What is it like to go day after day wondering if what you do matters? What does it feel like to not know or understand your purpose? It is pretty lonely. It causes insecurity, doubt and does a number on your self worth.
On the flip side, what is it like to fully love and embrace your purpose? What is that feeling when you are content and settled and you believe you’re living out exactly what God is asking of you right now?
I’ve been both places. Admittedly, I’ve spent a lot more time wandering. But I can confidently say that I am right where God wants me for now. It’s so freeing! There’s no more wondering every day if I am important or valued or making a difference. I know I am all three of those things.
Whose approval are you living for? It would be exhausting, and impossible, trying to please and impress everyone. Once you make that decision, things will be so much easier. I care what God thinks of me, what Dave thinks of me and what my girls think of me. That is my job right now.
I feel called to women’s ministry. It’s a calling I never imagined. That is also a part of my identity outside of motherhood. Thankfully, it’s a calling I am able to embrace right now, at this stage of life. I believe God orchestrated it that way. And being so at peace and settled knowing that I am doing His work is indescribable. Sometimes that requires stepping out of our comfort zones. I don’t actually know if I am an extravert or an introvert. I thought I used to be an extravert, but I think I am actually an extraverted introvert. That’s a thing. So being able to have a ministry for young moms and women in general is easy since God gave it to me. It does take me out of my comfort zone at times, but He has equipped me. Sometimes all it takes is a quick text to check in with someone. Something as simple as that can be a ministry. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
It is your job right now to love on your husband and kids. There’s no shame in that. You can never regret your current calling or question what God has asked of you. Your husband loves you. Your kids love you. God loves you. We are His, just like they are ours.
What should we teach them? They need to be taught to love Jesus. How else will they know and who better to learn from? That is the most important job. We have to lead by example because they need to know we love Jesus first. I think going beyond the explanation of salvation is working on how Jesus lived His life. He served every day of his life. That’s a great way to make it practical. Show them what it means to love others. However, they don’t have to be exactly like you and serving the exact way you do. Teach them more so they can make their own decisions. Maybe your kids will be in missions and you have never been on a mission trip in your life! Maybe they will be on stage singing or teaching and you have stage fright worse than anyone you know! Be proud of them for that. Dave is involved in the technology aspect in our church and I would never be good at something like that. Even figuring out the timing on switching slides takes talent! I know, I’ve tried it… ONCE. But I know he would say the same about me singing on the stage. He would say to give him a sound board and a place to hide any day!
With all that said, don’t be afraid to rest and to take time for yourself. Being called into motherhood is a big job! What if we had pastors who never took sabbaticals? Or what if we had weeks without weekends?? We would all be so burned out. Motherhood is a 24/7 job. If you don’t make recharging yourself a priority, who will? Then who will teach and care for those precious kids?
Remember that it’s temporary. This is where we are called for now. I know the days feel never-ending sometimes and it does not seem at all temporary. But unless you have kids who age like Benjamin Button… it’s temporary. And when they are asleep and you can collect yourself and think about the good moments of the day, it seems hard to think about it being a season. That’s no fun. Unfortunately, the joy of this stage is short. The calling of motherhood is forever though. So be patient as we wait for the days of clean homes, interruption-free conversations, empty hands and a peaceful trip to the toilet. That time will come. But for now, we obey.
An acquaintance of ours recently lost her young adult son to suicide. I have no doubt that she would give anything to have those early years back, or any time at all for that matter. I hope none of you are ever in that position. And I also hope you cherish the time you have right now, even when it’s hard. It’s so hard. And the days are so long. I can relate 100%. But if you can imagine looking back on the time and regretting it, then fix it while you can.
I’ve literally had to remind myself some days that they are God’s children and I get the honor of raising them. I have to choose that reminder when I want to scream. There are times of day – mainly 4:00, it seems to be the witching hour, other moms agree? – when I am trying to cook dinner, the girls have had enough of each other or they have worn out all of their quiet things and are being loud while they anticipate food and Daddy coming home. I have to often close my eyes at the stove, hope for 2 seconds of peace, and just whisper a “Thank You, Jesus”.
After Adelynn’s seizure, my whole perspective has changed. My daughter’s being given over to Him is a daily choice. It’s definitely the hardest one I make. Well, sometimes not crossing my eyes at my kids is the biggest opportunity for self control some days, but they are definitely up there together! 🙂
Raising your children in Christ is furthering the kingdom. So that is what we are doing, Mommas. We have a huge job. We are furthering the Kingdom. What could be bigger or more important than that?
I believe in you. Even on the hard days, you can point them to Jesus.