A Resolution For Mothers - Sarah Mae
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A Resolution For Mothers

Tonight I watched the movie Courageous.

The heart of the movie was to encourage fathers to be intentional with their children: to give them their time and train them up to be responsible, to have integrity, and to love the Lord. But the movie encouraged my mama-heart as well.

I want to be an intentional mother. I don’t want to look back on my life in fifteen years and have a grieving spirit because I wasn’t intentional. I want to be a mother who is resolved in teaching and training my children, cultivating the garden of their souls (as Sally says), and investing my time in the things they enjoy. I want to love them well, and love is an action, not a feeling. I feel great depths of love for my children, but if I don’t show it in actionable ways, it will prove to be only a shadow of real love.

When I was younger and living with mom (my parents are divorced) I used to beg her to quit drinking. I would say, “Aren’t I more important than your alcohol?” No matter how many times she told me she loved me, it was all just hollow for me because I saw her day in and day out choose the drink over me. And when she drank, she was mean, and didn’t act like a mother should. She didn’t act like a mother on the day I cut myself by accident while washing the dishes. The knife sliced into my thumb, straight through to the nerves. It wouldn’t stop bleeding and I asked my mom to take me to the hospitable for stitches, but she wouldn’t. I wrapped my thumb with bandaids, and when those didn’t stop the bleeding I wrapped it in paper towels thick and put tape around it, but in the morning it was still bleeding. I never got stitches, and now every time I hit my thumb on something I’m reminded of that day because of the sharp pain that goes through my thumb when I hit it the wrong way. The scar on my thumb is a reminder of the scars on my heart. I believe she loved me, but her love was not evident to me because it wasn’t actionable.

I wonder what my love looks like to my children? I wonder if my love is evident through my daily actions. I wonder what their memories will be of me in fifteen years. I wonder what will stand in the forefront of their minds when they think of me. I wonder what legacy I will leave them with one day.

“One day” is all governed by the every days.

And the every days are often boring days, long days, hard days, tired days. It’s easier to try and escape by going on the computer or cleaning or doing something other than taking part in the mundane and making it beautiful and alive for myself and my children.

I need resolve to keep going; I need resolve to be diligent in being a life-giver, in teaching, training, and loving my babies well.

Therefore I’ve decided to write myself up a resolution.

My Mama-Resolution

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 (ESV)

I resolve, before God and by His grace, to intentionally bring up my children in the training and instruction of the Lord.

I will give my children my time and attention during the day.

I will read to them out of God’s Word and do my best to teach them how to love God with all their heart, mind, and soul.

I will be kind and compassionate, and sensitive to their needs and their age (knowing I will make mistakes and have God’s grace to keep on).

I will help them to face their sin, go to God, and accept forgiveness and grace. I will remind them that they can never lose my love, and if they know God, they can never lose His love.

I will do my best to respect to my husband, especially in front of my children.

I will play dollies, dragons, ponies, games, or do projects with my children.

I will take them on adventures and show them the wonder of God through nature and art.

I will teach my son to be a gentlemen, to be brave, to serve, to protect the weak, to care for others sacrificially, and to do whatever God leads him to do, by faith. I will trust my husband to teach my son to be a man.

I will teach my daughters to be strong and dignified, to be brave, to serve, to protect the weak, to care for others sacrificially, and to do whatever God leads them to do, by faith.

I will pay attention to my children’s bents so I can nurture them in developing their giftings.

I will pray for my children every day.

I will tuck my children in with songs, blessing, and prayers every night. I will try to remember just how fast these years go.

“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” 1 Corinthians 9:19 (ESV)

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

Will you join me in being resolved? Sure, some of your resolutions might look different from mine, but would you commit to being intentional with your children?

Let’s commit ourselves to giving the first fruits of our time to building into the eternal souls in our care.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7

P.S. What resolutions would you add?

 Love, SM

Print this!

  • http://twitter.com/rivkareverer FromMyMountainView

    This is fantastic.  I have joined with you, and forwarded it out!  🙂

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Erinleighan7

    This has been so heavy on my mind lately. I resolve to get outside more, and to be more intentional in sharing scriptures with my littles. I keep using the excuse that my daughter is too young to understand, but now at 2 years old I realize how much she actually comprehends. I’m beginning to see fruit, and it is a wonderful feeling! Welcome back!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks for the welcome back! It’s GREAT to have a new blog home! 🙂

      They grow so fast, start now and keep tucking truth into her little heart!

  • http://salaknlemonlade.blogspot.com/ Mrs.B

    Awesome movie. I’m glad you have made your “resolution”. A friend of mine gave me a Resolution already made. She bought it for me and I think you can probably find them at most Christian book stores. It’s very similar to yours, but like you said, each person’s will be a little different. This one I have, I think , was made to go along with the movie.
    Again, your resolution sounds great, glad you took action after watching the movie.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Now the hard part begins, actually taking action!

  • Joy

    You know I love this!! This is so much where my heart lies, I am with you 110% and I applaud you for your choices and for going so far as making a resolution.  Love you friend, and I love your new space!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks Joy! My life and my actions need to catch up with my heart. 

  • Erin6579

    This is good.  Thank you.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      You’re welcome! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Beth Williams

    Sarah Mae,

    You should read the book “The Resolution for Women”.  In the back of the book there are resolutions for women also.  Both the book and movie were outstanding Christian living and portrayed people as “real”.

    I have copied and signed them.  I have no children, I still resolve to be a good Christian woman & wife. 

    I would recommend both the movie and the book. 

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks Beth! I have the book and should probably dig in!

  • Theresa

    This is fantastic! And for me (personally) in keeping a resolve such as this – as it is VERY applicable to my own life, I would add an examination of my day at the end. Have I followed through on these? Which ones am I constantly struggling with? What sort of little joys have I noticed in the children?…in ME because of these resolutions? In what ways can I improve? etc.
    This is life changing….ever-changing. Good luck! And many blessings to you Sarah Mae.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Theresa, I love the idea of adding examination, YES!!!

  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com/ Southern Gal

    Such a great list of resolutions.  I have to say the one about the computer steals more time from my boy than anything else.   I have to be intentional with it. Thanks for the reminder.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Yes, I give my computer too much time, as well. I keep thinking, what do I want my kids to remember? I don’t want them to remember me in front of a screen!

  • Alexismacphee

    This was beautiful!  Thank you.  Would love to get this in a pretty printable.  Anyone good at that kind of stuff?

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I’ll make a PDF! 🙂

  • BethanyHoover

    Sarah Mae, this was beautiful! It was absolutely something I needed to hear! I don’t think anything needs to be added to your list! Being intentional is certainly something I have struggled with in the past! So, thank you for the beautiful reminder!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Being intentional is SO hard, but that’s probably why many finally give up. It’s just hard, and without encouragement and support, it’s tough to keep resolve. 

  • Kristine McGuire

    Beautiful and oh so applicable. When I saw the movie Courageous I also thought of how important the message of the movie is for both fathers and mothers. My daughters are grown now but I join in the resolve to pray for my children every day, pray for and respect my husband, show kindness and listen to their needs (cuz adults need that too) and continue to be an example of God’s mercy, grace, and love in their lives.

    Great post, Sarah Mae—and the new site is gorgeous. 🙂

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks Kristine! I liked the movie more than I thought I would, and I didn’t expect it to get to my heart! 

  • http://3dlessons4life.wordpress.com/ Lyli@3dLessons4Life

    This is beautiful.  I would agree with Beth Williams comment that Priscilla Shirer’s book “The Resolution for Women” is a must read.  I am about half way through it right now, and will probably read it again when I finish.   — thanks for the challenge to be intentional.  I am praying that God will bless us with a baby, but in the mean time, I am going to write up a resolution that captures the purposeful way I need to love on my man. 

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I guess I’d better get to reading it!

  • Brenna

    This year I made a Mama Resoulution, too. Mine is to never be the first perso to let go during a hug with my girls. This fills their hearts and in turn fills mine.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Brenna,I love that! Beautiful!

    • For Girls Like You Magazine

      That is a great one… I love it!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    Love this. I’ve been going through The Resolution for Women on my blog, Very slowly. But I love the more focused approach of the Resolution for Mothers. I feel you on all of this. 

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Love you Christin! 🙂

  • http://educatinglaytons.com/ steflayton

    I will immediately GET OFF the computer when they need me rather than say, “I’ll be right there”. Better yet — I won’t get on the computer when they’re awake. I ache to follow this one thru to the full. My mom worked at home, on a typewriter. She was home, but wasn’t available to us. It hurts my heart something fierce that I would mimic this in my own home.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      That’s a good one Stef! 

  • http://altarofheaven.wordpress.com/ Arcelia Miller

    This is wonderful Sarah Mae!  Thank you for encouraging us mama’s to love and good deeds–great for accountability too! I definitely love Deuteronomy 6:4-9! This is special to me because that’s one of the first verses that illuminated to me before my transformation! We are to teach them diligently about our God!! I am adding to my list: No phone conversations during the day; Humble myself and apologize to my children to show them the Christian walk; (I like the one about the night time routines–I sometimes find myself rushing it 🙁

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I rush way too often. I’m tired and just ready to do my thing. But those times are so special, and they crave that time with me. 

  • Lindseyz

    Love this!!!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thank you!

  • http://profiles.google.com/bethwillismiller Beth Willis Miller

    Sarah, I resolve to thank God in advance for how He is working in my children’s lives…knowing that trusting God in the present will reveal God’s sovereign plan when we look back on it in time…I found a neat timeline template that helped me record graphically what God showed me as I looked back on those moments in my life and my children’s lives where God had been there all along…

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Love this!

  • For Girls Like You Magazine

    Thank you so much for this! I love the simplicity to this. Mothering can feel overwhelming if we attempt to tackle huge feats in a day, but playing with ponies, getting off the computer and daily prayer are the basics and are so doable for us all! Thank you!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      My kids would be filled up if I just played more with them-they soak it up!

  • ResolvedtoBe

    This is a beautiful post, Sarah Mae! I wholeheartedly agree. Something that I am resolved to be about at this season in my life is to be sweet. Cultivating sweetness now so that as I grow older that is the fruit that will grow. That isn’t the only thing I want to cultivate, but it is my focus at this time.

    By the way, your new site is pretty wonderful! 😉

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      My site is pretty, I absolutely agree! 🙂

      Thanks for your encouragement Robin!

  • http://www.permissiontoperuse.com Amy Bennett

    This is exactly where my heart is but not where my actions are.  I want to do every single one of these things but it’s so hard to have the self-control and amount of love and patience it takes.  I don’t have the strength in myself but may God give them to me!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Oh my goodness, self-control, yes! Lord, help us all with this!

  • http://www.hopewithfeathers.com/ Kristenkill

    Oh my friend…God used you to speak into my life this morning. It was providential. Thank you. Love you…LOVE this space. Blue is my color and I just can’t get enough. I know this new space will likely be the same. 
    Love K

  • http://www.ramblingsofamommy-sahm.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    I loved reading this. I have missed your blog very much, and I’m so glad I was able to read this before my babies wake up! Your resolutions are very similar to mine, I especially love the reminder to love in deed not just in words. Blessings to you.:)

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I am SO glad to be back!

  • http://www.athomewithkim.com/ Kim | At Home With Kim

    Sarah Mae, this is so incredibly inspiring and convicting.  I am going through the book of Ephesians right now using the SOAP method with some girlfriends {via GoodMorningGirls.org} and have been very compelled about my screen time.  As I look into the future, what does all that time on social media and even blogging really leave?  HOURS spent…  but for what outcome?  My children are in school during the day…  but your post applies even to that – bc if we are not using our time wisely during the day, we will not be prepared to receive our children in the afternoon.  I will print this and keep it close.  GREAT post!  Thanks for sharing…  and I love your new design/site! Congrats.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks Kim, and you’re asking good questions. We need to be thinking of the future. 

  • Jen

    Perfectly said! My husband and I were just talking about the computer thing. When he gets home we are on the computer. When the kids are taking a bath we are on my phone surfing the web. It seems almost constant. I told him the other day that our children are going to remember that mommy and daddy were always on the computer/electronics and that most definitely is not what I want them to remember. I want them to remember me playing with them while they are in the bath or instead of mommy and daddy always being on the computer what if we replaced that with the Bible! Thank you for this wonderful post!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Me, too. 

  • Pam Leding

    Wonderful post, Sarah Mae! Thank you!!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thank you, and you’re welcome! 🙂

  • http://www.homeandheartstrings.com/ Leah

    This is so true, and so timely for me. I’ve been striving lately to find small ways to be involved more in my children’s lives. I’m amazed at the little things that they remember, even though they are only 3 and 5.  
    I was reminded while reading this that being resolved is something we have to renew EVERY day, especially when we’re tired or hormonal. 🙂  

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Oh, yes and amen even when we’re tired or hormonal! Haha!

  • http://www.anothernewseason.com Donna S

    Sarah – I love your words this morning. This has been the #1 focus in my heart lately and I’m glad I’m not alone because I’m sure I will need plenty of encouragement.  I dont’ want my children’s memories to be of mommy sitting at the computer all day.  Creating traditions and special memories for my children is close to the top of my list. Finding ways to celebrate special occasions even the small accomplishments! 

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      It’s hard, but I think if we put the work in now, we will have fewer regrets and more blessing!

  • Jane Leroux

    I have raised 12 children, not knowing the Lord in the beginning.  They were my focus
    but I could have been more intentional.  Now I’m trying to be the intentional Grandma, with 35 grandchildren it’s a challenge but a worthwhile one.  Thank you for your words, they are a great inspiration. This is my prayer ; that I be the servant God purposed me to be.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      It sounds like you are very blessed!

  • Trina Holden

    Sarah Mae,
    Thank you for the time you took to write up those resolutions. They are so similar to my heart for my kids that I’m printing them up and putting them above my kitchen sink and making them mine, too. I’m taking the challenge. 🙂
    So glad you’re back to blogging.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I’m glad I’m back, too. 

      I think I’ll turn these into aPDF and hang them front and center as well!

  • Sally Clarkson

    Lovely, my sweet friend. You know I am praying for you so often, to be able to fulfill your hopes, ideals and dreams. And we must put our visit on the calendar, so I can spoil you again. What a lovely blog and a lovely heart.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I love seeing your face on my blog, makes me all giddy. 🙂

  • Pingback: Here and there « oh! to grace

  • http://www.joyfilleddays.com/ Sarah Beals

    Loved all of this and am thinking that your kids are some very lucky ones. 🙂

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Oh Sarah, I hope they just know I love them…I hope they know it through my actions. But seriously, I wrote the resolution because my actions have been lacking and I need to change. 

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

    I have not yet seen the movie, but look forward to it.  Love the new Blog!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks Barbie, me too! 

  • Shannon Cimato

    Love it!  So needed this today.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      So glad it encouraged you!

  • Mrs Merrill

    Thank you for the encouragement! My second baby is due anytime and I have been thinking about making a resolution as well. I unfortunately have a big mouth and little patience, which is not a good combination.  I plan to include speaking words of encouragement and not yelling in my resolution. 

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      That’s a good one! I struggle with this, too. I really want to have a gentle voice and a gentle face.

  • http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/ Mary Bonner

    Sarah Mae, this is not only beautiful, it touched my heart.  My son is a young adult and I never got to parent more than one child for a long period of time.  I tried to do some of the things you wrote here and I still pray for him daily.  Thank you for this.

    You are gifted, Sarah Mae and I am blessed to have the chance to read your writings.

  • Kari

    GOD has blessed you and now me through your wonderful post today! I praise Him!  I needed to hear this today and I am convicted and inspired by this.  I pray HE will strengthen and guide you in your purposeful journey to do all this. His grace to you!

  • http://arabahjoy.com/ Arabahjoy

    Love your new home, Sarah Mae. Keep staying resolved and keep flying high

  • Kim Laminen

    hello, I am in the stage of sending off my 4 boys ages 15, 17, 19 and 21…I will say how would I add to this resolution?  (I wish I had known this earlier.. I would encourage you young moms to truth)

    At a certain age, momma can no longer be the one who instructs BOYS on who they are and HOW to become MEN. They need to be sent off by their FATHER.  I wish I had known earlier on, but I have, actually, become a stumbling block. My men crave the correction, direction and praise of their FATHER.  All along, and even more so at this stage it has been my job, my privilege, my role as mommy, is to LOVE their Father, support their Father, be a helpmeet to him.  There is no greater gift I can give to these Young Men, than to show my comfort in that role, by joy in the Lord, my delight is seeing them walk along side their Father along the way. I have to know, that the fact that I trained them, gave them the word daily, taught them to feed them self, clothe them self, think for them self, conveyed to them their value and worth in the Lord,I have planted seeds and cultivated the ground….for this time..  the teens years are a HARD season, somewhat of a lonely season (for mommy), but as I watch the SENDING OFF, Malichi 4:6 “Returning the heart’s of the Fathers to their children, and the heart’s of the children to their fathers.”   Luke 1:17 “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah,
    to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient
    to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the


  • MamaGee

    love your new bog and your post Sarah Mae. It touched my heart xo

    • MamaGee

      *blog (!)

      • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

        Thank you! 🙂

  • http://bohemianbowmans.com/ Jessica

    I will teach my children grace by showing them grace. 

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae


  • Rhondasuedevine

    That is lovely, Sarah Mae–may the Lord help you and the rest of us mothers to love Him with all our hearts and let it “flesh out” in the way we love our families:)

  • Hippie4ever2

    I love your resolutions and the additional ones in comments…grace and examination especially. Thank you.

  • Traci

    so beautiful!  Loved this… my heartbeat as well… Love, Traci


  • Erin Messing

    Oh, I love this. In the chaos that is our daily life I need to be intentional in focusing on my sweet little ones, nurturing them, and raising them to love Christ. So needed to hear this message today. 

  • http://www.sewcarolinaknits.blogspot.com/ Carolina

    Wonderful post!  Here are some of my resolutions.
    I resolve to be there for my teen girls.I resolve to be their mother and not their friend.
    I resolve to love each of them for their special gifts, seperately and not expect them to be like each other.
    I resolve never to utter the words “why can’t you be like your sister”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21403276 Carolyn Svellinger

    Congratulations on the site and your upcoming book! Your writing always brings me Peace 🙂

  • http://sonyamacdesigns.com/ sonyamacdesigns

    I resolve to add to the daily wet paint of HIS masterpiece in both of my children all the while being ever so humbly confident in HIM that started a good work in them …..

  • Bethany

    I pinned it!

  • Jenifer

    I love this post, Sarah Mae.  We watched Courageous opening night in the theater and it spoke to me.  Since then I have watched it at home with the kids.  I recently purchased the book Resolution for Women.  My word for this year is intentional.  I want to be an intentional mom to my kids.  I want to minister to them.  Thank you for this encouragement.

  • http://seekinghisgrace.com/ Missy

    I too had  a dysfunctional childhood. I too craved the attention and love that I should have gotten, but never did. 
    I want my children to grow up in a different home then I did. 
    God has been slowly pruning away at all the other things that distract me from my real ministry so that I can focus on my family. 
    Thank you for the reminder. 

  • http://www.momsinneedofmercy.com/ Cheryl

    Great resolutions! If I can share via virutal conversation:) my thoughts, too, I wrote them here in a post called “The Glory of the Usual”: http://momsinneedofmercy.blogspot.com/2010/04/glory-of-usual.html
    Here’s to great, glorious, usual days!

  • kelly

    Spreading the word by posting on my facebook account.

  • Kathy

    What wonderful and wise words! Thank you for reminding me of what I should be making time for and what I should be turning off! 🙂

  • http://www.shinebrightlyforjesus.blogspot.com/ Lisa Maria

    How beautiful!  I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to put a copy on my fridge to help me to remember what my own mama’s resolutions ought to look like…someday soon I’ll write my own! Thank you for the inspiration and for being so real. I know what its like to have the childhood with the feelings of being unloved. Its hard not to take it into my own motherhood…its a constant battle to overcome. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Ameeboer

    Thank you. I used pin it! Will enjoy the book.

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

    I love your resolutions and high ideals! Go Sarah Mae!!!  May God Bless your home!  And I love your new site – looks great!!!
    Courtney 🙂

  • Suzanne Lincoln

    Love this!  Thank you for the encouragement.  

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