By Kyleen Baptiste
Okay, Mamas, let’s talk tools. We all have our go-to tools that help us with our every day living: Bible, phone, planner, favorite baking dish, even those cute little spongy things my young adult daughters tell me are now a “must have” in make-up application. Our life is filled with tools.
I’m married to a hunky guy in the racing industry. When I say tools to him, he immediately thinks wrenches, screwdrivers, torc bars, and power rachets. (and yes, I had to ask him to name some super “tooly” tools.) No matter our walk of life, tools are essential.
The same is true of the honorable calling on us as women of influence within our homes. We hold the powerful position, and if we’re honest, sometimes daunting responsible, to choose each day, each interaction, to be one of two tools in the lives of others: a pressure cooker or a release valve.
A pressure cooker’s role is “a simple principle: pressure. A sealed pot, with increasing steam inside, builds up high pressure.” By default, it adds pressure to every situation. It knows no other way. Interesting observation is it’s defined as being “sealed”.
On the other hand, a release valve’s primary purpose “is the protection of life, property and environment. A release valve is designed to open, to relieve excess pressure from vessels or equipment and to restore normal conditions.” It keeps watch on the mounting pressure within it’s system and, at just the right time, provides a way for the pressure to be released, creating a more stable environment during high pressure situations.
The kicker? A release valve is categorized as a “female” part on the machine it’s used on. Coincidence? I think not.
Mamas, the role we play in our families is immeasurable. Our role holds within it the job of keeping watch. Setting the tone. We have the privilege and responsibility to monitor the mounting pressures within our home, and within our own hearts. And to do something about it in a biblical way. God desires we’re so tuned in to Him we are able to step into those tension-building moments and serve as a tool to bring peace, to restore, and to protect. He’s created us to be release valves, not pressure cookers. God promises to keep us in perfect peace when our mind is stayed on Him. (Isaiah 25:1) Not only is He showing us here how to be a pillar of peace for our family, He’s promising to be our release valve when we turn to Him with our own hearts.
The promise is not for a trouble-free life. Actually, God goes ahead and clears that one up for us by telling us in advance we will experience trouble in this life. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He’s not trying to scare us. He tells us out of love and reassurance. God wants us living as spiritually prepared women, not caught off guard by the challenges of life. He even tells us how to do that in the verse above, by keeping our mind “stayed” on Him. When we fix our eyes on Him, God will use us to be a sanctuary of peace our family will run to in times of trouble.
So, how do we do that? Fix our eyes on things above? Keep our mind stayed on Him, especially in times of trouble? Here are some spiritual habits that help:
- Spend time with Him. Easier said than done in the busy season of motherhood. Not in a rigid check list kind of way. Ladies, He adores us and wants to give us direction for each of our days. We only need to meet with Him. Early morning? That works. Car rider line? Yep. On the drive to the grocery store? Absolutely. He’s eager because of His great love for us. Get quiet where you’re able, and listen for Him. He’s faithful.
- Spend time reading His Word. There is daily awe in His Word. Let’s not miss it because it’s intimidating. If knowing where to start feels daunting, reach out to me. Seriously. I’m no theologian, but I’d be honored to do it with you.
- Spend time in real community. We can’t do it alone. We weren’t created to do it alone. We miss out on so much, and eventually collapse - or explode - when we’re “sealed” like a pressure cooker and not open to other godly women to share life alongside. My pastor asked a question in a recent sermon, and it's so true. Do you have friends who will pray for you, stand up to you, and stand with you? If not, commit to find one. As a new writer for MomMentor, I can share being in this online community for some time, hearing encouragement from other women committed to being real, and sharing their lives was vital for my heart. I leaned on the honesty and transparency of these women, whom I’d never met, and God used them to strengthen me and speak in to my life. Community matters.
Pray for God to show you the way to carve out more time with Him, and invite Him to fill you with His peace. He is faithful! Then, when the pressures of life rise, ask Him to show you how to be a release valve for your family. He is able.
Kyleen is a mom to four amazing children and one super spoiled Great Dane in her blended family. She gained her three oldest “covenant” kids through marriage to her awesome husband, and they have one little girl together. Kyleen was a child life therapist for over 10 years and is now a Tippi Toes® Franchise owner, founder of Foreign Soil Ministries, and passionate about helping blended families thrive in light of redemption. She provides coaching calls and online support to help families navigate the tricky stuff in a godly way. A Kentucky address with a Florida born heart, her fav’s are Florida State football, traveling, as well as being home with the roar of her kids and company. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.