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About the Author
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The Warrior We Call Mom
By Deven Wallace
Charisma House Book GroupCopyright © 2017 Deven Wallace
All rights reserved.
Becoming a mother was possibly the greatest transition of my life as a young woman. Kevin and I were married when I was only nineteen, and just a few short months after we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we also celebrated the first birthday of my eldest son, Jeremiah. Everything his dad and I know about parenting came through time with him. He was our guinea pig, and we learned more from our mistakes than we did with our successes. I was the typical hover mother and germophobe. We went to the doctor every time Jeremiah sneezed, and I never left him with a babysitter. Control was security to me, and I truly thought my personal life had to cease in order for me to be a good mother. My identity became wrapped up in my child, which is a mistake so many mothers make. I was Jeremiah's mom first, Kevin's wife second, then God's daughter last. My daily decisions revolved around this mentality. Just when it seemed that I was finally finding a daily normal in my life as a first-time mommy, I found out I was expecting again! When Jeremiah was somewhere around 6 months of age, I soon discovered that Isaiah was on his way into the world. With two little ones born so closely together and a new pastorate that Kevin and I had been assigned, my life was truly overwhelming personally, and I felt myself turning into a robot. I lived a performance-minded, task-centered existence and lost all sight of who God had created me to be. It felt like life was passing me by and I would never catch up. I had never experienced such unspeakable joy as I did in being a parent, but somehow this alone could not satisfy my soul. Something was crying out from within me, but I felt like my soul and spirit were suffocating. To some of you, these thoughts and emotions of motherhood are foreign to you, but to others I know I am writing what you have been afraid or unable to voice in your journey. Some of you have lived under the same lie I did, and that lie is this: I thought I had to lay my future and dreams and calling on an altar in the name of motherhood, and that somehow made me more holy and righteous as a mother. Even greater, I bought the lie that this was best for my children.
This leads me to the life-changing encounter I had with the Spirit of God shortly after the birth of my daughter, Zion. She was our third child and was born during a particularly hectic season of growth and transition in the life and ministry of my husband, Kevin, and me. She was such a precious gift to our family and to me personally, but her birth brought to light such a longing and searching for clarity and identity in my own heart and life. Our children are not just gifts, but they are purposeful agents of light that expose the truth of our hearts. They bring out the best and the worst in us and seem to sharpen us where we are weak. Zion's birth was the beginning of a life-changing, God-ordained transition in my heart and thinking.
At this point I enjoyed motherhood more than any other God-given assignment in my life. I had managed the best that a young pastor's wife of a growing church could with my two precious boys, but something seemed to malfunction in my ability to adjust and manage after the birth of my third child. Maybe it was because Kevin and I were outnumbered, but I could not seem to get my life together. There is no returning to normal after having a baby! A new normal must be defined. The sooner a mother comes to grips with this reality and finds the joy and excitement of a new normal instead of grieving over what has been, the sooner anxiety, depression, and fear will leave.
Ministry, Marriage, and Motherhood
I was up early one morning feeding Zion and sitting in our home office really wrestling with God in a time of prayer. I was complaining, asking questions, and searching my soul. I knew that God had a call on my life that I was not yet fulfilling completely. Add to that the frustration of feeling as if I was failing in my responsibilities as a mother, pastor's wife, and co-pastor. I knew that my efforts in my call to shepherd our people were falling short as I tried to play the balancing act of home and ministry. If I couldn't even fill that role effectively and manage my home, how could I ever reach the nations, as God had so clearly spoken to my heart as a young teenager? Becoming a mother was so personally fulfilling in my life, but the Lord still allowed a measure of unsettledness to remain in my heart because motherhood was not the end of my journey, or even a parking lot where I could just stop and rest for a while. He was not calling me to be only a wife and mother; I had a role to fill as His daughter — a calling He had given me when I was just a child with no husband or children — and He placed that call on my life even when He saw the gift of family coming in the future. The added blessings of husband and children did not revoke the call of God on my life. These blessings were not hindrances to this call, but they were purposed to be enhancements. They were never meant to cause conflict or competition with that call; they were all meant to complement it. The call of God upon my husband and myself was also upon our children, and if we were anointed for a specific purpose, they were anointed to be our children as we fulfilled that call.
I found myself desperately stuck in something I now call "the devil's triangle." I am not talking about the Bermuda Triangle, although the risks are very similar. The Bermuda Triangle is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean in which a few ships and aircraft have "mysteriously" disappeared. I remember hearing stories about the Bermuda Triangle, which may not even be true, about how navigation systems would stop functioning and ships and aircraft would never be heard from or sighted again. The devil's triangle is an area of life that many women enter, and during their time there their navigation systems of destiny and calling stop functioning properly. Because of that, identity is lost and these women seem to never be able to find themselves again. This high-risk triangle of life has three legs to it: ministry, marriage, and motherhood. It is the balancing act where the responsibility of being the helpmate and wife; the call to be the caretaker, teacher, and shaper of another human being; and the personal call of God to fulfill our purpose and assignment on the earth as His daughter seem to converge. This triangle has been constructed for so many women, yet many never survive it. Somewhere in the middle of the balancing act we lose them on the radar of life, and they seem to spiral out of control.
I was right in the middle of this triangle, and in many ways I had already checked out from the world outside of that triangle. I seemed to lose contact with anyone and everyone who didn't fit in that zone of responsibility, and I was desperately lost and imbalanced in the middle. Ineffectiveness was all around me, and I was spiraling out of control. It was on this particular morning, when I was feeding Zion while the rest of my family slept, that the Lord began to unveil to me that this stormy season was actually ordained by Him. He had actually led me right in the middle of this triangle, but I would survive and live to tell about it, and I would expose the enemy's assignment within this triangle so that other moms could not only survive but also thrive in waters that are difficult to navigate.
As I was praying and crying before the Lord with my precious daughter cradled in my arms, I had an open vision that morning, right there in my office. I felt disconnected from anything purposeful in the kingdom and stuck behind diapers, baby bottles, and spit up. I was hardly able to even sit through a church service in its entirety. Yet that morning God opened up a picture of the kingdom to me, an inexperienced young mother. He met me right where I was, and when no one else seemed to see me, He did. I think the spirit realm operates much like the dream realm. You can see and hear so much in such a short amount of time. You can dream a whole day's worth of activities in just a ten-minute nap. That is what happened during this open vision.
Recognizing the Strategy of Satan's Attack
What I saw that day in just a matter of moments is hard to capture in words. Somehow before me I saw the thoughts and plans of the enemy. He was being exposed to me. I saw the enemy's desire to destroy the rising generation, and I saw him desiring to destroy my children. I felt his hatred toward them and saw his obsession with methodical destruction — subtle and crafty plans to contaminate and destroy the kingdom by destroying our children. Honestly that wasn't a huge surprise to me because I had grown up working in children's ministry. I had heard countless sermons and declarations about how the enemy desired to take the next generation and destroy our seed.
On this day, however, I saw a twist that no one had ever revealed to me. I saw the focal point of the enemy's target that day, and it was aimed at my babies; it was aimed at me as a mother. He was focused on all mothers, especially the godly ones. He saw them as the obstacle in the way of his plans. I saw him begin to send attack after attack directly at mothers. I saw mothers wrapped in a cloak of depression as they were feeding their babies at home, mothers in their minivans with frustration upon their faces and stress upon their shoulders, their eyes exhausted and empty. I saw mothers crying (as I was) in the early hours of the morning, fighting a loneliness so real I could almost touch it. The enemy was watching them and plotting his attack. His plan was to destroy them from the inside out. He wanted to stress, depress, distract, and wear down those who were shaping the next generation. The heavy hands of the mothers were in his way, so he wanted to weary them and keep them occupied with other things so that a door could be opened for his destructive plans. The Lord began to speak to me that many in the kingdom had begun to recognize the enemy's attack upon the next generation, but few recognized the enemy's strategy. Even the church was at times overlooking the ones who were under heavy attack. Even the world has stated that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, and the enemy knows this all too well. He was targeting the hand that rocks the cradle. He was targeting the mothers of the next generation because he knew that if he could destroy and divert them, then he could take their seed.
Something rose up in me at that moment that I cannot fully articulate. A fight rose up in me that has never left my spirit. I began to realize that lying on my office floor crying and feeling ineffective and helpless, as I was doing in that moment, was exactly what the enemy wanted me to do. That was exactly what he wanted me to feel. He had been targeting me to destroy me, and he was doing the same to many mothers around me. He wanted to disconnect me from my God-given purpose in the kingdom for fear I would raise my children to walk in their destiny alongside me. He feared me modeling my call before them. He fears all mothers who are engaged in the kingdom and who train their children to follow. We as mothers are actually a threat to him — not because we could preach great sermons or travel as missionaries around the world in this season of our lives, but because what we were doing had the potential to be just as effective, if not more so, than evangelistic crusades. I was shaping the next generation in my home. I was forging a weapon in my arms, quietly but faithfully. And as a mother I would be willing to fight to my last dying breath to protect the seed that had been entrusted to me. I was the enemy's worst nightmare.
His strategy against me was not to openly make his presence known and try to come and physically take my child. There are not enough demons in hell that could physically fight against a determined and protective Spirit-filled mother. His strategy was crafty and subtle; it was called self-destruction. If he could just get in my mind and emotions, he could get to my child. If he could just get me off focus and distracted, he could steal from me. If he could just oppress and depress me, he could keep me from shaping a weapon of mass destruction in my home. If he could contaminate my thinking, destroy my identity, and shake my faith, I would in turn do his work for him in my child. When this revelation hit me, I had a personal awakening!
Children themselves are weapons against the enemy, even from birth. David said, and Christ restated, that "out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength because of Your enemies, to silence the enemy and the avenger" (Ps. 8:2; see also Matt. 21:16). The word ordained means "anointed" or "appointed." It was the day of His entry into Jerusalem that Christ repeated this as the children cried in the streets "Hosanna" (Matt. 21:15). His entry was preceded by a young generation of prophetic praisers who were anointed and appointed for a prophetic moment that history would record. They silenced those who would speak from the spirit of the antichrist and discredit Christ as Messiah. They declared what could not be seen with the physical eye, only with prophetic insight. I declare Christ's return will be no different. As He makes His triumphant return, He will be preceded by a generation of young prophetic praisers. This group of children will release a sound that will silence the spirit of the antichrist and declare the holiness of God. They will war through their sound, and the enemy knows this. He knows the power of their praise, and he is determined to silence them.
His strategy is to silence this generation by silencing the mothers. As I travel and minister around the world, never have I seen more mothers who are distracted by goals and pressures that have no eternal value. So many mothers are living on medication just to find feelings of happiness again as they are attacked by depression and anxiety. In churches I see mothers with tear-filled eyes walking the halls and sitting in nursery rooms, wondering if they will ever survive this challenging season and if anyone even knows they actually made it to church that day. They have lost their praise and their song. Their silence has weakened their ability to fight. They have exchanged their armor, a garment of praise, for a garment of heaviness and despair. Silent mothers model and mold silent children.
In the fast pace of our society we have at times failed to give proper significance and honor to those who are truly shaping society. It's not government programs or educational programs or even church programs that make the greatest impact on a child's life. It is the shaping of a mother and father (which is another book) that molds a child with the greatest significance. This book is about awakening mothers, the silent warriors. It is about sounding the alarm to the army that the enemy fears the most: Spirit-filled, kingdom-minded mothers!
The enemy may have attempted to lure you to sleep, woman of God, but I am praying that an alarm is sounding so loudly right now that you cannot ignore it or push the sleep button. This is an alarm that mandates immediate action. As Isaiah 52:2 says, we must rise up and shake the dust off of ourselves. Get up, woman of God, and realize you have a great assignment to shape the seed you have been entrusted with. We can change the culture around us and shape the future of the kingdom of God just by helping to raise up and release a prophetic generation. We can train an army that will shape the culture without the culture shaping them if we can keep from being shaped by our culture ourselves.
Whom Are You Raising Up in Your House?
One child with promise and destiny can change the future of an entire nation. Just look at the lives of John the Baptist, whom we have already discussed, and Samuel, Joseph, Moses, Samson ... and the list goes on. They were weapons in the hand of the Lord that transformed entire nations for generations to come! Where did the battle and victory start? It was in the radical obedience and alertness of their mothers. The deliverance of Israel through Moses really started when Jochebed, his mother, released him in a basket (Exod. 2:3). The turning of Israel back to the true worship of God and the change in the political structure of that nation started with a mother named Hannah crying out at the altar of God for a child. The battle was won the day Hannah placed her precious promise from God, her baby boy, Samuel, on the doorsteps of the temple and walked away empty-handed (1 Samuel 1). Israel's deliverance from the Philistines really started when Manoah's wife didn't care who made fun of her or if her son got mad at her rules. She would never cut his hair or allow him to drink the fruit of the vine. She shaped him even against his own choice at times, as God instructed her, to set him up for destiny (Judg. 13).
Excerpted from The Warrior We Call Mom by Deven Wallace. Copyright © 2017 Deven Wallace. Excerpted by permission of Charisma House Book Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1 Kingdom-Minded Mothers 11
2 The Arrows in Your Quiver 23
3 Be Loosed to Lead 41
4 Keeping Your Children on Course 51
5 Raising "Left-Handed" Warriors 59
6 Restoring the Wayward Child 73
7 Beware of the Trap of Comparison 83
8 Stop Coping, and Start Shaping 99
9 Releasing Your Children: An Act of Worship 115
10 Mastering Release 115
11 Clothe Them; Don't Control Them 135
12 Be Fierce, Not Afraid 149
13 Breaking Generational Cycles 157
14 Throw Off the Taskmaster Spirit 167
15 Learn to Burn 175
16 Don't Ever Lose Your Praise 185
17 Arise and Shine! 193