Among the “top five items I love:” my iPod. But not for the reason you might think. Sure, I like my music and enjoy my playlists… But the real gold for me is the podcasts. Early in 2007 I started listening to sermons regularly, and it’s one of the best things habits I’ve ever picked up. Particularly because I’m an audial learner, it’s hard to describe how much knowledge and wisdom I’ve gleaned through listening regularly to teaching this way. It’s been a lifeline.
In my mind, teaching-via-iPod seems well suited to the life as a mother of young ones – who get short, often unpredictable spurts of time here and there that might be put to intellectual use. I listen primarily while I’m washing up the dishes as my husband’s getting the kids into their PJ’s. Sometimes when I’m doing housekeeping work by myself (not too often) or exercising. Occasionally when I’m alone in the car for a stretch – picking someone up from the airport or running errands solo. Redeeming the time, whenever possible, by plugging my brain into the teaching of God’s word, refreshing me and providing direction all in one go. Load ’em on; listen; unload. Podcasts refresh where you last stop them, so when I stop halfway through, I can pick up right where I left off next time. It’s one of my favorite things about modern technology. (My “pro” column in this arena is frankly rather short, so I’m glad to be able to be able to pony up a positive that I can heartily endorse.)
My favorite teacher, since the beginning of my ventures in online sermons, is Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church Seattle. I rarely miss a sermon. A good place for the new listener to start might be his recent short teaching series on Proverbs – excellent messages that ares succinct and readily applicable to all aspects of daily life. I’ve recently started listening to Francis Chan of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, who’s also great.
There’s also so much Christ-centered parenting content out there that can encourage and direct us moms as we raise our young ones, day in and day out. I’ve listened to several teachings on motherhood by Carolyn Mahaney that I liked, one in particular called “Loving my Children” that impacted me greatly. I’ll likely go back for more. My friend Molly just pointed me to a teaching series by John Piper’s church; I’m part way through the first one, given by Piper, called “Let No One Despise You for Your Youth” which I’m already planning to re-listen to. (Thanks Molly!) Talk about casting vision. I’ll listen to the whole series. There’s also a four-part series by Tedd Tripp that contains some valuable insights on parental authority, among other things. Any others you love? Leave a comment if so – love to add to my list.
We are so fortunate to have teachers and resources like these at our finger tips. Who among us can’t use a shot in the arm of inspiration, objectivity, and encouragement as we parent? For free and on according to our own schedules, no less! The grace of God (one among many) to the modern-day mom.