Motherhood is HARD, yes, but it doesn’t have to be dreary and droopy. Chin up, buttercup. Shoulders back. Turn that frown upside down. Swallow those sorrowful sighs. Choose joy, because even on the hardest days, it is still exactly that: a choice. Laugh at today and all the days to come!
Last week, I shared a post on the common complaints I’ve been guilty of indulging in as a mom, along with my resolution to (try to) abstain from all the sighing and moaning and groaning that so easily accompanies this life with little ones…
but, thankfully, not every day calls for such resolved action, and, as a lady who truly loves being a stay-at-home wife/mom/homeschooler, I would be remiss to mention all the things I struggle with in the mommyhood department without mentioning the things that bless my slippers off.
Because, thankfully, when you “sign up” for the daily grind that comes with being a parent, you are also the natural beneficiary of a good that far, far, FAR outweighs any bad that might occasionally (daily) weigh you down.
Motherhood is work many times. But work isn’t some terrible Christian duty we can’t enjoy. It is our duty but when we empty ourselves for others, the Lord fills us up…with replenishments of strength, joy, creativity and more. That way we have it to give all over again…to which He re-stocks the bare shelves once more. And this is not just a cycle that ends when the diapers do or even when children marry and leave home. This is God’s beautiful and wonderful way for all believers, whether or not they even have children.
There are days of motherhood, long seasons even, that are quite laborious. And if you are like me, motherhood brought about the first time you were ever really tested in this matter of laying down your life. Took me a long time to realize that the things motherhood took from me while I was still resentful of it, was not true sacrifice. I would keep a mental tally of just how many bottoms I wiped, how many corrections I had given and just how long it took me to get school done that day. How many sermons I had missed at church, how much pregnancy changed my body, how I didn’t even get any sleep at night. I didn’tgive those things, they were taken from me. They were not given freely and willfully.
Sometimes daily, I still have to intentionally hand over those things willingly, not have them ripped from my hands that want to cling to them with a death-grip. I want to give them gently, lovingly and freely, not see them as stolen from me. That is real sacrifice and the kind that bears fruit.
When did children become something to obtain because we want it? When did they become something to collect or possessions to own? They’ve almost been lowered to the position of pets. I’m thinking it probably happened around the same time they became a “choice”.
The fact is, I couldn’t have a child I didn’t “want”. Even if I said I wanted 2 or 3 or 4, I would want that fifth child very very much if he “accidentally” came along. That is because they aren’t possessions–they’re people. And even more, they’re MY child that I love with a love greater than I ever knew. How can we put a number on them as if their value has anything to do with birth order?
But beyond that, we don’t have them because we “want” them. It’s not about us. They aren’t FOR us. As much as each of my seven children brings me more joy, love, and delight than I ever imagined possible, they don’t exist for my enjoyment.
The strongest women in our world today are those who are as a group feeling the weakest. It certainly doesn’t feel like a blow for the kingdom to spend another nine months in a brain fog. It doesn’t feel like we are fighting for the future of our country as we drive strollers with one elbow so we can hold one fat defiant hand while sloshing coffee on ourselves with the other.
But His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He loves the obedience of the widows mite – the offering of the littlest thing that is our everything. It can seem so petty and uninteresting when what you are putting in the offering box is giving up sleeping in. Or joyfully driving the mini van that you never wanted. Or spending Friday nights folding laundry and picking up board books. But God delights in that, and He delights in us as we obey.
Do we want to spend our time giving little things that delight our Savior, or trying desperately to please the world? The world might be pleased with us if we stood for hours in our stupid sneakers fighting for a woman’s right to kill her children, but they will never applaud us for being inconvenienced and actually carrying those children.
What we are failing to see is that this weakness haunts us so much when we want to rely on our own strength. But this weakness is His to strengthen. This weakness is the greatest offering that we can give – because it is the offering of obedience.
For all my fellow mothers in a season of exhaustion – who feel like they can hardly put one foot in front of the other, who are worn “even before the day begins”, who are even more soul weary than they are physically weary, who are walking through trial while caring for the needs of their families, who are just plain wiped out. Keep fighting the good fight; remember in the midst of the temporal chaos, heartache, crumbs and laundry that we are investing in eternity. Remember we can rest in our faithful God Who never grows tired:
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40: 28-31
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Friends, if you are hungry for some eternal perspective in the difficult task of motherhood and homemaking, this is the book for you. It is a treasure trove full of encouragement and vision. With generous quotes and passages from authors both historic and modern, the book powerfully and boldly inspired me to “keep” a home that reflects God’s grace and goodness.
In a generation that has, sadly, swallowed the lies of feminism and dismissed the role of women in the home as outdated and unneeded, Queen of the Homewill remind you of your divine mission: the people that God has called you to serve. The work He has given you to do that will extend to the next generation and beyond.
Even as busy moms who have crumbs that seem to permanently reside in the kitchen chairs, we can still have lovely homes if our hearts are willing. Fresh paint, colorful adornments to the walls or fancy furniture will not be what make it beautiful. Give me some glass with fingerprints, carpet strewn with Legos and a fridge that has seen better days anyday…along with a mama who is filling the rooms with joy, laughter, love and peace knowing she is being faithful to the noble task of mothering her children well. Now that’s a beautiful house.
If you have to “schedule” time on your calendar with each child to make sure you’re fitting everyone in, then please, by all means schedule that time. Make it a priority to spend quality time with each of your children individually. Invest in the lives of your children physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It will pay off in dividends in the long run. There really are so many opportunities you can take advantage of to spend quality time with each of your children. You just have to be willing to make it a priority.