Professional Mom, Patti McDonald here to bring encouragement and inspiration to moms and caregivers.
My topic today is the 23rd Psalm from the Bible. This usually comes up at funerals and that’s not a bad thing, however, have you ever stopped to meditate on the serene comfort of this passage? “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” This is only the first verse, of course, but think about it. The very God of the Universe is our Shepherd.
You must know a little bit about sheep to understand this passage fully. Back in the day, (even in modern times in some countries,) the shepherd looked after his sheep as full guardian of their being. He rested in the exact place that the “enemies” could enter to protect them, and this also kept the flock from wandering. According to Max Lucado, “Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms,” the flock can’t even sleep without the preparation and help of the Shepherd. Even for them to have green pastures, the shepherd had to find and prepare the best fields, removing rocks and briars that would hurt them. Sheep must be fed, and all manner of their needs met for them to rest. We need our Shepherd for this as well.
When the Psalmist speaks of green pastures, still waters and a robust table set “in the presence of my enemies,” he is telling the great care that God has for us. When we are disturbed, hungry or sick, our Shepherd moves in to woo us to himself. He is our comfort. He is our all.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” John 10: 27.
I choose to be a Sheep with Attitude because I choose to follow my Shepherd, Jesus. The world will have you follow the crowd to the trucks headed to the slaughter. Sheep have a way of following the leader, much to their detriment, sometimes. I am choosing Who to follow. I choose the Shepherd who died in my place. He will take care of me, no matter what!
Come with me and follow Jesus, you will know the care of THE GOOD SHEPHERD FOREVER. “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND KNOW MY SHEEP, AND AM KNOWN OF MINE” John 10:14
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth
Me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s
Sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of
The shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou
Art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the
Presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head
With oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
The days of my life; and I will dwell in the house
Of the Lord forever.
*ARTWORK COPY BY SARAH MCDONALD PRICE
While everyone is getting on the advice bandwagon, wouldn’t Professional Mom have to get out there and provide some insight and opinion? Of course!
My inspiration for you today is to Trust God. Trusting God every day is a great mind-set. Through good times and bad, God has been there for us. History tells stories of terrible hardships that we as a people have weathered and by the mercy of God, people pull through. Perhaps things will change, perhaps our schedules will be modified in some way that will never be restored, however, when there is nothing else you can do, Trust God.
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3: 5 & 6
Ironically, but purposely, the next verses speak of your health, wellbeing and substance (wealth,) being impacted positively when we trust God.
You may say, I’m trusting God and my family is being negatively impacted by the current situation with the Coronavirus. If you are familiar with the Bible, you may have read the book of Job. Yes, he was the most horrid example of a person trusting the Living God and being negatively impacted. He never stopped trusting the One True God and was restored graciously in the end.
So, let me ask you something. Have you given all you have to God; all you have or ever will have? This is no easy question to answer. This is a test, the test that will show your faith in Jesus Christ. The current events are “out of our control.” God knows. God knows.
If you don’t know God through Jesus Christ and His great sacrifice for our sin, it would be a good time to trust Him. It’s very simple but takes a deliberate act of your will. Trust God.
If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I say to you now, Trust God. Should we be complacent and do nothing, well no. However, first, we must pray, get our priorities straight. I know I’m used to getting my own way, I’m confessing that as I write this. It’s God’s way, as I pray, I am asking God what I should do to help with this national dilemma.
Although it pains me for all the “shutdowns,” especially the churches and schools, I am so proud of the efforts of our pastors, leaders and teachers for jumping in with alternatives to gathering. We must continue to “gather together and pray corporately (virtually if necessary).”
I don’t think it’s an accident for God’s Word to say to us, “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Pray with your children, pray with your friends on Social Media and by phone, lift up those who are ill or in need and pray for our national leaders to have wisdom in this extraordinary time.
We are on the cusp of a revival. If we pray, God will hear. I cannot stress this enough. Trust God today and he will heal our nation.
Professional Mom (Patti McDonald)
When Joe and I married, I didn’t ask him if he believed in Santa Claus or if he would want to teach our future children about him. But I did ask him if he believed in Jesus.
At the time, I was not as close to my Savior as I should have been, however, within a year of marriage, I began to miss going to church and that started a whole realization that Jesus is Lord of ALL. I had even said (didn’t tell Joe) that I didn’t want to have children, but this “opening all the closets of my heart” started a whole new direction in my life. I gave my whole heart to Jesus and asked Him what HE wanted for my life.
The trajectory of my life changed immediately as all my goals and deepest wants were about being pleasing to God. Within a few months, I was impressed by the Holy Spirit to quit my job with a local endodontist, get off birth control pills and in what I now call, getting ready for God’s plan, began to get more involved in Bible Studies, church events, and used my home time to listen to radio programs with awesome Bible scholars like J. Vernon McGee, and others who prepared me for the road ahead.
It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
My darling mom died two years ago. I miss her every day. I don’t think anything quite prepares you for saying goodbye to your mom. After her funeral in Scotland, I stayed several days to help my sister, Frances, go through Mom’s things. One treasure I brought home was the little Bible that always sat by her bed. She’d received it in December of 1942, when she was 13 years old. She wrote on one of the blank pages, “Grace is undeserved favor. It is love stooping.”
We spent several hours going through Mom’s big red box of family photographs. “Did you really mean to have purple hair?” my sister asked with a smile, holding up a photo that showed one of my more creative choices. “Yes,” I said, grinning back. “Sadly, that was intentional.”
I paused on a photograph from the day I graduated from seminary. I remember that day so well. I was 21 years old. My hair in that season was dark and very short. I had to have most of it cut off after a disastrous experiment with a perm. I looked at my smiling face, confident I would now go out and change the world for Jesus. I remember my mom saying to me that day: “God began this good work in you, Sheila, and He will continue His work until you see Him face-to-face.” I wish I’d listened to those words more carefully. I wish I’d understood the liberating truth that God is the one who begins His work in us, and He will complete it. I thought it was up to me.
8 Habits That Kill Your Metabolism (an article modified from My Fitness Pal)
I receive health and fitness emails regularly from multiple sources. How many of you grow weary and poor from the promises of this product or this diet that will finally get your body to respond miraculously and shed those mid-life crisis pounds that simply will not come off.
A My Fitness Pal email caught my attention today entitled “8 Habits That Kill Your Metabolism.” Although more recently I have been deleting and unsubscribing, I decided to read the 8 reasons and counter with my OWN 8 habits that I happen to know are inhibiting my weight loss. Let’s see which one you agree with more and let me know if you have your own ideas.
My Fitness Pal list (without descriptions) is as follows:
Eating the wrong breakfast
Sitting too much
Neglecting strength training
Not getting enough protein
Not getting enough sleep
Not drinking enough water
I’m a horrible neighbor. Well, I do wave when I pass someone out in their yard but gone are the days when parents sat outside as their children played, visited and even shared a glass of lemonade or iced tea. I can’t blame the culture but think about it, you must hurry home to fix supper or you have a project to work on. I know that’s been my excuse for years. There were times the power went out or a storm blew down some trees, then we saw the neighbors, but I’m extremely guilty of running into the house and doing my thing.
I don’t really remember what I was looking for, but the kitchen drawer was the spot I chose to start. Everyone has “that drawer” in the kitchen, be honest, everything paper and otherwise that you have saved is there. Addresses, recipes, pens, birthday candles, I could go on and on. As it turns out I found several recipes, some I had made before and some not. I picked three and decided to rustle up all the ingredients and make them.
After a hundred-dollar trip to the grocery store, I was ready to proceed. My son and his family were on the way home from a trip and I wanted to prepare a great meal, so I chose three out of the ordinary (for me) recipes to make. I will share these recipes at the end of this post.
There is a certain significance to these recipes in that my mother-in-law, Kathleen McDonald, who had a huge impact on my cooking and all-around housekeeping skills, wrote one of these recipes with her own hand. She’s been in Heaven for about ten years now, so it was particularly moving for me find this recipe. That was the Broccoli Salad. The Four Layer Pie, our all-time fave, was another recipe, although written by me, but was another family recipe I got from Grandma.
She was what I would call a precise cook. As I put these recipes together, I was reminded of her special and neat way she cooked, especially the Four Layer Pie, because you could see the layers both defined and beautiful. The Broccoli Salad was cut in tiny little pieces, again, precise and beautiful to behold. My daughter pointed this out when we ate mine, but, oh well, it’s me. As I was pressing the crust into the pan for the pie, and thinking of Grandma McDonald, I sized my cooking skills up as too good for “Worst Cooks in America,” yet not good enough for “Chopped.” Funny what you think about when you’re cooking.
That to-do list God has for you today most certainly includes prayer. And you can’t go wrong using the mnemonic device ACTS: Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication.
The word “adoration” reminds us that God is worthy of praise and his awesomeness should bring us to our knees. He’s not just more magnificent than the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, he is the Creator of those natural wonders. If we start our prayers with humble adoration to a glorious God, we’re headed in the right direction.
Confession breaks the hold of sin in our lives so we can pray from a clean slate. God already knows where we fall short of his glory, but doing our own personal inventory will surely lead to an attitude of repentance. Confessing our sins begins the process of breaking the pattern of sin. The exciting news is that when we come to God for forgiveness, he has already forgotten our sins, casting them away “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).Continue reading
5 Tips to Help Moms Cope with Stress
Even with a clear game plan in mind, raising kids properly is one of life’s richest challenges. It is not uncommon for a mother, particularly, to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of her parental assignment. In many homes, she is the primary protector for each child’s health, education, intellect, personality, character, and emotional stability. As such, she must serve as physician, nurse, psychologist, teacher, minister, cook, and policeman. Since in many cases she is with the children longer each day than her husband, she is the chief disciplinarian and main giver of security and love.
The reality is that she and her husband will not know whether or not she is handling these matters properly until it is too late to change her methodology. Furthermore, mom’s responsibilities extend far beyond her children. She must also meet her obligations to her husband, her church, her relatives, her friends, and often times, her employer. Each of these areas demands her best effort, and the conscientious mother often finds herself racing through the day in a breathless attempt to be all things to all people.
Order The Gospel Parade Today!
"The Gospel Parade!" Second printing!
A great way to share the Gospel with your children
and grandchildren. A "read to" or read on their own,
target audience is 6-10, but all ages will enjoy this!
The first edition was published in 2011, with just a few changes in the pictures, this is the same story that thrilled all of our readers!
Our friends at "Wee Can Know" even made shoebox floats of this beautiful parade (pictures in blog post!) Available now in
hardbound and softbound and at a reduced price!
Order yours today! Search "The Gospel Parade."
***ATTENTION: Our Sunset calendar will be available on LULU.com only after April 30, 2021! Get yours today!
NEW for 2021! Sunsets on Mobile Bay Calendar!!! Order our 10th Anniversary Edition today for 2021!
Featuring the awesome photography of local artist, Tommie Peterson. Tommie has delivered on the most fantastic photos yet! This is Volume X and if you've been getting one every year, you won't be disappointed! Lovely views of the Mobile, Alabama skyline with the most gorgeous sunsets ever! Every year, this calendar is produced with the proceeds (after printing costs) donated to Joe McDonald Ministry. This is a ministry that is telling the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Order today so you'll have your calendar on January 1!!! These make awesome Christmas gifts as well, but you need to order NOW!
Be sure to use a LULU.com discount code, this will not affect the proceeds!
For more info about Joe McDonald Ministry, visit joemcdonaldministry.org
Happy Mother's Day 2021
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