What motivates you?

Child's Drawing of FamilyWhat motivates you? What helps determines the decisions you make? Throughout the years, different things have been motivators for me. But one thing that should have been a constant was my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am learning the value of that now, and thanking Him that it is a lesson I have not learned too late.

How do I handle a schedule as a newly married person? How do we work out our responsibilities and finances? Who is to take the lead in certain areas of our marriage?

As a new mom- what decisions do I make: from laundry detergent to childrearing? Who do I let my children play with? What toys are good or detrimental to them? How do I make it through the day without abusing coffee or chocolate? 😮

As a working or homeschool mom- how do I manage my schedule so I am caring for the needs of my children and my husband? How do I care for extended family members, my church, and have time for myself? Is there even time to walk and talk with God in all of these situations?

Now as a mom whose children are almost all out of the home, I am faced with other decisions and value my relationships in deeper ways. Instead of looking for spare moments for sleep or to comb my hair, I am looking to teach my kids to love God more and to impact the lives of others in greater ways. I pray for them and advise them with more godly content than “because I told you so” or “because that’s what Christians do”.

Why the change?

Well, there are different seasons of a woman’s life and with those seasons come responsibilities, relationships, and hormones. 😮 I have learned that during each of  those seasons God still wants to be primary in our lives and wants to fellowship with us and guide us. Our life circumstances, emotions, and physical state of being all fluctuate within those seasons and can cause us to reevaluate our motivation to do the things we do. Why do I want to have a nurturing Christian home and how is that accomplished within the current circumstances of our family?

The answer is always the same in all of these scenarios. Get to know, love, and serve God. He knows you personally. He literally knows the number of hairs on your head. And if you are anything like me- that changes by the minute- yet He knows. And more than that, He cares.  He knows I am stressed, or grumpy, or happy, or disappointed. He loves me and wants to give me guidance and peace, joy and strength, and sometimes chastisement.

As you go throughout the hurriedness of your day today, as you look at your list of things to do and people to meet, ask yourself, what is my motivation for this? How does my relationship with God make this work? What am I really trying to accomplish here?

If your bottom line is to love God and to love others, He will give you the time, strength, and wisdom to accomplish those tasks. Sometimes we are doing much more than we should be doing. When I was younger I wanted to do everything and was capable of it (if I neglected other things). I had to learn that there will be another time in my life to do some of those things, but for the time being my priority was my family.

There are excellent books and godly women online with blogs and pinterest pages that can help you make informed decisions to answer those questions listed above. Just don’t get so caught up in them, that you forget the motivation. 😮 Don’t fall into the trap of being motivated by what others think. Yes, you should love and care for others, but if you are walking in Spirit and in truth with the Lord, He directs your paths.

Take time to ask God what is motivating you. If it is to impress others or to maintain a testimony that is not based on the truths of God’s word, ask Him to change your heart and teach you what is best, what He wants for you. Love the Lord and others. Live this out to your kids and those you interact with every day. This is God’s command. The rest falls into place, I promise. What really lasts after the dinner dishes are put away and the laundry is done, is your relationship with God and how you have been salt and light to the rest of the people He has blessed you with as you walk on this earth.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Mark 12:30-32 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

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