Can I Do It All Alone?
May 14, 2006
Alba Lucia Thomas
Montgomery United Methodist Church
It is really a privilege to share this message with you and to explore together our journey as mothers. Please don't you feel left out if you are NOT a mother. I think that all of us can benefit because we all are part of God's family and we all are called to take care of someone.
I think one of the most difficult jobs that we ever have to face is that of motherhood. It really is a privilege to be part of molding another human being to serve and honor our Lord.
We can all think of how influential our own mothers are or were in our own lives. They have provided for such vital elements as security, trust, companion, guidance and most of all love.
I think of my own mother and see her as my best friend. She was tough at times and she needed to be. I did not like it at the time but she was doing her job. She was wise in guiding me all through my childhood and into adolescence. Now that I am married and became a mother myself, I recognize the great work she did and have learned from her. I can also see her struggles and I have become much more forgiving of her mistakes. I see how hard it was for her.
For the mothers who have departed and are no longer with us, let's celebrate the happy moments and take the time to thank them for the legacy they left in our lives. We cherished their love and their work in our lives and give thanks to our Lord for such a gift, as mothers!
Moving forward, I ask my self, what is my main responsibility as a mother? If I were to put an ad in the newspaper for say a secretary, or an accountant, or name any job. What kind of responsibilities would I have? How would I be measured by? How would I know the job was well done?
In the same realm, I ask the same question about my main job at this time in my life. What are my major responsibilities, who is my mentor, how do I know I am doing a good job?
What about my responsibilities?
I whole heartily believe that our most important job is to teach our children about our Lord and to take them to Jesus, our Shepherd. If we can accomplish this task, I really think that we have succeeded in our ministry. All we can do is to plant the seed of love from God into our children's hearts!
But how do we do it?
Well let's look up our readings for today, John 15-5:
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus compares His relationship with His people to the relationship of the vine to its branches. Just as the branches draw their life and sustenance from the vine, so do we also need to draw all our life and sustenance from Jesus. He further tells us that if we abide or live by his word He will make us fruitful. He is the one who provides us with strength, joy, patience, courage, wisdom, and much love.
How do we impart this to our children?
Let me suggest 3 principles to accomplish this:
The first principle is that we must totally depend on Him, on Jesus. How do we do this? I encourage each one of us to pray every day, preferably in the morning by reading His word and by listening to what he has to tell us. It is very natural for us to tell Him what we need or what we think our children need. But once we ask our Lord for what we think they need, we should ask the Lord, what is it that He has in mind for them. He knows best! As much as we think we know it all, at least some times I feel that way with regard to my kids, and let's face it my husband too, I need to remind myself that is He who knows best and has all the wisdom!
The second principle is to talk and witness to my kids about God and His unconditionally love.
Let's us go to the Old Testament and read Deuteronomy 6:5-7:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
This last verse was the first thing that came to my heart when I was asked to provide today's sermon. It is a verse that lives in my heart constantly and I feel very strongly that that is what our Lord wants us take with us as we celebrate this day and acknowledge the legacy He wants us to leave to our next generation. Our children and their children and their children's children.
How do we this? I think it is very simple. Just model to our kids the character traits that the Lord wants in all of us. Actions speak louder than words. The way we act, the way we speak, the way we react to life's adversities, the things we give priority to?
Do they see us reading the Bible? Do they see us praying? Do they see us choosing to come to our service on Sunday mornings? Do they see us being kind to people? Do they see us helping others? How about encouraging one another? All these actions speak louder than words...
And what about the traits that we all have and don't like about ourselves?
This is a great opportunity for us to also ask the Lord to help us mold ourselves in our weaknesses. It is ok to acknowledge our sins in front of our children, to ask for forgiveness when we lose our temper, when we yell, and when we are being unreasonable.
I know for me it is very important to talk to my kids when I loose my temper. I need to apologize to them. Esteban, my oldest son told me once, Mom you don't need to apologize because I will always forgive you. That was wonderful to hear but the truth of the matter is that I must ask for his forgiveness and also the Lord's. There is great peace and an opportunity to start all over again.
And my third principle is to just have fun and enjoy life and love one another!!
Let's remember that life is to be enjoyed. The Lord wants to have fun, to live content. As Pastor Tony mentioned last week, Jesus wants to be with us, to say yes to His love. When we have Jesus' love we can't help it but to radiate His love to other, to our spouses, to our children, to who ever needs it.
I truly believe, He is the source of it all and He loves us dearly and wants the best for us, for our children and for all the people we care about.
The question is how are we going to respond to His love, How can we mature in it and how can we leave this legacy to our children?
God loves you, don't forget that!