God is so good to bring us great days on the heels of bad ones. Thank you Lord! Today passed by quickly with playing at home in the morning, at the tennis court and Nonna and Papa’s house around lunchtime, and in the mud in the backyard in the evening. I had a moment to lie on the bench in the backyard and read while the boys played in their new dirtpile area. The weather is perfect right now…low 80’s with a slight breeze rustling through the trees below a blue sky. Lying down and looking up at that sky, I read from Sally Clarkson’s The Mission of Motherhood and was reminded again of God’s calling for this phase of my life.
“The fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully. It’s up to us to embrace that mission as our own, trusting God to walk us through the details and to use our willing mothers’ hands as instruments of his blessings.”
She describes when she first embraced the role of mother (with all its challenges!) with her full being: “I began to see my children’s care and nurture as God’s best will for my life during my season as a mother. I needed to accept days like this – my children’s neediness, the myriad mindless tasks, and even my own occasional discomfort – as part of my partnering with my husband toward our mutual goal of building a godly heritage for Christ. I needed to nurture my children with my songs, my words, and my physical labor, treating each day as sacred in their development toward becoming healthy, mature adults. I needed to face the reality that all of the “important stuff” I was longing to do had far less eternal significance than what I was involved in doing. If I didn’t commit myself wholeheartedly to the demands of motherhood, I would never be able to do my best, because my heart would always be somewhere else.”
I remember during my first few years of parenting feeling like I wasn’t really doing enough for God’s kingdom by “just being a mom” and staying home. I filled our schedule with volunteering and playdates and service, trying to do my part, but trying to give and give and give while parenting a little one was stressing me out. It wasn’t until I slowed down and cut back most of my outside commitments that I really was able to enjoy staying home and raising my boys in the way God wanted me to. That is my calling and I needed to embrace it.
I still need to let go of even more of the control I think I hold over my days and hours. So another image that stood out to me in the book was her description of a “cup” as our lot in life. “When Jesus was about to be crucified, he prayed to the Father, ‘If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt’ (Matthew 26:39)…I pray that I will drink my own cup with as much graciousness as did my Lord.” Although I have turned to God on my harder days, I never really thought of those hard days as a sacrifice of praise to God. Just trudging on with our mothering when things get really rough is a sacrifice that is pleasing to God! Wow. He gave us our children, knowing what trials they would bring us. He wants me to be faithful to my calling as a mother by continuing that hard task on the hardest of days. It is a fragrant offering when we keep on walking in the way He has for us.
May you walk faithfully through your mothering path today.