Last January, Amy’s Bible study group offered a j-term book club. Each group read a different Christian biography, and Amy chose George Mueller. She was so challenged and fascinated by Mueller’s prayer life, and the faith he employed, believing that God would give him the things he asked for.
Amy decided she wanted to have a real prayer life. So she began committing at least 45 minutes
a day to concentrated prayer. That was over a year ago! Each day, after Amy puts her younger kids down for a nap and settles the older kids, then she goes upstairs to her little couch, where she can be alone. On days that she’s going to be out in the afternoon, she gets up early to pray.
Amy prays for her husband, and the challenges he will face for the day. She prays for herself–that she will be a good wife and mother. She prays for her children to understand the Gospel. She prays for her church, her nation, her friends, and her neighbors. Sometimes, when she’s praying especially intensely about something, she gets on her knees to pray.
And Amy has seen God answering her prayers! After praying for some time that God would develop in her a quiet and gentle spirit, Amy began noticing herself become more even-keeled, which was helping her to be a better mom. Amy also began to realize that her life has no coincidences. One week, when Amy didn’t have diapers, her mom dropped some off. Amy had been praying that she would spend money the right way, and since the kids were eating more, their food was adding up. The money she didn’t have to spend on diapers would help with the extra food for that week.
It wasn’t as though God was being more faithful than he had in the past. Amy’s prayers were just helping her see it clearly for the first time.
Amy’s prayers also have helped her keep in mind the goals she and her husband have set for their family. Setting goals wasn’t the problem. Every year or so, Amy and her husband go away together, and talk through what they want for their family. But Amy noticed that life just takes over. By the time she drove her daughter to school, went grocery shopping, did laundry, made and served dinner, the day was done. She would fall into bed exhausted, only to repeat the process the next day.
Amy’s time with God has helped her keep her goals for her family in the forefront of her mind. One of her goals has been to help their kids reach out to others, and not be self focused. So when a woman from church called to see if Amy would like to serve, she saw this as an answer to prayer. Hearing about Amy’s goal to involve her kids in serving, the Salvation Army designed some opportunities for families to do together.
Amy’s kids have loved the chance to ring bells and serve breakfast. They have begun noticing when there’s a need and wanting to help. For instance, when Amy’s daughter saw someone holding a sign at a street corner, she asked, “Mom, how can we help them?”
When Amy and her husband moved several years ago, they decided that they wanted to plant their family in a city and be an outreach. So, when they had the opportunity to be ‘block captains’ for their street, they jumped on the chance. Every season, they do something as a family to serve their neighbors. In the fall they raked leaves and collected the piles neighbors had left for them to haul to the dump. At Christmas, they dropped off chocolate coated pretzels. They’re organizing a pot luck for the spring.
They’ve also been intentional about having neighbors into their home. Recently, Amy’s daughter said, “Mom, I really want our neighbors to become Christians.” This was something Amy had been praying for, too! Not just for her neighbors, but she had prayed that her daughter would develop a passion for the Gospel.
As Amy continues to bring her requests to God, she is also reminding herself of her hopes and goals. And then, God answers! Ideas that weren’t even on her radar come to mind, as creative ways to take practical steps toward her goals. And God is stirring up new desires in Amy, also. He’s changing Amy, and she’s changing the world.
PS. I love the fact that Amy was so impacted by a biography. Just think if George Meuller had been too reluctant to share what God was doing in and through him. None of us would have opportunity to be challenged and encouraged by his great faith!
That’s the spirit of this ‘Exceptional Mom’ series. It has a domino effect! Won’t you nominate another mom, who is living out her faith in an exceptional way? We’d love to rejoice with her in what God is doing, and be challenged to let God work similarly in us!
Read how to ‘Nominate a Mom’ here.