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Lessons I Learned From Carol McLeod

Ladies, you’re in for a treat today – especially all the moms with young children out there. The lovely Carol McLeod is joining us! Carol is a treasure to Western New York, where I live. Long before I called this place home, Carol was pouring into women here, teaching them how to choose joy in every circumstance (Check her out at Just Joy Ministries). Carol and her husband were the founding pastors of our home church, and although they have moved on, I am reaping the benefits of the seeds they planted years ago. Carol and I recently met for lunch, and as we sat on the stately large front porch of East Aurora’s Roycroft Inn, she poured into me her wisdom as a writer and woman of faith. It encouraged me tremendously! She is now here to encourage all you weary moms out there who maybe feel like what you are doing is menial or insignificant. My hope is that you click out of this blog post ready to pour into your children with purpose and passion! And listen, that’s coming from a mom who’s not only been there, but is still grappling with guilt that I’m not as productive as I should be and that I should be contributing in some greater way. So, thank you Carol, for reminding me that my some of my most significant accomplishments come in the form of playing Uno, jumping on the trampoline and giving bedtime back rubs. Everything else can wait. Everything else won’t last. And, nothing else can change the world like a Mother can!

 

A World-Changing Woman

God chooses the moment in history into which an ordinary woman is born.
God knew that I would be born in the middle part of the 20th Century when women were just beginning to roar. The battle of the sexes was being fought in the boardroom, in the courtroom and in the classroom.
The feminists of my generation were burning their bras while I sat nursing and rocking.
Women were shattering the glass ceiling while I was wiping up spilled milk from my kitchen floor.
Women were infiltrating the network news while I was reading “The Little Engine that Could” to toddlers who listened to my every word.
Now we are well into the days of the 21st Century and more than ever the identity and the call of women is being fought for.
Now, I certainly believe that a woman is as capable as a man to accomplish great things in life. I believe that a woman should be well educated and that her pay should be commensurate with the male counterparts in her profession.
But I also believe, even though it might seem politically incorrect to you, that God created men and women with certain inherent differences. I am not ashamed nor am I embarrassed by these differences but I choose to celebrate those determining factors!
Do you want to know what I believe at the very core of my being? The words “maternal” and “powerful” are not mutually exclusive but they create a glorious harmony that the world is waiting to hear!
I was born at this time in history for a reason and I won’t keep silent!
I will call the women under my watch to their destiny in Christ and perhaps away from the call of the culture. The culture in which you live should have no determination and no deciding voice in your destiny!
Every drop of purpose and circumstance that you choose to walk in should be actuated by the principles found in the Word of God.
You are a world changer, dear mother! You, with baby spit- up on your shoulder and circles under your eyes … you are a world-changer!
You are a history maker, sweet mama. You, with a pile of dishes in the kitchen sink and a mountain of laundry waiting to be folded … you are a history maker!
You are a woman of unmatched influence, dear mother! You, with the cry of a colicky baby in the air and the tantrums of a two- year old as daily reality … you are a woman of unmatched influence!
You ARE the woman’s movement, purveyors of the next generation! And so I challenge you today to enjoy the journey. Enjoy every moment of outrageous Godliness and sweet strength that this job requires.
Love your life and celebrate with ferocity and with joy the little ones who call you “Mom”.
One of the most discouraging aspects of motherhood might be that your destiny is chiefly forged where absolutely no one sees it happening.
Your destiny is determined in a rocking chair during the midnight hours.
Your destiny is refined while building blocks with an impatient preschooler and while changing a fussy baby’s diapers.
Your destiny is most assuredly shaped when figuring out how to get your toddler to eat yummy and nutritious vegetables.
The culture in which we live taunts that we are only productive if we earn loads of money or if we use our very expensive education in the corporate world. The world falsely promotes the idea that we are only important if we are somehow able to garner the public exposure that we so deserve.
May I just simply and honestly say this … the way of the culture has never been the way of the Lord.
God uses the backside of the desert to refine a person’s character; God has been known to use the dusty streets of Nazareth to prepare a person for greatness. God has even used the inside of a whale to forge a valuable work in a person!
During the years that I spent hidden while training my children and while fanning the flames of greatness in their miniature hearts, my college and high school friends were climbing the corporate ladder and making six-figure incomes. The only vacations that our family was able to take were ones that were paid for by very generous and loving relatives while my over-achieving high school friends were going to Hawaii and were driving BMW’s.
Our birthdays were mostly homemade and for Christmas my children only received what God had miraculously provided! But let me tell you … our lack of material substance did not inhibit our ability to celebrate!
I remember during one class reunion that I attended while wearing a dress that was ten years old and knowing that I had left a colicky baby at home with my mother, one of my very successful and worldly friends declared to me, “Oh Carol! You are making such a sacrifice to stay home with your children!”
I humbly but respectfully responded, “Actually, it’s not a sacrifice at all. Being with my children is not a sacrifice but it is a joy!”
During those years, I said “No,” to prestigious job opportunities and I said, “No, thank you,” to significant ministry opportunities.
Knowing my destiny as a mother gave me the strength and the fortitude to say a resounding, “YES!” to God. And in saying, “YES!” to God, I was also saying, “YES!” to joy.
Joy is often found in the dark of night while comforting a sick child, on the dusty streets of motherhood and in the middle of a mountain of laundry!
He is with you during these days of motherhood … and so you can count on experiencing the joy of His presence in abundance!

 

Carol is a best-selling author and popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. She also hosts highly successful Just Joy! outreaches. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol is a Christmas-aholic, loves ACC basketball and burying her toes in the sand at the beach! Like all post-menopausal women, she is overly fond of chocolate and enjoys a good read. She doesn’t like cleaning her house and is an expert in carry-out dinners. She hates to shop … loves to jog … and somehow finds time in her busy life to hang out with small children. She is the kind of woman that you could laugh with over lunch, cry with over disappointment, and shout with over a victory!

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