“Please secure your own oxygen mask first.”
Virtually every time I hear a flight attendant voice those words, I have one thought: Could any piece of advice be harder for a Mom to follow?
As intentional Moms, our first inclination is to care for others. So what happens when Mommas care and care and care for everyone else, without first breathing in the help they need?
WHAT THE AIRLINES KNOW
At high altitudes, when the cabin pressure changes, you have mere seconds before you lose rational thought. If you don’t put your oxygen mask on first, the airlines know you’ll pass out before you can effectively help someone else and yourself, possibly leading to brain damage and even death. Breathing in oxygen keeps you awake and alert to best do what needs to be done.
At the risk of stating the obvious, we Mommas cannot appropriately love/help/care for/guide someone else if we are passed out from lack of oxygen. But...in everyday life, we sure try, don’t we? Not literally, of course, but figuratively.
All. The. Time.
Let’s be honest...being a woman can be exhaaaaaaaaaausting. Being a woman AND a great Mom? That requires some seriously Supernatural oxygen.
Just as physically breathing oxygen is essential for life, spiritually breathing is critical to best navigate it. I’m not talking about taking a quick hit, read a Bible verse and you’re good to go kind of spiritual breath. Rather, deeply breathing in God’s pure presence and all the life preserving, energizing, soul sustaining, sanity saving strength and perspective that entails.
How do you do that in the midst of your everyday Momma life?
There is no yellow mask that magically drops down in front of you with everything you need when you’re worn slick and your little people are clinging to you with snot crusted faces and ear infections that have stolen all hope of them sleeping for even four hours consecutively at night. However, we can decorate our own world with reminders that God has everything we need.
Favorite Playlist of Worship Music — Keep this handy for use while driving, exercising, cooking, cleaning, waiting, running errands, etc. The key is to not listen absentmindedly, but to focus on the words and voice them back to God.
Encouraging Podcasts for Moms — These can also help refocus you on the things of God while doing any of the above activities. Among the many you might try, check out Risen Motherhood or the God-Centered Mom Podcast. For women in general, try Journeywomen or our own Heather McAnear’s Uniquely Beautiful Stories.
Weekly Small Group Bible Study or Discipleship — Even if you can’t finish all the homework, these drive you to the Word, encourage you spiritually with group teaching and spiritual discussion, and (beautiful bonus) ensure you are surrounded by other faith-driven women.
Scripture Verses Posted Where You’ll See Them — Strategically placed Bible verses reminding you of who God says He is and what He says He’ll do, as well as of who He says you are and what He says you can do through Him can help reset your perspective throughout the day. Think of where you look everyday and place some God-breathed reminders there—next to the rocking chair in the nursery, on the lock screen of your phone, your bathroom mirror, next to the soap dispenser by your sink, in the laundry room, on your car dashboard. Say those verses slowly when you see them and let the truth of them fill you.
Audio Bible Versions — These are great to listen to when in the pick up line or waiting for someone’s dance lesson or ball practice to end. Give apps like YouVersion the front and center screen space on your phone and limit the mindless Social Media scrolling problem that often just makes you feel less than you did before you started viewing everyone’s best life versions.
Prayer Prompts via Setting Reminders on Your Phone — These remind me to pray for what I might otherwise forget. You might prefer a prayer calendar or notebook placed where you’ll regularly see it. Just find something that reminds you to pray! You can also make a habit of praying while you’re doing other things not requiring your brainpower, like folding clothes or walking on a treadmill, etc..
The truth is, we Mommas can’t afford to not regularly breathe in the truth of who God is and who we aren’t, of what He can do, and what He says we can do through Him. We need to breathe in these reminders all day long. Let’s quit trying to be God and let Him fill us with continual reminders of His omnipresence when we can’t be all things to all people. Let’s decorate our world with reminders of Him for a multitude of worthy reasons, not the least of which is to be filled with what we need to best care for those He is sharing with us.
Meet the Author!
Bible teacher, author, inspirational speaker and disciple-maker, Vickey Banks is passionate about helping women connect the dots between God’s Word and their everyday lives. She loves serving as Women’s Ministry Director at Council Road, celebrating her people, playing with her puppy and getting lost in a good story.