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From Guilt to Goodness - Encouragement Café - October 5, 2016

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From Guilt to Goodness
By Luann Prater
Friday, September 23, 2016

She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.  Proverbs 31:18 NIV

A tear spilled down her cheek.  She desperately hoped I'd stay, but bills had to be paid.  My baby girl begged me not to go.  She didn't want daycare, she wanted mommy care. 

As I walked to the car, another layer of guilt joined forces with shame and regret.  These guys seemed to be regular passengers on my way to work.

Without a doubt, being a single mom of three was the toughest time in my life.  At night, after dinner and baths and bedtime stories, I often curled up under my layers and cried. 

I remember the first time reading the chapter about the virtuous woman, in Proverbs 31.  I was overwhelmed.  She seemed so together, and I, well, I was not. 

Yet, God kept compelling me to come sit with her for a bit.  Honestly, she didn't seem like someone who would 'get me,' you know?  He wanted me to understand where she was and how she got there.

And there it was choice words at the end of this passage that became the beginning of my passage to understanding.

A woman who fears The Lord is to be praised.

Put God first.

And from there her focus shifted to others.

My passage to understanding life began by understanding these first steps.  Up to this point, my focus was on 'feelings', yet when I grasped the importance of getting to know the Lord, the other pieces of my life made more sense. 

He began to teach me how to grow.  He assured me that this seemingly perfect woman in Proverbs 31 did not learn these wise lessons overnight, and neither would I.

He taught her the same way He will teach us.  Exchanging guilt for goodness and turning tears into laughter.

Twenty four years after that daycare experience, I received an email from my beautiful baby girl. 

Mom, we never doubted your love for us for a second.  Watching you persevere through the tough times made us not only stronger in our resolve, but in our faith as well.  Thanks for showing us how to become.

If mommy guilt is hitching a ride, stop the car.  Let God in.

When guilt begins to creep into your thoughts, stop.  Shout out loud, 2 Corinthians 10:5,

Take captive this thought and hold it obedient to You Jesus.

Lord, You know there are many who need to work.  They need to make their trading profitable and provide for their families.  Yet, as moms we know the most important job You've given us is to raise our children to know and love You.  Will You teach us one tear at a time how to do that? Help us become all You intended. In Jesus' name, amen.

© 2016 by Luann Prater All rights reserved.

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