Mom for a Day
May 11, 2003
[Ed and Lisa Young come to the stage together]
You know, every week I spend about twenty to twenty-five hours doing research on the weekend message. I read the Bible. I read books. I listen to tapes and talk to people. We have creative planning team meetings. The whole process takes a long time. This week though, I did something totally different. I went away from what I normally do.
Since we are in a series called TRADING SPACES, and we have been talking about trading things, I decided to trade spaces with my wife, the mother of our four children. I did some real research and development. I decided to spend a real “Mother’s Day”. Let me tell you something. I was blown away by what it takes to be a mom. If you don’t believe me, check this out.
[A video is played on the side screens in which Ed, being Lisa for a day, does all of her normal work with the kids and the house. A camera crew follows him throughout the day to see exactly what is entailed in “being Lisa”]
That’s what it’s like to spend a Mother’s Day as Lisa. It was something else. This is my wife, Lisa. Lisa and I have four children and she is an awesome wife and mother. [Ed speaks to Lisa] I have a greater respect and admiration for what you do.
Lisa: Thank you.
Ed: We have many awesome wives and mothers here at church, as well – different women who find themselves in different stages of motherhood. Lisa and I have been talking about this series a little bit and about trading spaces, haven’t we?
Ed: Basically, Lisa, you came up with a three-fold trade that moms need to involve themselves in.
Lisa: [Speaking to Ed] Since you were working so hard at a Mother’s Day, I had to come to the church and get out of my space and go to Ed’s space – his office. So, it kind of helped with the outline a bit.
Ed: Yeah, it did. Lisa, when you think about the trading situation, when we talk about trading spaces, we need to remember that God asked Jesus to leave his place in heaven and take our space on the cross, and that he offers us grace. Once we receive his grace and we become followers of Christ that affords us the opportunity to talk about and involve ourselves with this three-fold trade that you have come up with. So, I want to hear about the three-fold trade.
Lisa: Okay. The first trade that we, as moms, make is the “trade up”. Generally, when you are trading something, you want to improve your lot. You want to take something you have and trade it for something that you feel is maybe more valuable, a better deal.
Ed: Trade up.
Lisa: So, that’s the first trade. What we are trading is our objective as a mom, for God’s perspective for motherhood. That’s all about understanding God’s view versus my view.
Ed: It’s kind of like when we built this building. This building is five years old. I remember meeting with our Board of Trustees and other people who were helping us with this whole project. We would have all the plans on tables and we would look at this detail and look at that detail. Then, every time we would look at the plans, we would always try to get as high as possible and look down just to see all the dimensions – to see the big picture. God is that way in our lives. He wants us to have his perspective to see the real stuff in our lives. Yet, too many of us are trying to look at God’s plans through our own perspective and we can’t do it.
Lisa: It’s our view versus his view. When I think about my objective for motherhood, I look back to the time when our first child was born, LeeBeth, who is now sixteen. Basically, up to that point, I had only done a little bit of babysitting. That doesn’t qualify you as a mother. I had taken a few classes about childbirth and the newborn stuff. But outside of reading books, I did not know a lot about the job qualifications or what it was going to involve, especially because the job is not for a short period of time. It’s an extended period of time, a long time. So, I kind of had it in mind that it was important to help keep our daughter well fed and clean – the basic nurturing things that a mom has to do. Those are all very important. But then, I kind of threw in those activities that come with children – doing birthday parties, sports, sleep-overs, and other things. I wanted to be the cool parent, the cool mom, and all these different objectives became my primary focus as a mom.
Then, I realized that God, though, has a much higher perspective. He sees the real responsibility of motherhood and what it should be. Even though those objectives that I had are a small part of it, they are not the big picture.
We find the big picture in a book in the Old Testament called Deuteronomy, Chapter 6. Basically, that is where we can get our cue for parenting.
Ed: This chapter tells moms and dads too, what it means to put the ball through the net.
Lisa: It tells us what it means to be successful, to hit the mark. Basically, Deuteronomy 6 says to teach your children to love the Lord and to live for the Lord. (Read it sometime this afternoon or this week) I remember thinking, “Should it be a little deeper than that? Should it have more to it than that?” But my primary perspective should be to show my children the ways of the Lord. That’s trading up. It’s getting God’s perspective.
Ed: Lisa, read this Verse. This has been kind of a foundation for this series, Jeremiah 29:11, because it really underscores what we have been talking about.
Lisa: Okay. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”
When you think about that, in my greatest day, the objectives or plans that I would set forth, would be so limited compared to the supernatural perspective that God wants to give me. So, I always trade up.
Ed: So, for moms to send their kids out with great trajectory, I like to say, the number one thing, the priority, is teaching them and showing them what it means to have that relationship with Jesus Christ. I remember a guy in the Old Testament, Lisa, speaking of the Old Testament, named Elisha.
Elisha was a man of God, but he had a servant with him who helped him – kind of like his understudy. One morning, the servant got up real early before Elisha. I don’t know if he was sipping espresso or not, but he looked out and saw that Elisha’s place was surrounded by the enemy. He began to freak out, “Elisha, wake up! The enemy is going to take care of us! They are going to kill us!” Elisha said, “Lord, I pray that my servant sees like I see and more importantly, sees like you see.” The Bible says the moment Elisha breathed that prayer, the scales fell off the servants’ eyes and he saw the way God saw. He saw from God’s perspective and he saw this angelic host, all these heavenly beings, actually blockading the advancing army.
I think that a great prayer for parents, especially for moms, is: “God, help me to see from your perspective. Help me to see what you want me to see.”
Lisa: The second trade is to “trade off”.
Ed: Number two – trade off.
Lisa: Trade off. That’s where I trade off my activities for God’s priorities.
Ed: What’s a trade off? That’s a good question, isn’t it?
Lisa: I think if there is anything that we struggle with in our society today because of our ability in this time, with the technology and everything that we have at our disposal, is that we can do so many things.
Ed: What happens to us, Lisa, just to interrupt you for a second.
Lisa: [Speaking sarcastically] He never interrupts me. I always complete every sentence I ever start.
Ed: What happens, Lisa, is many times I don’t complete sentences.
Lisa: Yes, because he is ADD.
Ed: Yeah, EDD.
Lisa: EDD. Before Ed finishes a sentence, his thoughts are already on another one, so he just cuts it off. But he assumes that I caught the end of it even though he never said it. So now, after twenty-one years of marriage, I have learned how to deal with this. I’ll say, “Finish that sentence.”
Ed: What was I talking about?
Lisa: I don’t know.
Ed: Activities. Yeah, we let our activities dictate our priorities as opposed to letting our priorities dictate our activities.
Lisa: We’ve got it backwards. That’s generally true in most things. We have this ability to put our ways first and God’s ways last. So, what we must do is pray through and say, “Okay, God, I’ve traded up and I want your perspective. I know that the most important thing is for me to teach my children about you, so what should I be involved in everyday to make that happen? We need to pray that he can actually make it happen through us. So, that’s a question of priority. As we go through our day, we better check the line up. That’s the first thing we should do – line up the activities in our day and recognize how they stack up, how they line up with the priorities that God has set forth. After we line everything up, we need to ask, “Okay, is there too much stuff? What do we need to eliminate?”
Ed: So we line up and then we eliminate.
Lisa: We eliminate. That’s the second thing of the trade off.
Ed: I love this thing “eliminate” because great leaders, great men and women are great eliminators. Don’t tell me what you are doing. Tell me what you are not doing. Tell me what you eliminating. Tell me what you are not doing today that you maybe did last year – whether you are running a company, working, in school – whether you are a coach, a pastor, a mom or dad, a husband or wife. Greatness is all about saying no. It’s hard to say no.
Lisa: There will always be pressing matters. There will always be things that your children will be advocates of to get you. “Please, Mom, sign me up. Please, Dad, I want to do this.” There is always going to be that pull and that tug. But it’s up to us to discern what should be eliminated and what should be chosen. We have to say no to some good things in order to say yes to the best things and so that we truly fulfill those priorities that God has set.
Ed: Lisa, I’ve heard you say what you do is try to line up and try to think of all this stuff against the backdrop of D6, Deuteronomy 6.
Lisa: You know what? This is something that has happened in the past couple of years. Our children will say, “But Mom, so and so invited me over to their house. And you said I might be able to go.” Or, “You never let me go!” Or, “That’s not fair!” I have to take everything that’s, I hate to say thrown at me, but sometimes it feels like they are throwing things at me. I take all these possibilities for activity and say, “Wait a minute, okay, this is what we need to do.”
If I am too activity driven, I am going to become frazzled. I’m going to become frustrated. I’m going to become anything but a spokesperson for the Lord, and sharing with the children about loving and trusting Him. They are not going to necessarily see the best Godly spirit in me when I am just at the end of my rope. That’s usually what happens when we are too heavy on activities. Often, I will tell them, say, “Okay, guys, you are putting it on me that I am suppose to have you at three birthday parties this weekend. You are going to be singing at this little deal at the church and you are going to have three friends over in the next week.” With four children, there is often times that many things going on…”
Ed: Five children.
Lisa: Five counting Ed. So, I said, “Look, I want to tell you something. Deuteronomy 6 does not say anything about I have to have you at Ashley’s house on Wednesday. It doesn’t say anything about having your birthday party at whatever place, the greatest birthday party adventure in the world. It says I am supposed to teach you about the Lord. If some of those other things fit in, hurrah for Mommy. Yeah! You’ve done a good job. But this is the basic foundational stuff. So I even share that with them. I just kind of stumbled upon this because it was like, “Okay, I want to tell you, it’s not just me, it’s God. God said this. It’s not all falling on me.” What that does is it shows them that everything in our lives is painted by the backdrop of the Scripture. It’s put right there for us to see, so that is how we determine how we live. We have to line things up. We have to eliminate. What do we eliminate? What are we saying no to and what do we say yes to? We better be saying yes to time alone with the Lord. We need to be saying yes to time with our spouse.
Ed: Oh, yeah.
Lisa: You like that one.
Ed: That’s right. Lisa and I have talked to so many couples, and we talked about this last night over dinner with some friends of ours, that it’s almost like a man and a woman get married and start our focusing on the relationship. But then what happens? They kind of have that drift because maybe they have a child or two. Then the mom…
Lisa: We kind of hang up our wife jersey for the mom jersey and we forget that it was out of this husband/wife relationship that our children were born. Don’t ever forget that, because the primary relationship is with your spouse. So, make sure that you are saying no to some good things in order to say yes to that best relationship.
Also, you time alone for you. Now, I am a big advocate of this – be by yourself and have some “me” time. [Talking to Ed] You had that at the salon and sometimes I have it at the salon.
Ed: The Bible talks a lot about solitude. I have mine with PMS – pre-message syndrome. [Ed is referring to the time he needs alone before giving the message on the weekend]
Lisa: You get that every week.
Ed: I do. I get that every week.
Lisa: I understand why, now that I am here doing this.
Ed: I have pre-message and post-message.
Lisa: But I interrupted you. What were you going to say?
Ed: I forgot, but let’s go to the second one – third one.
Lisa: Third one. Line up, eliminate, this is under trading off, you need to delegate.
Ed: After we eliminate, we delegate.
Lisa: For husbands and wives, I think now more than ever, the roles of the mom and dad have changed. We don’t see as clearly defined roles as we saw ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. It used to be that the mom stayed at home and the dad went off to work. Now, we see more of a cross, or a trade off, between the mom and the dad. I think a lot of that has to do with the culture, the economy – some men have lost their jobs and the women have stepped up to the workforce. So it is very important that we understand that there can be a trade off in some of these responsibilities, especially if you are a single mom. How much more so does a single parent need to depend upon others with the task of rearing the children?
Ed: Every time I think about a single mom, single parent/mom, I think of what happened several years ago. There was a family in our church who went through a divorce. This was the church we attended in Houston. This mom, who was single, had her kids, her boys, at church in the youth ministry, in children’s activities etc., and her oldest son got to know me. I am about 8 years older than he is. Several other guys and I kind of stepped in and were kind of like his father or older brothers. It is wonderful to see what God has done with that relationship. The guy I am talking about is a guy named Mac Richard. Mac was on our staff here for years at Fellowship Church and we helped Mac start a church in Austin. It’s called Lake Hills Church. That church has grown in five years from zero to 1200 people. Mac will be the first to tell you that several men in our church from Houston actually stepped into those roles of father and brothers, and his mom delegated some of that to people like me and others.
Lisa: I’m thrilled that Fellowship Church has the same type of base. We have HomeTeams that are small groups that are working to help and facilitate single parents to be involved in everything from babysitting co-ops to events that include the children. It’s very important to delegate and get help.
Ed: Speaking of trade off, I want to throw some names out to you. Last night, I surprised Lisa with some Bible trivia. She had no idea. I just put her on the spot in front of several friends, and threw Bible names out to her concerning motherhood and this whole trade off deal.
Lisa: But now I know.
Ed: Yeah, now you know. Jochebed. Talk to us about Jochebed. Who was Jochebed?
Lisa: Jochebed was Moses’s mother. When Moses was born, Pharaoh was killing the young boys because the Hebrews were reproducing, growing in number, and he was trying to stop that. So, he started killing the male babies. Jochebed was so creative and so diligent that she came up with a plan. She said, “I know God has got something really special for Moses.” So, she made this basket to put him in. She put the basket in the water, floated him down the Nile River and Pharaoh’s daughter found him. Miriam, Moses’ sister, was standing close by. Miriam said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Would you like for me to find a nurse for the baby?” Pharaoh’s daughter, not knowing that this was indeed the baby’s older sister, said, “Well, sure,” And Miriam took Moses back to his mother. So, Jochebed got to nurse Moses until he was four or five years of age. He stayed in his original, biological home. Then he went to live in the palace. Jochebed traded off a very important role as mom. And God honored it. Because of her creativity, because of her hard work, this baby was put into a palace and he was able to be educated and exposed to things he never would have been exposed to if he would have been at home.
Ed: I always think that Moses was next in line to be Pharaoh of Egypt, but you know the rest of the story.
Lisa: Several weeks ago, you mentioned a swatch. Often times, God shows us a swatch.
Ed: You mean that illustration with that little fabric I brought up here – that little piece of fabric?
Lisa: Now I sew, so, often times, I go into a fabric store and I’ll have something in mind that I want to make and I will get a piece of fabric, a swatch. No matter how good of an eye you have, it’s difficult to take that little piece of fabric and completely envision what it will look like when it covers a project. That’s a lot like Jochebed. She had a swatch. She knew that God had blessed her with a baby boy, this precious son. But she could not really see all that God was going to do. She knew very little at the time she put that baby in the basket and put him in the water. But she had faith. She had obedience to God’s plans. What an unbelievable thing God created out of that very small swatch!
Ed: Okay, one more mom. How about Hannah? That’s a wild story. You think soap operas and some of these Hollywood shows have a lot of intrigue?
Lisa: Hannah was a praying mom. But if you push the rewind button and go back before she was able to have a child, she faced a difficult crisis that many people face today in our time. That is, infertility. It was further complicated by the fact that her husband, Elkanah, just got himself into a little bit of a bind. It was something that was a problem in the Old Testament. You see it throughout the Old Testament, but it was never honored by God. It was the fact that Elkanah had more than one wife.
Ed: Two wives.
Lisa: That’s never good. Wasn’t then and isn’t now. Elkanah had another wife called Peninnah.
Ed: So you’ve got Peninnah, Elkanah and Hannah.
Lisa: Peninnah was very fertile. She had children. There was kind of a competition between Hannah and Peninnah. Even though Elkanah favored Hannah, she felt weak and insubordinate. She felt very bad about herself because she couldn’t have children. So she prayed. Out of that difficulty she became a praying person.
Ed: You guys ought to read her prayers in the Book of First Samuel.
Lisa: In the Book of First Samuel, she became a praying person and God blessed her with a son. She named him Samuel, which means “God hears me.” There again, she had a very little swatch, but she had prayed and asked God to send her this son, and if he did, she would give him back to the Lord. And she did that. She took him to the Temple to be raised and he became one of the great prophets and judges of Israel. And he also anointed the first two kings of Israel. So her swatch became a great big plan.
Ed: Lisa, what I want to challenge moms to do is to have this question at the forefront of your mind and your spirit. You might have to ask yourself this question over and over every day. What’s the trade off? We need to ask ourselves as parents, especially as mothers, what is the trade off? Activities against the backdrop of priorities. Once we are priority driven, then things will click.
Lisa: It’s said perfectly in a very small verse from the New Testament, Matthew 6:33, the Bible tells us that we are to …
Ed: Seek first.
Lisa: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” So as we trade off all these different things, we shouldn’t fret because God will add it and put it in the order that it is supposed to be.
Ed: That’s right. Give me the last trait. You came up with three traits.
Lisa: The last trait is “trade in”.
Ed: Trade in. Do you think about a car when you think about trade in? I do. I think about trading in a car.
Lisa: Trading in a car. This might sound a little corny, but we trade in a lemon for a limo. Is that corny?
Ed: It’s not corny. I like that.
Lisa: ‘Cause you thought it up.
Ed: Yeah, I did. I’m a little cheesy, a little corny. That’s all right.
Lisa: So many times, seriously….
Ed: Have you ever been in a limo before?
Ed: I have. I have a great limo story. I don’t want to bore them with it. But this is a wild thing. The first time I ever rode in a limo, I was 21 years old. I was finishing up my undergraduate work, and a guy called me because he and World Heavyweight Boxing Champ, George Foreman, were going out to L.A. and they invited me to go. It’s crazy how they invited me to go. I got to ride with him, George Foreman, and a writer for Sports Illustrated in a limousine. It was incredible.
Lisa: The night before, you had just been ordained into the ministry.
Ed: Yeah, the night before I had just been ordained as a pastor. [Sarcastically] See what happens when you become a pastor? You ride in a limo with George Foreman.
Lisa: Well, I’m going to tell it real quick. Okay?
Lisa: Okay. The gentleman that invited Ed was an attorney in Houston and he thought that Ed had a lot in common with George Foreman, because they were both athletes. Ed played basketball at Florida State.
Ed: Most of the time I sat the bench. I kept telling him, “Hey, I have nothing in common with George. I’m a bench warmer. I never play and he is All-World.”
Lisa: That’s right. Either way, I think it was….
Ed: The reason was because at that time, George was in the ministry.
Lisa: George Foreman was in the ministry. This was before the Foreman Grill.
Lisa: Which, by the way, is incredible! I highly recommend it. Anyway, Ed was invited to go to Los Angeles, but the point was that they were going to meet to an Olympic Athletes Banquet where Muhammed Ali was going to be honored. Ed had just been ordained the night before, the Sunday night before, at our church there in Houston. When they got to Los Angeles, Muhammad Ali asked Ed to talk to him about the Lord. We were twenty-one or twenty-two years old. So, it was really awesome. When he came back (of course I knew none of this until he got back in town) he said, “You won’t believe this, but I got to share my faith with Muhammad Ali!”
Ed: It was kind of surreal. It was George Foreman, my friend, myself and Muhammad Ali for about forty-five minutes talking about Jesus.
Lisa: That has nothing to do with this.
Ed: But we did have a nice limo.
Lisa: It was a nice limo. Okay. There we go.
Ed: Wow, how did we get off the subject?
Lisa: It was a nice limo. But often times, I feel, when I look at my role as a mom, that I don’t have God’s perspective. I am certainly, because of that, not lining things up with his priorities. I feel like a lemon. I feel like I am just not doing the stuff. I’m not doing what he wants me to do. I’m not fulfilling the purpose which is to teach the children to come up as a new generation of Christ-followers. If I just trade in myself and say, “Lord, I want the old to go away and I want a new way. I want you to lead the way,” he will do it.
Ed: He does it every time.
Lisa: And I love what you said at the last service, Ed, because I had not heard this. You said God is not concerned about my ability. He is concerned about my availability. So, if I am available to him, he promises me that he will take care of the rest.
[Lisa takes out a small necklace from her pocket]
I brought this little necklace up that my son made for me. He is eleven years old now and I think he made it when he was six or seven. He gave it to me for Mother’s Day. This is all about being a successful mom. It’s just a string with a button, but it says, written in alphabet beads, “Seek Him.” This hangs by my mirror in the bathroom so I can see it on a regular basis, because the success of being a mother is all about trading up, trading off, and trading in – seeking God and he will truly make me a successful mom.
Ed: That’s a trade, Lisa that is made in the shade. All we have to do is give our rubble to the Lord and he can take it and build something incredible around it.
If you are a mom, would you please stand at this time? I’m going to ask Lisa to lead in a prayer of dedication and a prayer of blessing, because I want you to know that we love you and no matter what stage you find yourself in motherhood, I’m going to tell you something, you have a church that supports you and that prays for you. We are fellow strugglers, all of us, in this exciting role called parenting. So, Lisa, lead us in a word of prayer.
God we just come to you at this time asking you to touch the hearts of every mom here. Father, as we look to you for our guidance, as we look to you for our priorities and our perspective, we ask that we would set aside those things that keep us from doing your will, from doing what you would have us to do. I ask, Father, that right now you would take any things that need to be eliminated and help us to make those decisions and help us to do it effectively. God, we trade in the old for your supernatural ability to make our job successful. We love you. We praise you. And on this day, and everyday, we thank you for moms. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.