Adversary or Advocate? Reaching the heart of your child

Severin Nilson

“The One who knew said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Happy, that is are those people who know that their spiritual power is small, that their creeds are imperfect, that their instruction concerning God and man is incomplete. Happy are those who know that they do not know all of the truth,. For only those who admit their spiritual poverty are willing to learn. Agnes Sanford, 1897-1982

Always with a basket of books by my comfy chair, I have been reading a wonderful book called Spiritual Classics, a renovare resource edited by Richard Foster and Emilie Griffin. I have read most of the books Foster has written.

What Agnes wrote so expresses my heart. How very grateful I am for the grace and patience of God as He leads me, his child. He is so committed to my own holiness and sanctification, but so wise and patient with me as I make progress. I am grateful He sees my heart. I try so hard, I fail so miserably and so often. Yet, He does not embarrass me or demean me, He simply walks this road with me, by my side. At every juncture, He teaches me something new. He opens my eyes to wisdom, love, an eternal perspective. I know I am needy and weak.  I listen to His voice because he has been trustworthy. He loves me. He leads me in truth. He is my Father.

*********************************************************************************

In the past couple of years here where I live, a couple of new laws have been enacted on the highways. We have had numerous police cars added to our stretch of the highway and at certain times of the year, we can see multiple cars stopped on the highway many places in a two mile stretch, to “help people start obeying the laws.”

One is that if one is driving on the freeway, he must move into the left lane as soon as possible if there is a police car or any other car on the side of the road. Last year, I was taking Joy and her friend to a meeting. As I eased onto the freeway, I just had a feeling in my heart that I needed to be careful. Sure enough, after a couple of miles, a police woman pulled me over. “You did not pull into the left lane when you passed my car on the side of the shoulder.”

I replied, “Did you see the truck pulling a trailer that was passing me on the left?” I asked. “Well, yes I did, but I just thought maybe you could have passed it. But I guess you couldn’t. Well, maybe I should check your insurance card in case it is delinquent.” I asked, “Are there quotas in our little town now for tickets?”

“Not exactly quotas, but as a new officer, I am expected to find about 4 people an hour who are breaking the law.”

By this time, my heart was beating quickly and I felt that she was going to find something wrong. But, all was in order, and I was allowed to go, without a ticket.

The next day, a friend was pulled over because the officer told him that he had stayed in the left lane 10 seconds too long as it was only to be a passing lane but not a traveling lane. This time, my friend was ticketed.

Just after that, Joy started to learn to drive. A policeman was hiding behind a road sign on the highway. “Oh, no, mom, it’s a policeman. I just know he is going to find something wrong with my driving if he looks hard enough. It makes me sick at my stomach just to see him because the police have been stopping so many people lately. I’m doing all I can just to drive in a straight line, going the right speed without causing a wreck, but I am not experienced so I know I will do something wrong. I wish there could just be grace for young drivers. I feel like giving you the wheel, because he scares me.”

This feeling of being afraid of those in authority is familiar to all of us. Now if we speed or drive wildly out of control or run a red light, we should feel guilty and are worthy of being caught. We are happy and so grateful  there are policeman to keep us protected and safe.

But when laws are many and there are police eyes everywhere looking for a person to make a mistake, we all feel relieved to get out of the eye view of such potential judgment. And so young children will feel–afraid of their authorities–their parents– if they are atwitter in their hearts just wondering what they will do wrong or how they will disappoint or how they will be punished.

The analogy is not perfect and please know that I am very appreciative of our police force. But I was trying to think of a story that would help parents understand the heart issues at stake in young children. They should be able to learn that they can trust their parents to help them, instruct them, take care of them, protect them, without the baggage of feeling that impending doom and dissatisfaction is hovering over them whenever their parents are near–just waiting for the paddle to hit one more time.

What I have observed is that when children just learn to obey when their parents are nearby, but their hearts have not been reached, then when their parents are out of sight or they are away from their parents, they feel they are free to do anything they wish, because their obedience is external, not internal. Just like all drivers will slow down if they see a police car, but may be much more likely to speed when they think no one is looking.

And so we must ask ourselves the question, “Does my child see me as an adversary, waiting for him to fail? To do something wrong? to sin? That I may be in his face every moment, reminding him of these failures and punishing every act of immaturity as well as sin?”

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

An advocate is someone who is for you, who defends you, who works for you.

Does my child see me as an advocate, one who comes along beside him, to love and correct gently, to keep him on the path of righteousness, to motivate him in his heart to holiness, to encourage when he is discouraged, to paint a vision for his life and to give him a heart to want to be righteous.

When we look at scripture from Genesis to Revelation, we see God, compelled by his love, to seek our best. He created the garden. He was walking in the garden in the middle of the day to have companionship with his creatures, Adam and Eve. He was even in the garden when they were tempted–he was not surprised when he could not find them as God is omnipresent. But still He came to them and said, “Where are you and what have you done?” though he knew it all. He provided them with garments for clothing. He made them a people, gave them a land, provided them with food and guided them by day and night in the desert.

Finally, He came to redeem, to restore, to love and serve and heal and then to give up His life. Jesus is the one who said, “I have longed to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks.”  His heart reflects that of a mother, to love, protect, pull close.

We hear from Jesus’ mouth over and over again, “Love one another. Serve one another. They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.”

And so we see the principle of servant- love. Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.

So, Jesus modeled servant, sacrificial, patient love. He gave his all to redeem his own.

Observing his leadership with his own disciples gave me much food for thought as a parent. (It is the theme of my book Ministry of Motherhood.) Though the disciples were a motley crew–they lived, laughed, loved, gave opinions. Peter was loud but failed in the moment of Jesus’ crucifixion, yet Jesus encouraged him, said, “I have prayed for you. After you return, strengthen the brethren.”

Thomas doubted. Others wanted first position. They were a normal group of men, immature, growing, learning, yet following Him with a willing heart. And it was these imperfect men, who so felt the love and compelling spirit of Jesus, that they were all willing to give their lives for his cause.

And so my goal is not to have “good” children, but passionate children, given to His kingdom and His cause–even as the disciples gave their lives for Jesus’ kingdom and cause.

And so, I must model Jesus’ kind of love. Giving of my life, instructing, correcting, certainly. But also modeling, laughing, living, sharing meals. Words of life–”Peter, you are the rock!” “Thomas, you are a man in whom there is no guile.” “Mary, your story will be told all over the world.”

And he washed their feet. It struck me one day as I was having a quiet time, he washed one hundred and twenty dirty toes on the very night he was going to live his life–much like a mother, giving baths, wiping noses, touching her children, blessing them. And so He became my model.

And so, as we ponder our role, we must decide what we will model to reach the hearts of our children. The specifics will come, but the heart has to be right from the beginning. Our culture wants our job to be easy, quick, just give me the formula and answer. But even as it cost Jesus, his time, effort, love, patience, life, so if we truly want to see our children become not just Christians who will make it into heaven, but mature believers who will have an impact on their world, then we must serve as Jesus served and become an advocate for our own.


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Comments

  1. Lori says

    I posted to FB but I couldn’t get the link for Jerrine to take me anywhere and I didn’t see her email on the page.

    And I thought the police example made perfect sense :)

    • Sandy Wagner says

      Thank you for offering to share your experiences through living with God. I would like Season’s of a Mother’s Heart. Thanks and God Bless

  2. says

    dearest Sally,

    thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and being that Titus 2 women!! to be willing to risk being a voice at this time and to teach His word to us! thank you for being that voice in my life for many years. :-)

    you are beyond precious to me, and i am SO very, very grateful for you~!

    blessings and hugs,
    marna
    (i saw you last in chicago and you took my hands and prayed with me (thank you dear sister)…my blog shows our little one we adopted from china that i had shared about) :-)

  3. says

    I posted a link yesterday, and planned to do so again today.

    I had a very similar conversation along the lines of being an advocate with another Mom in our homeschooling group. I was able to identify with her problem because it is also my own. There are just times when I see what could be better, needs to be different, isn’t enough, etc. Oh, how I want to reflect and mirror the heart of my Saviour to our children. This article speaks so clearly to my heart.

  4. Heidi says

    I posted this article to my facebook and would like to be entered in the book give away. Thank you for your ministry to mothers. As a mother of six, I am learning and leaning on the Lord everyday. Thank you for your ministry and encouragement. May the Lord bless you!

  5. Connie D. says

    Thank-you for this, I needed the reminder! My greatest pray for 2011 has been, not just to teach but to inspire.

  6. Kassi Johnson says

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and your ministry to mothers. As a first time, young mother to a 13 month old little boy, this series couldn’t be more timely for our family. This post about being an advocate for our children resonates so deeply with me, and I am so appreciative for your godly wisdom. I have recently been encouraged and challenged in reading The Mission of Motherhood and look forward to reading some of your other books in the near future. I will be sharing this series on discipline via facebook, twitter, and my personal blog. Thank you again and God Bless!

  7. Caryn Westdyk says

    I posted a link today on Facebook with this post. I tried to click the link to let your secretary know, but it didn’t work. Hopefully this will be enough to let you know that I posted it! Another great post on discipline Sally! Really excited to ready more.

  8. Alexis R. says

    What an exciting giveaway. I’ve read the Mission of Motherhood and it is at the top of my favorite book list. I’m so grateful for the encouragement and instruction I found in it’s pages and often refer back to it. I have two little girls, ages 4 and 23 months, and I love spending my days with them but I find that I often need direction and guidance. Your books and blog are providing that for me! I would love to have The Ministry of Motherhood to add to my library!

  9. Alexis R. says

    I’ve posted this awesome giveaway to my facebook page -http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=524838165.

  10. Christine says

    I am a mom of two sweet toddlers (2 1/2 and 1 1/2) and found your blog this week while serching for “a better way” . I would love to add your book “dancing with my father” to my collection (since I purchased Ministry and Mission for my Nook last night!!!:) Looking forward to reading more, and applying what I learn (From the scriptures and others) to raising my littles!

  11. Sherrylynne Harrington says

    This post really delivers what I am striving, failing and re-striving to reach and share. Of course, I want to share that gentle, ever-present love with my children in a way that I never received. I struggle against the old & known against the good & gracious new. AND I wish to share that with our monthly meeting of 8 families that gather in prayer and fellowship in a faith they recieve so little outside support in from their everyday lives and circle of contacts be it work, family and neighbors. My heart just aches to help each woman to become the woman, wife and mother God calls them to be and to worry less about their peers and the norm of choices made in the outside culture. I hope to read your Ministry on Motherhood book or whatever you think best fits this need.
    Love and gratitiude and from Minnesota!

  12. Tricia says

    Certainly I would pick Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I am currently reading Ministry of Motherhood and I absolutely love it! Thank you Sally for all you do to encourage mother’s.

    Tricia

  13. says

    The Mission of Motherhood, The Ministry of Motherhood, and Dancing with the Father are all on my list. If I had to choose just one, though, I would choose The Ministry of Motherhood.
    Larissa Holland – Homeschooling Mom to 4

  14. Ruth says

    I’m trying to re-read Ministry of Motherhood, and would really like to read Seasons of a Mother’s Heart! Thanks for your post today, we’re working on kind words and good attitudes (about school, siblings, listening to parents, etc) and am thankful for your reminders. And now I’m off to “share” this on Facebook…..

  15. Lillian Gimmelli says

    I would be blessed to receive and read Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I am homeschooling my two children and would love and need some encouragement. Thank you so much Sally by blessing me with your encouraging words and thoughts. Also, thank you for this wonderful opportunity!!!
    I had to share with all my friends and family your wonderful post………God Bless. Lillian

  16. Natasha Kallis says

    Thank you for your wisdom and willingness to share it through your writing. I am from South Africa and have stumbled across your blog (well now, I know that it wasn’t really an accident!) and I am so thankful to God as I have been rebuked, challenged, encouraged and given a beautiful “higher view” of the calling of being a mother. Just today I went to a bookstore and grabbed a copy of “the mission of motherhood.” I would so love to also read “the ministry of motherhood”. Thank you again, and may God continue to use you for His kingdom and His glory.
    Natasha Kallis
    Cape Town, RSA

  17. Suzanne says

    Hi Sally,

    I just recently attended your conference in Raliegh, NC and was so inspired. If I had my choice, I would love to receive The Mission of Motherhood to start a Bible study for our fellow MOPS mommies.
    Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Joy Suzanne Lincoln

  18. Melanie says

    I would love a copy of The Ministry of Motherhood. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Sally. Your words are an encouragement and a blessing!

  19. Cathy says

    I’ve recently discovered your blog through a friend and it has been wonderful. The idea of being an advocate and reaching out to your child’s heart instead of just simply having an “obedient” child is a wonderful new concept to me and I’m so glad God has shown it to me somewhat early in my parenting experience. I would love to read “Ministry of Motherhood”, sounds like just what I need!

  20. Jacqueline Charlier says

    Thank you for your words, I needed to hear them. I would love to have the mission of motherhood. Thank you !

  21. says

    Greetings from northern Colorado…Fort Collins!
    I would love any of your books. I have not read
    “Dancing With My Father Yet” so I think I will chose that one!
    Thank you for the chance to win!
    You are such a wonderful and encouraging mentor in my life!

    Blessings!

  22. Cheryl says

    Your blog is so encouraging to me. I am a homeschooling mom of two and I would be so blessed to receive Season’s of a Mother’s Heart. Thank you so much for investing in us women and for living out with your children what you share with us.

  23. says

    Words can’t say how much I appreciate you and your ministry. I went to your conference in Dallas last month and will be back next year–bringing lots of friends with me, I hope!

    I would like the Ministry of Motherhood!

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway
    ~Alisa

  24. says

    Sally, the past few posts have really been stirring around in my heart, mind, and soul the past few days. I feel God is really stretching me and teaching me about His heart for my children. Thank you so much for your godly wisdom and encouragement to mothers all over the world.

    I would love a copy of Dancing with my Father. Thanks! :)

  25. says

    I just recently found your blog and have been so inspired already. As a beginner parent (my little one is just about a year old) I have so much to learn! I’d love to read Ministry of Motherhood.

  26. Julia says

    Sally, you have blessed me beyond words lately. Your godly encouragement has really spurred me on lately (and we share a love for english things like Yorkshire tea!) I would love a copy of the book “the ministry of motherhood”. Thank you for the giveaway!

  27. says

    Well, I’ve already got “Mission of Motherhood” and “Ministry” just came in the mail today (my own stack of books next to my comfy chair has really been growing lately!). Either of the other two would be great, but “Dancing with My Father” sounds interesting and applicable across the board.
    Thanks for doing the giveaway! :)

  28. Sarah L. says

    Hi Sally!
    I shared this post through facebook! I would love to get a copy of your book The Ministry of Motherhood. I already own The Mission of Motherhood and I have read it through a few times!!
    Blessings,
    Sarah L.

  29. Becky says

    Thank you for allowing God to use you to speak to young moms. God is changing my heart through your words. I would love a copy of your Ministry of Motherhood book!

  30. Leslie says

    I would love a copy of Misson of Motherhood. I’m a first time mom to my dear five month old son and I could really use the encouragement and direction. Unfortunately, I don’t have any female family members to turn to and there aren’t many older moms in our church, so your blog has been such a blessing. Thank you for taking the time to minister to all of “us,” I certainly appreciate it:-) God’s Word is the ultimate guide, but it’s nice to have a seasoned mom offer practical advice in a gentle, non-critical way. Blessings to your family!

  31. Christine says

    Thank you for this article! I am fairly new to your website and so enjoy the information you provide. I posted on fb also. Either Ministry of Motherhood or Mission of Motherhood I would like to read.

  32. Stephanie says

    Wonderful post and thank you for the giveaway! Your blog has been such a blessing to me as a young mother. I would love to receive Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I have two little girls and we have just started homeschooling this past fall with the oldest. I am a homeschool graduate, so it’s been such an incredible journey to continue it on with my own children!

  33. says

    Thank you for the wonderful post and give away. I would love Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I already own four other books from your family & I love them all! While reading in the Wholehearted Child Book last night (I use it as a reference often) I noticed where you wrote that the children’s hearts are already turned to us from the beginning & it is a matter of us keeping and turning ours to them. It really struck me how important this is. They will not look anywhere else if I focus mine upon them. Sadly I have often focused mine on other things and can see the effects of it. Thank the Lord I am seeing this now while they are still young. Often I see my 13 year old wanting to be a part of my life and I am distracted by things of the world ( homeschool, church functions, computer) then she looks to someone or something else for attention and affirmation. I am determined to change this. She is so precious to me. Thank you again. Moms need this so very much. Always falling under His grace,
    Jocelyn

  34. Kathryn Coard says

    I would love a copy of Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I have very much enjoyed reading Educating the Wholehearted Child.

  35. Jessica Y says

    Oh Sally! I would love to get my hands on Season of a Mothers Heart. After a brief year in public school I will be back at homeschooling my 7, 6, 4 and 2 year olds next year. I feel that your book would indeed bless and encourage me on this path.

  36. says

    Sally, I would love to read Dancing with my Father. I read Seasons of a Mother’s Heart and the Whole Hearted Child some years ago when I was homeschooling.

  37. Jenn says

    I would love to win one of your books! I just bought Seasons of a Mother’s Heart at the Apologia Live Conf. in Baltimore and am loving it!! You are a inspiration Sally. Have a bless day :-)

  38. Laura McCarley says

    I love you and all your stuff, Sally! The only books of yours I don’t already own are: Seasons Of A Mother’s Heart and Educating the WholeHearted Child. blessings.

  39. Karen McClain says

    Hi there. My niece Kori Peterson whom you may know, highly recommended your blog to me to read, which I have newly subscribed to and have been enjoying them very much. She also told me about some of your books which she has really enjoyed. I had read the reviews on them and I would like to receive the book “Dancing With My Father” in your giveaway. God bless you!

  40. Jennifer says

    I tweeted this and facebooked it. I just found you through Courtney at WomenLivingWell and have spent hours reading your site. I love the message you are spreading., I’d love to enter the contest for the book.

  41. says

    I would love the “Ministry of Motherhood” as I embark on a year of serving in Haiti with my family. I’m praying about how to balance my role as a mother with missionary work. I love the premise of this book and I’ve heard great reviews of your writing!

  42. says

    Hi Sally! This is so great, thank you! I would love Seasons of a mother’s heart. I have all of the other ones. :=) I have posted to facebook and twitter and on my blog. Thanks again!

  43. Meg says

    I’m new to your blog just today as a result of seeing the giveaway posted on facebook. I’d be very interested in receiving either of these books: The Ministry of Motherhood, or Seasons of a Mother’s Heart.

    Thank you for your unique ministry to women. We need to encourage one another. Your ministry is a great example of Titus 2!

  44. Emily B. says

    I would love to enter the give-away.
    I have never given a book away before reading it, but, I did just that with The Mission of Motherhood as part of a baby shower gift, because of the high recommendations of godly sisters. It wasn’t in the budget to purchase two, so I’d love a a chance to win a copy for my personal library.

  45. says

    Sally,
    I would love any of these books as I have heard so great things about them. But, I would really love to read Ministry of Motherhood!!!!
    Thank you so much for this fun give away!
    Colleen

  46. says

    Thank you so much Sally, these posts have been so encouraging. I always felt that the Lord had given me a tender heart toward my children but have been told by so many in our homeschooling conservative circles that it was just “lazy” or “lax” parenting. This is like a balm to my husband and me.
    I’m so grateful to Courtney’s blog for introducing me to yours. :)
    I think I’d choose The Ministry of Motherhood – it’s tough to choose just one, I’m going to have to start collecting the entire library!

  47. Holly says

    I’d love a copy of Ministry of Motherhood and Mission of Motherhood. Thank you for another amazing article!

    Blessings,
    Holly

  48. Peggy says

    What a great blog entry. I appreciated the analogy, it was very helpful. I did share it on fb. I would be very appreciative of any of the books. I do own dancing with my father which I enjoyed so any of the others would be appreciated.

  49. Wendy Banman says

    Sally,

    I am the mother of 4 young children and so often feel like I am floundering in the sea of what it is to be a mother. I go to God’s Word for wisdom for every day living and seek His guidance always. I truly believe that God reaches out to young mothers by putting Titus 2 women in their paths either in person or via the written word. A year ago, I had a friend recommend your book Mission of Motherhood as a go to book that she absolutely loved. Since then, that book has been on the top of my book wish list and I would be absolutely thrilled to receive it via your book giveaway. God bless you!
    Wendy

  50. Jill says

    Dear Sally,

    We would love to read all of yours and your family’s books so whichever one is good to start with would be so gratefully received. We want to be parents who follow Jesus and have his heart.

  51. Elisabeth says

    They all sound really great. I think I would start off with either The Ministry of Motherhood, or Seasons of a Mother’s Heart.

  52. Kristin says

    I am currently reading through Mission of Motherhood with other homeschool moms during our “Mom’s night out”. It has been such a blessing to me. Your blog is also such an encouragement, especially this current series you are writing on discipline. Thank you for taking the time for us each day! I would choose Ministry of Motherhood as it is the follow up to the book I am currently reading.
    Blessings to you- Kristin Tulare, CA

  53. says

    I received Mission of Motherhood as a gift from my sister in law just after my daughter was born. I’d love to read The Ministry of Motherhood as well!
    Thanks for the giveaway. You are truly inspirational to me and reading your words encourages me to be a better wife and mom.

  54. says

    I don’t want to sound cliche, but your mom conference literally changed my life. God used your words to help me breakthrough years of bitterness. I feel so FREE!!! The atmosphere in our home instantly changed and the healing began. Joel 2:25!

    Mission of Motherhood! I already have it, but I plan on giving one away to a lucky mom who comes to our Mission of Motherhood journey group this summer.

  55. says

    I would love to read them all, but if I have to choose just one, I’d choose The Mission of Motherhood.
    I have just recently started reading your blog. I love it. Thank you for the encouragement you give this mama’s heart.

  56. Sally says

    Thanks, everyone, for all the participation and comments. I was gone all day and am just now catching up. Thanks for helping me get the word out. I will try to respond to questions little by little in the days ahead. I am most humbled and most grateful for all of you and pray God’s grace and wisdom for each of you in your lives. Please keep our family and me in your prayers as I seek wisdom to answer. On to make dinner! :) Life goes on.

  57. Kristen says

    I have cherished my copy of Mission of Motherhood, and would love to read The Ministry of Motherhood next! Thank you!!

  58. Randi K says

    I am currently reading The Mission of Motherhood and would love to follow it up with The Ministry of Motherhood. I am learning so much as a new mom to twin boys and am desperate to be the woman, wife, and mother God wants me to be. I know what I want to do, but struggle with knowing if it’s what I should do. Thank you so much for sharing the wisdom God has blessed you with.

  59. Randi K says

    I tweeted this. Incidentally, this is the first tweet I ever tweeted and don’t know how to find a link to it from my iPod. My name is @randikun though :)

  60. GemmaH says

    I would love to add Seasons of a Mother’s Heart to my library!

    Also wanted to tell you how much I’m enjoying these posts, I am sharing them with my husband and really praying over my parenting at the moment trying to change the way we do things and honestly it’s not easy to shift gears…but I know it will be worth all the effort and energy! Thank you for the encouragement.

  61. says

    I am so encouraged by your wise words. I had prayed for a mentor and although I did not receive one in “real” life, I have found your words in print to be such inspiration to me. I would choose Dancing with my Father if I were to win the giveaway.

  62. Cheryl Wade says

    I would love to have The Mission of Motherhood book; hearing how wonderful it is from the young moms. Even though I’m now an older mom, it will be helpful as a grandmother and to help my daughter-in-laws. Blessings, Cheryl

  63. erin d. says

    I have ministry of motherhood and I am reading it now– love it!, but would love a copy of Mission of Motherhood! So blessed by the wisdom you have to offer!!

  64. Lisa P says

    I thank you for your obedience and know that God is answering my prayers and speaking directly to me through your words. The book I would like to read is the Ministry of Motherhood.

  65. dorothy says

    Thank you for this post. You give such clear pictures for my mind to remember the principles of being my child’s advocate and leading them to passionately love the Lord. I’d love Dancing with My Father. It’s the only one pictured that I don’t already have and love! Thanks for the giveaway, Sally.

  66. Jen K says

    Thank you so much for this post. It resonated so loudly with me. I would love to win one of your books but to be honest I am not sure where the best place would be to start. If I should win, I would love your advice as to which would be the best for me (even if I don’t win, I’d love to know where you think I should start). I am a wife and mother of 3 children (ages 2, 7 and 9). I am just coming back to my faith after several years of struggling with my beliefs but feel that I am better for the struggles I worked through. Thanks for your wisdom and you ministry! I so apppreciate you and your teachings.

  67. Becky says

    You have been such a blessing to me through your books and then your conference (the last two years). It all began with Seasons of a Mother’s Heart with Lynn and I’d love the updated version of that book.
    Thank you Sally!

  68. Nikki says

    Thanks I sooo needed that and sooo need your books. I think I’d like to read them all but I would probably start with ministry motherhood. I’m lacking with coming along side my children and am affaid of loosing them. I definitly need to be more like Christ in their lives. Everything you said was so true and eye opening for me. Thank you!

  69. Juli says

    I am currently reading Ministry of Motherhood in Bible study. Your words are such an encouragement to me, and others. I would like Seasons if a Mother’s Heart. Thank you for being an inspiration and for following God’s plan.

  70. Amy says

    I have the mission of motherhood and love it! I would like seasons of a mothers heart, but would actually like to read them all!! Thanks so much for the chance to win!!! I appreciate your ministry so much!

  71. Amanda says

    This series came at a crucial time for me, Sally and I thank God for His grace given through your wise words. I’ve read ministry & mission and hope to get a copy of seasons and dancing soon. Right now I’d go for Seasons : ) love and gratitude to you and your family!

  72. Carol Andreescu says

    Dancing with My Father! I’ve read all your books except this one :), posted to facebook, username carol.andreescu. Thank you for your teaching and encouragement, Sally, love you!

  73. says

    It would be so hard to pick one. I’ve never read any of your books, even though they come highly recommended. Honestly, I’d just say, which ever one you think is the most help to an older mama with young children who struggles with loving motherhood.

  74. Lori Miller Woods says

    I would love Seasons of A Mother’s Heart to give as a gift to my daughter in law
    with four children ages 15 to six months . They recently relocated far from all the Grandma’s
    and Grandpa’s….
    to Texas. The only thing she really loves
    reading are books that encourage her in her parenting. I know this
    book would be a blessing to her.

  75. Jenna says

    I currently have Mission of Motherhood and Ministry of Motherhood. The next book I would like to read is Season’s of a Mother’s Heart! Thanks for an opportunity to win a book!

  76. says

    I like this illustration of the police officer — it really helps to bring the point home in my parenting about being an advocate vs. adversary. (or even the authority).

    Which book? Hmmmm….so hard to decide. But I think I would pick the Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I can already see different seasons in my own heart & would love some insights in the ones yet to come.

  77. Renee says

    This analogy makes perfect sense to me. I was raised in the fear philosophy, and yet I am trying to follow and use heartfelt discipline – it is admittedly a struggle because we fall back on how we were raised. Thank you for being a constant, guiding light to us mothers, Sally!

    Oh, and I would choose Mission of Motherhood! :) Thank you for
    the giveaway!

  78. Angie says

    Sally,
    Thank you for sharing this today. It spoke to my heart as I’m dealing with some issues with my daughter. I would choose Seasons of a Mother’s Heart as it’s one that I’ve been wanting to read for some time.

  79. says

    I would love Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I just found your blog when your previous parenting article was recommended by A Holy Experience. Since then, I have checked out two of your books from the library, I’ve just finished The Mom Walk. I feel like it is changing my parenting! Thanks for your ministry. I would love to read the Seasons book b/c I will be homeschooling my oldest of three next year for the first time.

  80. Becky says

    I would pick the ministry of motherhood. I’ve just discovered your blog, from a Facebook post. Thank you for sharing with us!

  81. Kristy B. says

    Hi Sally,
    I would love to read Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I have read The Mission of Motherhood and it’s one of my favorite books.
    Thank you!

  82. Deanna says

    I would love to read Mission of Motherhood. My children are still very young, and I think it would be the most appropriate for where I am in my journey as a mom :-)

  83. Barbi says

    Wonderful post!! Thank you so much! The only one of the one’s listed I don’t have is Season’s of Mother’s Heart, so that’s the one I’m hoping for. :-)

  84. Marian says

    Thank You, Sally! :) Your examples of following Jesus’ pattern of a loving servant leader, encouraging rather than policing, is excellent! And oh, how I need to be reminded that the HEART is the matter of importance rather than the surface obedience. I would love to have Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, as I keep giving mine out and forgetting who has my books!!! :) Glad they’re out there, though!

  85. Carolyn says

    I’m ‘getting it’ with the police thing. Thanks for your constant encouragement. I have 3 books you have offered but would love a copy of Dancing as even the blurb speaks to my heart right now but I haven’t ordered it as yet.

  86. Jessica says

    I really enjoy reading your blog and thank you for sharing so much with us. I would love to read the Ministry of Motherhood. I am a mom of 3 children ages 4, 3, and 18 months. I have been really struggling with my 3 year old lately and these posts have been a help to me.

  87. Elizabeth says

    Oh your posts are always so timely! These were words I really needed to read this morning!

    I would love to win Mission of Motherhood!

    Blessings!

  88. Melody says

    I love that you have been a parent way before me so that you can share such godly wisdom with me in my journey!

  89. Dana says

    always wanted to read your “Seasons” book! Now that I am moving into a new season, this would be a great time! Thanks for your always-encouraging words!

  90. Sheri says

    I enjoy reading your post everyday. I love to read from someone who has been down the path before and is willing to be open and share. I’m currently reading both Mission of Motherhood and Educating the WholeHearted Child. I would love to win Season of a Mother’s Heart.

  91. Laura says

    Thank you Sally for your encouragement. God seems to give you words to share just at the time I need to read them. I would love to have a copy of Dancing with My Father. :) Laura

  92. Yolanda says

    Sally, your books have been a source of encouragement to me. I would love to win a copy of Ministry of Motherhood.

  93. Melissa says

    I posted the link for this article to my facebook page. Just what my heart needed to read today. Thank you!

  94. says

    I would be thrilled to have a copy of Ministry of Motherhood. I’ve been hearing so much from what a friend learned at the Mom Heart conference, and loving all of it! THank you for all you do for mothers and our children.

  95. Sarah Gilbert says

    I would LOVE to have a copy of The Ministry of Motherhood! I am the mother of a 10 month old boy and foster mother to a 1 1/2 month old girl, and I know your book would be an invaluable resource to me as I journey to care for and teach them in Godly, loving ways. Thank you for all your daily words of wisdom! : )

  96. MJoy says

    Thanks for this wonderful opportunity! Being a mother to my precious 20 month old daughter has been amazingly beautiful and challenging beyond belief! We are in a new city as of two months ago and your blog has been an encouragement to me as parenting without a support network (in my zip code and far beyond) is a tough venture. _Mission Motherhood_ is on my reading list. Blessings, MJoy

  97. Amanda says

    I don’t tweet or have a blog, but I shared this on facebook. I would SO LOVE your book, Mission of Motherhood as all of your blog entries have been water to my thirsty soul. I desire with my whole heart to be a mother that pleases God and I find myself alone without mentors begging God for wisdom. I have two strong willed, wonderfully intelligent children and my biggest passion in life is raising them to love and serve God and others and to do so as we enjoy this gift of life together. I find this is a very difficult task for me and I fail daily. Thank you so much for how your blog has so helped me.

  98. Amanda says

    I actually have three children, but the oldest two are strong willed, testing me daily. We are all growing and learning together and I pray God will cover for all of our mistakes and continue to draw us to His heart, protecting and guiding us!

  99. Becky says

    I linked this on Facebook. Thank you for the reminder in this post. too many rules can smother & discourage. I would really like Seasons, please!

  100. Erin says

    Thank you for your posts on parenting. I really want to parent my children the way God parents me. I feel the right thing to do, but when I follow that leading, sometimes it doesn’t feel right when I don’t see immediate results. But it’s something that takes time to do and see results. I’d like the Ministry of Motherhood book.

  101. Leah says

    I needed SO MUCH to hear these words today, felt crushed under the weight of my own sins of anger and impatience against my children, and God has spoken through your words what I needed to hear today to make better choices with my son! Thank you Sally!
    I’d love to read the Ministry of Motherhood!

  102. Maryhomemama says

    Thanks for your words of this post [and of the next day's] as I had spent Monday actually locked in my room crying on the phone to my husband that I didn’t like my children…sad to say it but those days seem to come more often after 13 years of homeschooling and struggles with teens/character issues. I get so discouraged I just want to send them away for a while…Your blog has been speaking to me of other thoughts and ways. Would love for you to choose a book that would suit me, as I am only vaguely familiar with you and your husband after hearing you a couple of years ago at a home school conference. I feel more discouraged than encouraged these days and totally unable to be or do what my girls need.

  103. Charline says

    Hello ,Sally, I just found your blog and what a breath of fresh air it is! I would enjoy any one of your books.

  104. Tashena says

    Sally, Everyday I look forward to reading your posts.
    How I wish you were at my house yesterday, leading me and guiding me… ROUGH DAY.
    But, today is fresh and I feel we are doing better. (3 year old boys sure are feisty!)

    I don’t have a Twitter account, nor do I post on Facebook, but I did want to comment to THANK YOU for your insight and sharing your heart with us!

    In Christ’s never ending love, Tashena

  105. says

    Having grown up in a single parent home with my mother and sister alone, i learned life based on her past. We were not Christians. Today, I have two small girls, whom I adore, and I find myself exacting punishments in shame at times because it was all I knew as a child. I do not have to tools, the knowledge to best train my children’s heart. I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS TO MY CHILDREN. I want to love my children as Christ loves me, to drink deeply the truth of His word, and pass this truth into able bodies who desire to be led in love and sacrifice alone. I want to be a legacy of faithfulness to Christ, and to pass this along to my children. If given a choice, I would choose the Ministry of Motherhood. But, Sally, you know what would be best for me to read to benefit my children, so I gladly accept a surprise from you as well;). Bless you Sally, and thank you for being a mentor to me.

  106. Laura says

    Just yesterday my group had it’s first meeting on “The Mission of Motherhood.” It went well and we’re all excited to dig in and learn. I’d love to get a copy of “The Ministry of Motherhood.” Maybe we can go through it next! Thank you for all your hard work to encourage moms and point them to Jesus. Your work bears much fruit!

  107. Mary P. says

    I have read the Mission of Motherhood and would love a copy of the Ministry of Motherhood to read! Thanks! Mary

  108. Valeska says

    I have almost all of your and Clay’s books. I would love to read Seasons of a Mother’s Heart since I am not 100% sure if homeschooling is right for me and my girls or not. Thank you for the giveaway!

  109. Kathy says

    I would love a new copy of the Ministry of Motherhood.
    Your books and blog have encouraged me over the years!

  110. says

    I would like The Ministry of Motherhood. I have 5 boys, triplets born 12/3/2009, 7&10 years old and think ministry of motherhood sounds like a book that I can apply to my life :-)
    Thank you for writing!!
    Cathy Law
    Anchorage Alaska

  111. Brianne says

    Really enjoyed reading this, & am so thankful for your ministy, Sally!

    If I win, I’d love to have Ministry of Motherhood.

    ~Brianne

  112. says

    I would love to read your new one, “The Ministry of Motherhood”. I’m in the process of reading ,”The Mission of Motherhood”, and LOVE it!!

  113. says

    I have Ministry (Kindle version), Mission , Seasons and Our 24 Family Ways paperback. I am missing Dance with my Father and Educating the Wholehearted Child.
    I’m getting the Wholehearted Child, anyway. But If I get any other of your books I will donate it to the library of the group I attend.
    I added your link to my Shutterfly page.

  114. Linda says

    I have posted it to my facebook. I would love to have Season’s of a Mothers Heart or Dancing with my Father.

  115. sandag says

    As a first time mommy of a 13 month old son, I would love to add ‘Ministry of Motherhood’ to my personal library. There is so much for me to learn and understand how to raise my son in God’s way, and who better than Sally Clarkson to start the way. BTW, i love your blog!!!

  116. says

    Thank you for your blog – you are a great source of encouragement. Not sure if the giveaway is open to those of us in Australia, but if so I would love to read ‘Seasons of a Mother’s Heart’. Bless you,

  117. Lindsey says

    I would LOVE to have The Mission of Motherhood. I’ve been wanting to read it since I’ve read many blog posts about your Mom heart Conferences on other womens blogs. Would love to someday attend something like that myself!!

  118. says

    Hi -
    I discovered your site several weeks ago and I am so excited about it. I have loved reading your posts.
    I want to enter the giveaway. I would actually love three of your books: Mission of Motherhood, Ministry of Motherhood and Seasons of a Mothers Heart.
    Thank you for blessing my life!!
    Monica

  119. Michelle Porch says

    I would love to start with The Mission of Motherhood. Your post really touched my heart tonight, and I
    so want to touch the heart of my four children. Thank you!
    Blessings!

  120. says

    I’d love to read Seasons of a Mothers heart. I have have Mission of Motherhood and have loved what I’ve managed to read so far. Having four children 5 and under I definitely appreciate your wisdom and encouragement in the book.

  121. Erin says

    I would love to read The Ministry of Motherhood or Seasons of A Mother’s Heart. Thanks for a chance to win!

  122. Monica says

    Sally,

    As a new stay-at-home mom, I’d appreciate ideas/advice. Ministry of Motherhood or Dancing with my Father, I’ve already purchased the other two books. Thank you for your ministry!

    Monica

  123. Tricia Munger says

    Would love Mission of Motherhood. Have 4 boys that I am homeschooling and believer fully this is my mission field.

  124. says

    I am so refresed by your words this morning as I have been reading over some of your posts. My precious daughter just turned one and I feel like I have been trying to amass knowledge in how to best shepard her in this stage. With my cup of chai, and your wise words, my heart it at peace knowing that I just have to listen and trust in the Lord. Why do I try to do anything apart from him? He will guide my husband and I as we try to guide Adalyn to becoming a beautiful child of His. I would read to have the Ministry of Motherhood book – to become more like Christ in discipling Adalyn and (Lord willing) my baby due in October!

  125. Amy says

    I just learned about you, Sally. Looking forward to learning! I’d love to read “The Ministry of Motherhood.” Thanks for doing the giveaway :)

  126. Julie says

    I’ve recently started reading your blog and have been so encouraged. I would love to get more in depth with one of your books, please, as a newly homeschooling mum of three children age four and under. I would love Seasons of a Mother’s Heart please.

  127. says

    I shared your giveaway on my facebook page :) I would love “Dancing with my Father”
    I have been so blessed by finding your blog, you speak so much truth and wisdom….thank you!

  128. elizabeth dotson says

    I shared on facebook I would like the ministry of motherhood book It has so been on my heart to really reach my childs heart not just get him to obey Thanks so much for your wonderful blog what an encouragement it has been
    liz

  129. says

    I love this post and I would like to be entered for your drawing. I just bought Mission of Motherhood and am not finished reading it yet, but I love it. I would be interested in winning ‘Ministry of Motherhood’ if I win. Thanks for the opportunity to enter and thanks for your ministry to moms.

  130. Debi Fine says

    I posted to my blog and Facebook. All of the books look very good! When I read the descriptions on the Internet the book that spoke to me the most was The Mission of Motherhood. My daughter was just diagnosed with autism. It’s been very painful when she refuses to let me hold her or brush her hair. I want to learn more creative ways to show her love in her own special way. Every child is a gift.

  131. says

    This was a timely post with a very powerful example for me. “What I have observed is that when children just learn to obey when their parents are nearby, but their hearts have not been reached, then when their parents are out of sight or they are away from their parents, they feel they are free to do anything they wish, because their obedience is external, not internal”

    I have recently observed that attitude in my two year old and am wrestling with how to handle it. How do I train her heart and not just her hands? I so appreciate what you share on here and I’m looking forward to reading more.

    And I’d LOVE to win a book. I have The Mission of Motherhood and have read it several times but would love a chance to read through the Ministry of Motherhood! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  132. says

    I would love to have The Ministry of Motherhood! I reposted this on facebook and then posted about your giveaway on my blog. Thank you for your ministry!

  133. Alisha says

    I was just introduced to your ministry at your conference in NC. It was refreshing to hear a message that encourages me in my choice to stay home and educate our 5 girls. I have been feeling worn down lately. I have begun to read Mission of Motherhood and find it challenging, in a good way. I think I would like to read The Ministry of Motherhood as well.

  134. says

    oh, Sally, what a blessing you are…your wisdom is piercing my heart lately. i would love to read ‘season of a mother’s heart’. thank you, again.

  135. Brooke Clarke says

    I have had my eye on Mission of Motherhood as well as Ministry of Motherhood. Just bought Season’s of a Mother’s Heart at the Apologia Live conference in Baltimore a few weeks back. I hope to win! Brooke

  136. Shelley R. says

    Dancing with My Father would be a treat to step into and learn the steps thereof. I am currently reading “Ministry of Motherhood” with a dear friend and so see that sometimes, it’s good to have a book that spurs me to yearn toward God the Father. If blessed to receive this giveaway, I’d use the thoughts you penned Sally! Thank you for your generosity!

  137. Claudea says

    I would like Seasons of a Mother’s Heart as I have read the other ones. Great encouragement through your books!

  138. Julie Long says

    How fantastic!! I just read about you on a friend’s Facebook status…I’d love Mission of Motherhood or Ministry of Motherhood! Thanks so much!

  139. says

    This hit *so home* with me today… needed this reminder. So I wrote a reminder on my hand in sharpie :) Thank you so much for your ministry!
    I would love a copy of The Mission of Motherhood. And I tweeted a link to the article & giveaway. Thank you!

  140. Evelyn says

    I’d love a copy of the Seasons of a Mother’s Heart <3 Thank you for your ministry to us moms, you are inspiring and encouraging. I wish I lived in the States so I could go to one of your conferences! If you ever feel like visiting Luxembourg let us know…!

  141. Jen says

    I would love to have a copy of Dancing with my Father.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration. You always seem to know just what to say and how to say it. I love your common sense and sound wisdom. I have greatly enjoyed these posts lately. What an encouragement you are! Thank you (and your family) for your ministry and all the time and energy you put into it. It has been so enjoyable to “watch your children grow up” through your books.

  142. says

    Oh fun! I am just reading through your Mission of Motherhood, so I think I would go for the Ministry of Motherhood. I saw myself in your description of when you were bathing your 4 year old and 2 year old and the 2 year old splashed and got water and bubbles all over the floor. We have a 5 year old (almost 6), a 4 year old, and a 2 yr. old boy, and I am 5 months along with #4. I love them dearly, but they sure know how to get into mischief and make unthinkable messes (once they even cut my necklaces!). So that’s why I am constantly in need of God’s mercy in this journey and seeking to grow in sanctification (and especially patience!!). To train with a gentle spirit, and as you are reminding me, to lay it all down and serve.

  143. Marci says

    Sally thanks for all of your encouragement and support for women all over the world! Your words and insights bless me every day! I would love a copy of season’s of a mother’s heart. blessings to you and your family!
    Marci

  144. Robin Sayers says

    I would pick THE MISSION OF MOTHERHOOD . Thanks for the giveaway and for all the wonderful wisdom!

  145. Erica says

    Thank you for sharing your heart in a way that is encouraging. It was so hard to choose which book, but I’d love to have Dancing With My Father as this season of life has been filled with difficult providences, and I am striving to maintain faith and joy well. That joy part is harder for me. Your book would be a blessing for that. Thank you.

  146. elizabeth says

    My daughter told me about your blog. She is very encouraged and uplifted by your words. As a brand new mom, some days she struggles and you have ministered to her in ways I never could. Thank you so much for what you do to share your love with new moms . As a former stay at home mom , I appreciate your wisdom and your willingness to share. I too, believed we are called to motherhood and God gives us the grace to raise children that love the Lord. I am blessed to have two children that do indeed love the Lord and am filled with thankfulness each day. As a new grandma, my role has changed but I know the Lord will bless me to be the best grandma I can be, if I turn it over to him.My daughter’s birthday is coming soon and I would love to give her The Ministry Of Motherhood. Thank you and may God bless you

  147. says

    Mission of Motherhood would be my choice, seeing that I have the others :-) although, if it is in the pot, too, Heartfelt Discipline is be my top choice ~ I’ve been wanting to get my hands on that one for years, but $74 for a used copy is just a tad steep for me ;-)

  148. Esther R says

    I would just love whatever book you would recommend for a new mom. My precious baby girl is eight months old and I would love to raise her in a home that is filled with Jesus and all of his love and grace. Thank you!

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