Category Archives: motherhood

How to Calm the Seas Like Jesus – Cristine’s Story

Are You in This Kind of Storm?

“Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. (Jonah 1:13, NIV)”


     Jesus calmed the seas by merely speaking to them. Did you know that you and I at times have the power to do the same? Perhaps not by speaking to the storm, but by actions consistent with God’s mission for our lives.

     Even since we were courting, Cristine approached the thought motherhood with great trepidation and insecurity. I’ve always known her capability to be an outstanding mom. But, I’m her husband, it’s hard for her to take my word for it when the soundtrack of doubt in her head is so loud, vivid and familiar. So, between work, projects, and a wide variety of other ventures, she’s done her best to hold the calling of motherhood at arm’s length, even borrowing a few arms to lengthen the distance.

     I’ve tried pretty successfully to remain an objective observer as she’s wrestled with God over His call for her to not only be a mom, but a stay at home and (gasp!) homeschooling mom. As she comments below – “I’m not the academic in the family! You’re [Aarron] always correcting my grammar, punctuation, and spelling and I HATE math! And, God wants me to unleash that on our children?” 

     I’d just shake my head, remind her that if we ever need to put them on a bus and send them to public school, I’ll be there with her to wave and take pictures of their first day(s), and I’ll support her decision. “Don’t drag me into a fight between you and God. If you’re wrestling with Him on this, I’m not getting in the middle of the brawl. I’d rather not have a busted hip like Jacob… mmkay?”

     As she’s played Jonah [I’ve privately nicknamed her “Jonette”] running from God’s call, He has done many things to encourage her forward, trap her in the belly of a fish, and teach her how beautiful and precious she is to Him and how vital her calling to motherhood and homeschooling is. Of all the ways men try to “fix” their wives, God has kept me from forcing His hand and His will and He’s turned out to be far better at “being God” with her in this area. Glory to Him.


     Below, are a few realizations she’s come to with a touch of my own commentary along the way. She’s had great opportunity as God has changed her perspective, to watch others fall and fail at the tasks of motherhood but knows He is leading them, and her, to win at the calling of motherhood. Through these observations and much self reflection and prayer, here’s where she’s landed for now on encouraging those who’ve struggled likewise in their calling, their work, and storms they’ve brought on themselves.

Cristine’s Point of View:
     If we excel at everything under the sun from reaching our educational goals to going after those great careers to mastering sports to exercising until we reach that awesome fit body, etc, etc- but neglect our most important roles as Godly wives & mothers, we lose in this thing called life. It is my belief that if wife and mother do not come first, we will not reach all God has for us here on earth because we have rejected the very gifts He gave us to care for in the first place as HIS number one priority. We become Jonah sleeping through the storm – comfortable, oblivious, and disengaged from fulfilling our calling.

     Can we have it all? Possibly… in time. Is this a salvation thing, an issue of top theological importance? No. Will we still receive reward in Heaven for what we did do for the Lord while here on earth. But, that’s not what this is about. Paul prays for the Ephesian church that they may “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” While others may think becoming mature in their walk with the Lord means taking classes to learn more about the Bible or attending conferences to learn life application or going to retreats to learn your identity in Christ, etc, (And yes, while all of those things are important & have there place) I contend that the maturation process really doesn’t take off in those places. They’re catalysts, but not the meat and potatoes of the faith walk.

My Boat to Tarshish
     For me, it’s happened in the home. It has happened in suffering, in failing daily & in being put in situations where, had the Lord Himself not shown up, I would not have been able to go on that day. This is where muscles of faith are shredded to grow stronger, where intimacy with Jesus is front & center, where prayer is not a pretty rendition of some memorized Bible passage – rather more of a screaming out to God in anger or just barely being able to whisper the Name Jesus because of mere exhaustion. 
 
     I ran from this type of growth. “One way to Tarshish, please… Below third class with a pillow.”

     I tried to go back out & “work in the ministry full time”, get a part-time job, spend a lot of time out with my girlfriends, the list goes on- ALL in order to be away, (to “run away” is more like it). I was trying to outrun the very thing my Divine Creator designed me for in life! My husband even renamed me “Jonette” after Jonah in the Bible! I was too afraid of letting my husband down, letting my children down & most of all- letting God down! Ever been there?

     Through a series of circumstances that continued to bring me to broken places, humble me & soften my heart toward God & my relationships with others- my Heavenly Father grew me up in Him tremendously. He showed me (& continues to show me) how it’s impossible to “let Him down” if I have accepted His Son Jesus because “He will never leave us nor forsake us”. Then the Spirit did His work in me so I would have the God-confidence to walk out my calling in the first place. 

     So here I am. Pleading with the other “Jonettes” out there… 

     Scripture urges us to “to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God (Titus 2:4-5).” If something you are involved in causes you to 

  • not be an available “helpmeet” to your husband 
  • neglect your children in the areas of nurturing & training them up in the Lord and/or 
  • run from what God called you to 
  • or live counter to Titus 2:4-5

     … then, stop. Pray. Reprioritize. And finally, set on the True North course the Spirit is leading you towards! 

     Nothing the men on deck did could calm the storm God had ordained in Jonah chapter 1. Because on that boat was a man running from God’s call on His life (or at least, a direct order for that specific season of his life!) No amount of good education, time spent with others outside your family, time serving in church/in service projects, etc will EVER replace the important role of protecting our husband’s hearts & shepherding our children in this world! 

     Listen, as a woman who has done it all backwards once upon a time, trust me: there are consequences to not doing things God’s way & in God’s timing. Jonah’s disobedience impacted the sailors, their families’ livelihood, and the economy of the city where that ship was bound. You can lose those very ones the Lord entrusted to your care and make a far reaching negative impact! Been there. Done that. 

    BUT… I have also been given an opportunity now (many an opportunities, actually) through Christ’s redeeming power & in God’s loving kindness to follow the way that is best for me because it’s my Abba Father’s way. His plan will 

  1. ALWAYS work out for our good & 
  2. ALWAYS turn out for His Glory! 

Cristine’s Prayer:
     Ladies, Daughters of the Most High God, Women after God’s own ♥: 
“Let us be good stewards over the souls with which we’ve been entrusted before any other activity or duty beckons our time, strength & giftings. Almighty God, this is Your master plan for us as wives & mothers. Scripture makes it clear. Experiences vouch for that as well. But more than those two things, Daddy, You have shown me and others how to respond in love & thankfulness of heart & obedience because of Your amazing love given to us through Jesus. Bless us and keep us in Your perfect will.

     Father, if all we do is supposed to point back to Your glory, then why do we so easily allow, or even run after distractions that take us away from the very thing that will do just that? Let us then receive the most high calling a woman can be given in this life as wife & mother with the joy that Jesus died to give us, by trusting in the Holy Spirit for the instruction needed for the mission & embracing God’s love for us so we can then shower our husbands & children with that same love!!!”

Amen!

     So, when the seas are raging – don’t apply half measures, alternate routes, and God’s-will-lite to your course of action. Return to what you know God has called you to in the first place, eliminating all other distractions. Calm seas are sure to follow. At least for a time.

God bless and Monday Morning Momentum to you all.

AP