybody listening, get your notes out.
Deb: Take notes. Yeah.
Jim: Get your pen and paper. What is the power of the 20-minute, uh, rest time? Or what do you do in the 20 minutes?
Deb: Well, whenever my kids were – during that season that you had brought up earlier when they were younger – and I would go into my daughter’s room at night. I’d have a bad day, and I’d go into her room, and I would cry. I literally cried. I think there’s knee marks beside my daughter’s bed in the carpet because I was kneeling beside her bed after she went to sleep, crying out to the Lord, “You’ve got to help me. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m making a mess of things.” And all He would say is, “Spend time with Me.” And so, that’s where the 20 minutes a day came from, is, He got me up 15, 20 minutes a day early. I asked Him to get me up. I didn’t want to get up (laughter). But I said, “Lord, could You get me up so that I could spend time with You?” And so, I would spend around – this was just a little easy thing that helped me remember it. It was five minutes praying – you know, but when I read the word, I also pray – and then about 10 minutes reading the Bible, and five minutes, I’d plan my day. So, I would have a little sheet of paper and write down six most important things that I want to get done that day.
Jim: How important is that? You know, in reading the material, one of the things that caught me is how – again, how jostled the day is for moms. You might write six things down.
Deb: But you have 23.
Jim: And you ain’t going to get to one of them.
Deb: Yeah, I know. Yeah, it’s true.
Deb: It’s so true.
Jim: So, how do you manage that? Where – how do you – you know, you have your plan and then say, “Okay. Lord, my plans are not Your plans.” (Laughter)
Deb: It’s true. But I – we always did first things first. So, if I only got my Bible study done that day and I read the Bible to my children, then I feel like I had a really good day.
Jim: Oh, that’s good.
Deb: And so, that was my most important thing. And then if I would read to them or clean, you know…
Jim: Well, and not beating yourself up.
Jim: That’s what I hear in that.
Jim: That’s so refreshing, just…
Deb: Starting to get comfortable in your skin…
Jim: Yes. Yes.
Deb: …And trusting the Lord.
Jim: Do what you can do, and then trust the next day, right? We’ll wake up to do it again. Uh, Mari Jo, share with us about your childhood. Uh, how did you effect your, uh – share with us your childhood, and how did that affect your mothering?
Mari Jo: Well, actually, I had two very great parents. They were very, very grace-filled. I mean, they loved the Lord. Um, however, we grew up – I grew up in a very legalistic…
Mari Jo: …Um, kind of a background. And so, that really shaped, informed how I viewed God. And it wasn’t until I was about 29-years-old when the Lord – I opened the word, and the Lord being a minister to me about His true character.
Mari Jo: And I saw that, um, the way that I had viewed Him as a very legalistic, harsh kind of, um – and I don’t even know if it really even came from – it came somewhat from my background, but I think it was more of a personal thing because my parents weren’t like that at all.
Jim: You know, there are gonna be moms listening right now that are still in that spot. What helped, I guess, uh, wake you up to the fact that God’s grace is sufficient?
Mari Jo: It was a divine appointment, I think, with the Lord. I just – His word – I just began to read His word. And it began to make sense to me.
Mari Jo: I remember reading, um, the verse in the Bible where it says, um, “If your earthly father will give you bread when you ask them for bread and not a stone…” But there was a new thought that came to me. It – when Jesus said, “How much more will the Lord give you the Holy Spirit…”
Mari Jo: “…When you ask Him?” And so, I started doing that. I started asking Him for the Holy Spirit. It was, like, a brand-new thought to me. And so as I ask Him, He just began to – when I would read the word, it would – it uncovered for me. And I was just – things began to make sense to me…
Jim: Yeah. That’s good.
Mari Jo: …For the very first time. And so, then I – yeah – recognized that God is a good God.
John: Well, He is indeed. And that’s Mari Jo Mast. She’s joined by Deb Weakly and Krystle Porter. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And, uh, we want to encourage you to get the book The Help Club for Moms, which we have available at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call 1 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And, Jim, we’re also joined here in the study by a number of moms and the gallery is full of moms as well.
Jim: (Laughter) That’s right. Welcome, all the moms.
Jim: (Laughter) That’s good. Krystle, let me ask you, um, because we’ve got the background on Deb and Mari Jo, but, uh, you grew up, uh, kind of in a tough situation, too. What happened?
Krystle: Yeah. My – so my mom had me when she was a teenager. She was 17, and so it’s kind of like a baby having a baby. And she wasn’t quite ready for the challenge. And, um, some of my family kind of graciously stepped in, but I just kind of was shifted from home to home and lived with my grandma for a good majority of it. And then I lived with my aunt and uncle after that who – they really just took me in and adopted me as their own. And, you know, I’m like forever grateful for them. But as I thought about being a mom with that, um, it kind of leaves you in a spot where just like Deb was saying I didn’t know what it looked like to have a mom. And from my – especially my adolescent years, my – and my young years of just being little and hoping for that mommy relationship, you know? And all my life, all I wanted to do was be a mom.
Krystle: And so, I can remember the day that, um, I had my first little girl. And I felt like, “This is what I was hoping for. This was the day. This is it. I’m a mom now.” And I remember everybody leaving. You know, they – I have the baby. Everything’s great. I am good and holding her. And everybody left the room – you know, they’re going home. And everybody came and visited. And – and I thought, “Wait, where’s everybody going? I don’t know what I’m doing.” I don’t – and that kind of feeling stuck with me in different ways as I – um, you know, years into motherhood where that kind of became doubt. “Am I just – do I even know what I’m doing? Am I just gonna mess her up?” Do it – and then I had that desire – when I was 17, I came to the Lord. And so, now I had this fresh, “I want – no, I don’t just want to be a mom. I want to be this mom that just loves Jesus and it shows my kids Jesus. How do I – what do I even do? How do I do that?” But I do feel like God – I was at a mom conference one time because I’m searching for answers, “Please give me your formulas. How do I be a good mom?” And I remember God just – I feel like my oldest was 3. I had had No. 2 at that time, too, and she was just a baby. And I remember thinking to myself, um, I’m just praying and while I was there. And God said, “Krystle, you need to just let Me help you.”
Krystle: “Just let Me help you. Let Me help you.”
Jim: How did you translate that?
Krystle: Um, I think because I was looking around and I was feeling like, I was there for answers and I wasn’t necessarily getting them. You heard all these wonderful things and ideas – right? – concepts of how to be a good mom. “You want to be patient.” Okay, great. Okay, how do I be patient? You know…
Krystle: …And, um, all these big things. And it felt – but it didn’t feel tangible to me, and I didn’t know what to do to walk away with it. I don’t think that that was what it was meant for either. I think I was supposed to walk away and, like Mary Jo was saying, I needed to have the Holy Spirit telling me specifically what to do for my kids and then also having it be where God was reminding me, “You are not your family. Just because you felt the way that you felt doesn’t mean your kids are gonna feel the way that you feel.” And that was a fear of mine. And then with that came – I just felt like the Lord, um, really impressed on my heart that, um, I could be the mom that I had wished that I had.
Krystle: And, you know – and I’ll say a quick story real quick. But my, um, my daughter one day she was just asking me about being a little girl – you know, just little kid questions. And she said, “Mom, so what did you do with your mom like when you were 6?” or, you know, whatever. And I said, “Well, honey, I didn’t really have my mom when I was 6.” And, “You didn’t have your mom?” And so, you know, opened up this whole conversation and, um, in the end she ended up crying. And she said, “Mom, I’m so sad that you didn’t have a mom.”
Jim: So, she connected.
Krystle: She connected. We cried together, but the – I feel like the redeeming part of it was that God, um – you know, I got to tell her that – I said, “If it wasn’t for how I grew up, I don’t know that I would be the mom that I am to you today.” And so, kind of, you know, God uses – and I told her, you know, “My story is God’s story.” And so, whatever – whatever happened and however all the pieces fell, um, you know, He’s gonna pick that back up and make it into something for him. And so, it was a sweet moment, a really hard moment.
Krystle: You know, those are the moments that you’re hoping that you have the right answers for, you know?
Jim: Right. And you have in the book – I mean, there are – the contributions you made there, they’re – your children seem to really – the Lord uses your children to speak to you…
Krystle: Oh, yeah…
Jim: …In your stories.
Krystle: …All the time.
Jim: And, uh…
Jim: …You know, that’s an interesting thing too.
Krystle: It is.
Jim: So, your kids must have real tender hearts…
Krystle: They do.
Jim: …Toward the Lord.
Krystle: Yes. It can be really emotional at my house…
Krystle: …Between the lot of us.
Jim: You know, in fact, uh, you outline five ways that, uh, we can pray for our kids. I think this is good for moms and dads, by the way, but, um, what are those five ways we can pray?
Krystle: Um, well, I was – at the time when I wrote this I was feeling that lack of prayer in my life. And I’m thinking like, “If I don’t get to wake up and have these times that I get to pray, when do I pray? How do I pray?” And so, um, these are kind of the staples and the ones that I use in my house. But pray with your kids to start and end the day. So, Deb has a prayer and I just – I recycled it, and now it’s in my house. And it’s that you commit each day to the Lord. So, in the morning, we wake up and we say, “Lord, we commit this day to you.” That’s it. And it’s simple but it brings me perspective…
Krystle: …And it kind of helps them. Uh, pray when your kids are fighting with each other. I feel like that’s actually…
Jim: How does that prayer go?
Krystle: I know, I know. So…
Jim: That’s the one I want to hear.
Krystle: …Really what happens is I end up talking to them individually first…
Krystle: And then – then the reconciliation of coming together to have that final, “Look, we love each other and we’re striving. We’re not gonna be perfect and we’re sinful, but we’re gonna pray to Jesus and he’s gonna help us.” And so…
Jim: I think that’s great.
Krystle: You know, some days it’s great. Some days they don’t – you know, that doesn’t work out. But you shoot there (laughter).
Jim: (Laughter) Aim for that.
Krystle: Yes, aim for that. Uh, pray on the go. So, we pray a lot. And this is so random, but we see an ambulance driving by, we pray.
Krystle: And we see someone on the side of the road homeless, we pray. Uh, pray for your – your meals. Short and sweet works, it doesn’t have to be some drawn out prayer. And even asking your kids to pray – their prayers are – I mean, like, the sweetest of all time…
Jim: Oh, yeah.
Krystle: …If they want to. And I have one daughter – and I say all this – and I really like to make sure people know that, um, it’s not all, like, roses and rainbows. You know what I mean? And so, like, even at dinnertime, these mealtimes with praying, one of my daughters sometimes – she’s 4 – and she’ll be like, “I’m not praying.”
Krystle: And I’m like, “Okay.” And we just go with it. “Well, you don’t have to pray with us, but we’re gonna pray for our meal.”
Jim: No, that’s good. I like that.
Krystle: Um, and pray with your – your children’s leading. So, just asking them, “What – what can I pray for you?”
Jim: “What’s on your heart?”
Jim: And I think that’s great.
Jim: But – now that sounds really good and even some moms hearing that are going, “Oh man, Krystle, she’s a great mom.”
Krystle: Oh, gosh.
Jim: But you did have kind of a rough day. I think your daughter – there’s a story about the grumpy mom day or something (laughter) right? That’s something I want to get that out there, too.
Krystle: I know. It’s like the grumpy mom day – that – that’s like – I don’t know – every other day? I’m just kidding.
Jim: Please, please tell us. Tell us about that day.
Krystle: Yeah. You know, I – I remember I was – it was just that day where you are in a mood. You woke up and you weren’t ready to be a mom. Like that’s how I wake up some days. Can I just not today?
Krystle: Can I just, like, do the things I want to do today? Is that a – a – is that a thing?
John: Does staying in bed help you with that?
Krystle: Oh, it does help me with that.
Krystle: Wait till the last second to get up. So – um, but all my kids, you know, they were being kids, like Deb said. They were just going around the house making a mess in every single room – every single last one.
Krystle: And then, you know…
Jim: It didn’t bother you, did it?
Krystle: No, not at all. And so, then they – you know, I finally – I was doing whatever I was doing. I come out into the house, and I just see everywhere is a disaster. A tornado just went through the house. “Hey, Mom.” You know the kids have no – they don’t care…
Krystle: …That the house is a disaster. They were playing. They’re having a great time. And I don’t know if any moms can relate, but the switch flipped. It turned on. And then, like, grouchy mean mom appears and I’m like, “You’re gonna go to your room and clean your room. And you’re gonna do this.” And they were like – you know, “What happened?” You know, like they were just enjoying their day, having a great time, and then now Mom’s mad. So, everyone’s walking on eggshells and trying to do the things I want them to do. And I was just one after another just telling them, you know, “Why do you always do this?”
Krystle: And “Why is it like this?” And so, my daughter…
Krystle: Well, and I – you know, I – I – I’ll do the “always” and “never” thing with my kids that you’re not supposed to do. “Why do you always make a mess in your room?” “You guys never clean up after yourselves.” You know, those types of things. Um, and so my daughter – because sometimes when she’s really grouchy I’ll be like, “Can I pray for you, honey?” And she’ll, “Okay, Mommy.” And so this time she was like, “Mom, can I pray for you?”
Krystle: She was like, “You’re having a really hard day. You’re really grouchy.” So, she prayed for me. And her sweet little prayer – it was. Like, my kids speak to me and just that testimony to my heart that, “Oh, wait. They’re listening. They’re watching. They see whatever I’m doing.” But that she could recognize, “Well, Mom’s grumpy and she needs some help.”
Krystle: (Laughter) “She needs some help.”
Jim: And really what’s sweet about that – not in a “gotcha” way – but you’ve trained her well, and I’m sure all your kids, just to be in tune with the Spirit. “What’s going on here? Problem.” So that’s good.
Krystle: “Mom was flying off the rails.”
Jim: And join us next time when we complete the story of mom falling off the rails. But…
Krystle: Oh, my gosh. I have so many stories for you.
Jim: Well, we’re gonna save them for next time because we’re right at the end of today. But, Deb, I do want to end with this as we close. Um, describe for us your two-prayer strategy – modeling quiet time and making a prayer binder. I think that’s another practical thing that moms today can walk away with.
Deb: My prayer, I brought it and it’s not fancy. We sat down, and we just made something. I had these cute little decal things, but this is from 2004.
Deb: Anyway so – so I wanted to keep all my prayers in one place and so I did. And, um, I would so I wouldn’t have a whole lot of time so I would pick – like, one day I’d pray for my husband. One day I’d pray for my kids.
Jim: (Laughter) You said that in such a funny tone.
John: Oh, he’s listening. That’s why.
Jim: “I pray for my husband, and then I pray for my children.”
Jim: He’s just one of the kids, right? We all know it’s true.
John: He’s a big kid, yeah.
Deb: Oh, wait. So, would you like me to read a couple of my prayers?
Jim: Oh, sure. Read one. We have time for one (laughter).
Deb: OK, one. This is amazing. I love Ruth Graham, and I love anything by her. And she has a compilation of prayers called Prayers for A Mother’s Day and listen to this. This is amazing. “Lord, see in them what I cannot see. Lord, bring to light what I do not know. Lord, teach them of what I am not aware. Lord, whisper to them what I have forgotten. Lord, warn them of what I have omitted. Lord, be for them what I cannot be. Lord, love them for you are all they need.” And that’s Linda Zaenfel.
Deb: Isn’t that beautiful?
Jim: It is.
Deb: I prayed that. I felt like God could cover over my mistakes when I asked Him to cover over it and see in their hearts, and what’s going on. “And you know what’s going on because I don’t know what’s going on all the time.”
Jim: Well, and this is so good. And here’s the great news. God, uh, created a child’s heart in a very resilient manner so that I think in part they could, uh, look the other way on all the parenting mistakes (laughter) you know?
Jim: So, we don’t have to…
Jim: …Kick ourselves too much.
Deb: We pray for amnesia.
Deb: Well, we do. I pray for amnesia for my kids.
Jim: That’s how we’ll end today, a prayer with amnesia. No, but it’s just good that you know God’s got it and He shapes us as we’re growing through our moms and dads or if we didn’t have moms and dads – my story, too.
Jim: But this has been terrific. I hope you – the listener, the YouTube watcher – that you’ve been able to, uh, you know, glean some great ideas on how to settle down, trust the Holy Spirit, lean into the Holy Spirit – that’s what I was hearing today. And, uh – and just love your kids which is what they need most of all. And we’ll come back next time, if you guys are willing, and we’ll pick up the conversation.
Deb: Oh, yes.
Jim: But, uh, let me encourage you to go to the website. John will give the details. If you’re hurting, if you’re in a place that you’re – you know, it’s more serious than what we’ve talked about today, we have caring Christian counselors that can help you with that, put additional resources into your hands and maybe even, uh, refer you to a counselor in your area. So, we have that end of this covered as well. So, just get in touch with us. We’re here for you.
John: Yeah. Help is a phone call away and our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or online you’ll find resources and, uh, a lot of assistance at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And, of course, Deb Weakly, one of our guests, uh, along with the help of lots of women – right, Deb? – uh, has written this book, The Help Club for Moms. We especially want to point you to that because it’s got a lot of the stories, uh, that you’re hearing in this broadcast and lots, lots more. So, uh, ask about that book when you get in touch.
Jim: And as we often do, uh, John, if you can make a gift to the ministry either a monthly sustainer gift or a one-time gift, we’ll send the book to you as our way of saying thank you. And if you can’t afford it, we’re here for you. And more – most importantly, uh, there are donors that will cover the cost of that. I’m confident. So, get in touch with us so we can get this book into your hands.
John: And once again our phone number – 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Well, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family and plan to be with us next time as we continue the conversation and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.
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