Monday Minute with God: What I’m Learning by Leanne Hunley

I just left the bookstore crying.

Until this moment, today has been one of those memorable days that fill the pages of my scrapbooks. I took my kids to the aquarium.

Both kids were both behaving. When your children are 4 and 1.5, good behavior is a blessing rather than a given. We ventured into dangerous territory for any parent of small children…the children’s area of the bookstore.

“You guys have been so good today, let’s get a treat. You can pick out a book.” Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.

A My Little Pony fanatic, my daughter insisted she wanted a stuffed pony. “Not right now; maybe for Christmas. Let’s pick out an awesome book.”

She threw a fit and was screaming in the bookstore. Everyone around us turned to watch, just as my child threw herself on the floor and shrieked even louder.

Pulling out my Mom-means-business voice, I said, “Okay, so now you can’t have a pony OR a book. Bad behavior does not get rewarded!”

This scene was a production and an embarrassing one at that made me feel like a failure.

  • A failure as a parent.
  • A failure as a mother.

It would have been so much easier for me to appease her tantrum with the pony.


What I’m Learning

As my toddler was still screaming I put her in the car seat and on the radio came Matthew West’s song, “Strong Enough.”

At that moment, I wasn’t feeling like a strong parent. “I know I’m not strong enough to be everything that I’m supposed to be.” The song lyric caught my attention.

“I’m asking you to be strong enough for the both of us,” the singer continued.

God definitely had my attention by the time the words to a familiar Bible verse rose above the continuing screams of my daughter.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”—Philippians 4:13

I’ve always loved this verse, but in this moment I felt like God was speaking directly to my frazzled heart. I repeated the powerful and true words of this verse aloud—the prayer of a mom just trying to get through the moment.



Think About It

God used the song on the radio and a short verse of Scripture to remind me that I’m not in the challenges of parenting alone. A verse I had read many times in the past became life in the moment, a God-given reminder to depend on Christ for strength in this situation.

Standing firm in parenting decisions can be challenging. Thinking about the situation, I wonder how many times I’ve been the screaming child, insisting on getting my way and rebelling against the lessons God teaches me. More times than I’d like to admit!

As we drove home, the cries from the back seat quieted into whimpers and sniffs. My nerves settled, and I realized I was experiencing the strength of Christ right in the middle of my daughter’s tantrum.

How I’m Learning

Listen to Christian radio. Listening to Christian music is one helpful way to stay connected to God.

Pray. When God brings a Bible verse to mind in a moment of need, it reminds me to pray. Praying the words of Scripture can give us strength.

Depend on Christ. In the middle of a stressful situation, I needed strength beyond my capacity at the moment. Through prayer, I depended on Christ for His strength to stand firm and not give in.

All In

The strength of Jesus is my All In. When we rely on Christ we can be all in rather than give in to frustrations.

Relying on the strength of Jesus, I can handle situations that set my nerves on edge or make me feel like a failure. Sometimes we have to learn hard lessons or make difficult decisions, but the Holy Spirit can remind us in the moment to be All In even when we don’t feel strong.


Pray About It

Lord, remind me to depend on your strength in all things, particularly when I’m struggling. Thank you for making your strength available to me. Help me to be All In even when I don’t feel up to it.

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