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Everett Miller
Everett Miller

Mothers Devotion

You, too, may be raising your children in circumstances you did not expect and would not have chosen. You, too, may be solely responsible for instructing them in the Christian faith and providing for their needs. Learn from Mary that God will supply all that you need to carry out steadfast devotion until the end. Learn from Mary that he uses every bit of your faithful effort, even if that effort is mingled with sin. Learn from Mary that in your daily toil, you are not alone. Because even more than you are devoted to your children, God is devoted to your good in Christ Jesus.

Mothers Devotion

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As a busy mom, finding time for devotions can be a challenge and if you have little ones your schedule is probably filled to the brim from the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning. Daily prayer and devotion gives your mama heart the grace it needs to get through the day.

Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk is filled with 100 short devotions perfect for busy moms. You could keep this book in your prayer corner, on the dining room or kitchen table, or even in the bathroom!

There is no one right way to spend your devotion time. In fact, I would go as far as to say that your devotion time will probably look different during this season of your life than it will in the next season of your life.

Despite decades of focus on gender equality and work-family balance, parenthood still affects mothers' and fathers' careers differently. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Norwegian mothers who are relinquishing high-commitment careers of law and consultancy, this paper questions the adequacy of established explanations emphasizing constraints vs. individual preferences. Our sample of female professionals living in a well-developed welfare state is particularly apt to explore the processes and mechanisms upholding the statistically gendered pattern of women reducing their work commitment after childbirth. These doubly privileged mothers might be considered to have the best odds for combining career and work commitment with motherhood. Thus, we argue that the approach emphasizing practical constraints does not sufficiently account for the withdrawal from high-commitment careers among these female professionals. Nevertheless, we are not content with the claim of Preference Theory that this shift in commitment is merely a matter of 'not-so-dedicated' women discovering their 'genuine' preferences. Rather, in order to understand why and how this shift occurs, we explore the culturally constructed rationalities and schemas of both work and family devotions. We specifically examine the circumstances, mechanisms and steps in a seemingly individual process of making the shift in commitment from a promising career to a family-friendly job. Moreover, the analysis demonstrates how generous parental leave arrangements designed to enhance gender equality and work-family balance by simply reducing practical constraints may have limited--or even counterproductive--impact within high-commitment occupations where the 'irreplaceability' of workers is taken for granted. Our findings indicate that unless the culturally (re)produced discourses, demands and expectations of both work and family are exposed and challenged, even intentionally gender neutral work-family policies will continue to facilitate mothers' career withdrawals, expressed as modified individual preferences.

Not every child has been so fortunate. I am going to share an editorial now about mothers who also give a full measure of devotion to their maternal charges. The writer makes a great case for nurturing, despite what an Australian feminist wrote to the contrary.

Le Marquand first denigrates and patronizes stay-at-home mothers by talking about Play-Doh, nappies and play groups. Next, she tries to pay homage to the importance of parenting and the needs of children and makes much hay about taxes and benefits.

Attachment has a hormonal base (it is driven by oxytocin), and is critical to the security of children and grown-ups alike. I wrote about it in both my books, Bringing Up Boys and Bringing Up Girls. It is highly relevant to both mothers and daughters and, in a different way, to mothers and sons. These are my written words. Please take them seriously:

It has been demonstrated that the failure of mothers and babies to attach is linked directly to physical and mental illnesses of all types. The reason is apparent. If a child is regularly overwhelmed by negative feelings and stressful circumstances, her inability to cope in infancy becomes a lifelong pattern. The link between maternal attachment and poor health is not merely theoretical. It is a reality.2

For girls, dads play a unique role. The attachment is no less vital, but it is different. Most parents are aware that boys need their fathers and girls are dependent on their mothers. It is equally important to know, however, that the cross-sexual relationship is also of inestimable significance. Girls need their fathers as much as boys do, but for different reasons.

The establishment of attachment between generations is made much more difficult for boys and for girls because of dramatic changes in the culture in recent years. Before the Industrial Revolution, fathers and mothers worked side by side on farms or in family-owned businesses. They raised their children together, and except for men in the military or those who sailed the seas, most dads lived and worked close to home. For example, we read in Mark 6:3 that Jesus was a carpenter, a trade obviously learned from his earthly father as a child (see Matthew 13:55). We assume his mother, Mary, was a full-time homemaker living nearby. That family structure is now rarely seen. Only in the last one hundred years have fathers left home all day to make a living. Now, approximately 51 percent of mothers are also employed full-time in the workforce.5

The trend, it would appear, is moving toward more women staying home. According to a Pew Research Center survey of 2,000 women conducted in 2007, only one in five (21 percent) of employed mothers with children under seventeen said full-time work is the ideal situation for them. That is down from 32 percent in 1997. Sixty percent of these moms said part-time work would be their ideal, compared to 48 percent in 1997. One in five (19 percent) said they would rather not be employed outside the home at all. Stated another way, 79 percent of working mothers of minor children would rather not be employed full-time.11

On the other side of the ledger, only 16 percent of stay-at-home mothers with minor children said their ideal situation would be full-time employment, down from 24 percent in 1997. Forty-eight percent of these stay-at-home moms said not working outside the home would be the ideal situation.12 In 2007, only 16 percent of mothers with children under five thought it would be ideal to work full-time, down from 31 percent in 1997.13

In summary, the majority of stay-at-home mothers are content with their decision not to enter or reenter the workforce, and those who are employed full-time say they would prefer to work less or not at all. These preferences are not widely reported in the mainstream media, but they reveal something significant about mothers. Most of them work outside the home because they feel they must, and the younger their children are, the more they yearn to stay home. What a shame it is that women who desperately want to stay at home with their babies do not have the opportunity to do so.

It comes down to this: kids thrive in an environment of order, vigilance, and close supervision, which is very difficult to provide by those who come home every night exhausted, distracted, and frazzled. The question that every family raising small children must answer is one of priorities: where is the best place for a mom to invest her time? All things being equal, I recommend that mothers who do have an option consider the welfare of their children first, especially when they are young.

St. Basil stated, "As the sun surpasses all the stars in lustre, so the sorrows of Mary surpass all the tortures of the martyrs."This 68 page booklet includes meditations on the meaning and devotion of Our Lady of Sorrows, prayers, litany and meditations of the mysteries of the Sorrowful Rosary.

I recently took an informal poll of other young, believing moms to see if they had any tips to offer on this topic. I very quickly realized that we could all relate. We sincerely want to make time for devotions, and yet the realities of parenting young children, tending our marriages, taking care of our homes and, for some, juggling careers outside the home, seem to completely fill our day.

Here are specially-chosen devotional entries for each day of the year from the best of Daily Guideposts. With warmth, honesty, and even a bit of humor, these reflections look at all the aspects of a mother's life -- at home, on sports sidelines, as a provider, teacher, or comforter -- through the eyes of faith.

Each informal devotion contains a short Scripture, a true anecdote that illustrates the ways God speaks to mothers through the ordinary events of life, and a brief prayer to help direct the reader's own prayers. It all helps put the day's message to work in a mother's busy life.

Engage with Scripture and our videos through devotionals created for individual or small group study. Start by jumping into our online devotional on Luke and Acts. Download the Luke-Acts mom devotional PDF for free here! 041b061a72


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