Being a Mom is hard some days.
Being a Mom when my three children were all babies was nearly impossible.
Being a Mom is also the best, most wonderful blessing that has ever happened to me.
For nine years now, I've been walking this crazy journey of 'Motherhood'. Doesn't the word 'Motherhood' make it sound all noble and old-fashioned? And maybe to many people the idea of 'Motherhood' is old fashioned, ancient even.
My life was dramatically altered when, in just over three years, I had three children. I realized quickly that babies required not just a bit of me but every last ounce of me. Oh, and they would all be needing all of me at every moment of every single day and night and all at the same time. And that peeing privately was now not an option and showering was a luxury. I stayed home while my husband worked too-long hours and those babies rocked my world like nothing else. I remember it, though hazy as the first years were for myself and my husband. And my life looked nothing like I'd planned and everything came at me faster than a toddler grabbing for a steaming coffee cup.
Oh yes, it's a blur, those crazy, really, really hard days. Changing diapers and desperately rocking screaming babies, and wearing two babies at the same time while also trying to carry a preschooler on my hip. Chasing toddlers down the road and having old ladies tell me what I'm doing 'isn't safe', yep. Running after a defiant child as he throws tantrums and blazes loops around the local drop-in playgroup? Been there. Having a preschooler lay flat out, unwilling to move from the library while the two other babies wail - one in too-hot sling, and one in a heavy-as-rocks car seat? Yes. That too. Oh, the glares I've endured, friends. You name it, I've probably experienced it when it comes to babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and oh yes, that spirited child.
So, Mamas? I come stamped with heaps of grace, right here. Right across my guilty forehead: BEEN THERE, I UNDERSTAND, NO JUDGEMENT HERE.
When I gaze upon my three gifts, I am overwhelmed with emotions. I can't even begin to list the ways I feel like I failed myself and my children in those first years as their Mama. I have a lot of regrets I've had to fight to lay and leave at the precious feet of Jesus.
More than I care to count.
But, you know what? Right smack in the middle of all my perceived failure, something happened. I was brought to my breaking point and Christ met me in the most powerful ways. Yes, just like He does - when I was waist deep in the muck and the miserable mire of my own self-pity, He stepped in with me and gently led me out.
Like a shepherd leads his confused, lost lamb, he led me.
He crouched with me there on the kitchen floor as I wept with three babes in arms. And I shook and shattered to pieces for the lack of purpose and hope I felt.
Even when I had lost sight of the Lord, He never lost sight of me. And when I recall some of those hardest days, somehow, I see the shadow of Christ Saviour right there with me. Even when I hadn't called out to Him in years - there He was, guiding me right back to His loving arms.
He called me out of the darkness of believing Motherhood was hopeless, was meaningless, was just an interruption in my journey of life. He shouldered my stress and anxiety. He picked the heavy weight of lies off my tired shoulders and whispered truth in my thumping ears.
Oh, the lies I believed, friends.
You are worthless.
You are a bad Mom.
Your son hates you.
You are incapable of being a good Mom.
You are a failure.
Your situation is hopeless.
Being a Mom just isn't important, why stay home?
Why bother? No one cares about you or sees you. You're JUST A MOM.
Have you heard any of those? Believed any of those?
Alone, day after long day, I believed these lies as my beautiful children gazed up at me. I loved them so deeply, more deeply than I believed I ever could. I smiled, I hugged, I kissed. On the outside, sure, I was a good Mama. A great Mama, even. I believe most people who know me wouldn't understand how I could feel like such a failure. But the Enemy's lies run deep friends, and he loves to tell us we are losers. He loves to take our slip-ups and magnify them and He loves to discourage and bind our hands and hearts.
He loves to tell Moms that what we do every day has no value. And culture agrees. And sometimes, even the people in our lives echo the same hurtful message. Soon, we start to believe that being a Mom isn't really that important. We start to long to get back to 'life' rather than putting ourselves wholeheartedly into raising these kids of ours.
And when we aren't clinging to Jesus and beckoning His strength - we are so vulnerable to believing the junk that will hold us captive. It's this discouragement and darkness that kept me from being the Mom God longed for me to be when my sweet children were babies and toddlers.
It wasn't until I was broken and bent that I finally humbled myself, or rather, God humbled me, and I began to cry out to Him to save me. To help me.
I realized the impossible task before me and the weight of it all there, and I knew at that very moment, I needed a Saviour. Imagine that.
It was a slow realization - but I started to see how I had been bound for years, believing lies about my life that were whispered in the dark places. In those crazy lonely places when you have three babies before any of your friends are even married or even thinking about getting married.
When you tie-the-knot to the tune of 'screw up'. When you know you're not ready for a baby and you feel eyes glaring.
But the more I opened God's word and wrote love notes to my Saviour, the more I listened, the light began to shine. And that's just how it works. He is light and there is no darkness in Him at all. He will reveal what was held in the darkness and what binds us to darkness.
I began to realize that these lies about Motherhood were stealing my joy. They were robbing me of understanding the depth of purpose found in my daily tasks of raising children. And they were robbing my children of having a loving Mother who reflected Christ's love to them.
I began to identify when and how the Enemy was lying to me and how He wanted to steal, kill, and destroy me, my husband, my marriage, my family, and our children. I started to enter in to the battle we are called to in scripture. And it is a battle. Look around us. We would have to be blind to not acknowledge there is a powerful battle for the destruction of families going on. If we believe the Word of God, we have to believe that everything is spiritual and we 'do not fight a human fight, but a deeply spiritual one.
And as Mamas, we need to suit up. And that's what I started to do.
It hasn't been a quick journey or an easy one, but I stand to speak of it only by the grace of Jesus. He is my rock and He is my reason. He builds me up and binds the lies. He is my shield, my sword, my helmet, my armour. His grace is that ocean and I'm drowning in it daily. Still praying the 'help me' prayers and still clinging to His purpose for me as a Mom and now standing firm in the truth. The truth that Moms matter. The truth that Motherhood is a Ministry and a Mission. That Motherhood matters to God. Big time.
Motherhood isn't some interruption to our true calling. It isn't a detour or a bump in the road, taking us from where we really ought to be. Motherhood isn't a distraction from our life's mission, it is one of our life's greatest missions!
It is my prayer that you will see clearly how important the calling of Motherhood is on your life. It is my desperate plea to our Father in Heaven that He will reveal to you His love for you. That the lies you believe or have believed will be brought into the light. I pray you will see clearly the Lord's purpose for you as 'Mom'. The importance of your mission as Mother. I pray you can see these truths sooner than I did and embrace the beauty of purpose found in the simple, but eternal work of bringing up and discipling your children.
This is why I felt led to launch this book study of the The Mission of Motherhood. Sally Clarkson shines a beacon of hope in the world of purpose driven mothering and I trust her discipleship deeply. So many of her books and writings have touched my heart and challenged me to become a better, more Holy Spirit-led, joy-filled Mama.
So, let's do this together, Moms. Let's never believe that we are 'just a mom'. Let us bow before our Lord and give our hearts and hands to His work before us. Let us daily lay our lives before God with complete joy because we know what He calls us to is always a high calling, always the best route, always the eternal, righteous path. And even through we fail and flail, He holds us and guides on onward in grace.
Looking so forward to reading this book and sharing together with all of you.
Your task: Read Chapter 1 of The Mission of Motherhood along with the scripture readings. Try to implement and complete the suggestions at the end of the chapter. We will follow up and discuss in two weeks time.
If you do not own the book and can't get your hands on a copy, you can easily still follow along through these posts. Here are the scripture references from The Mission of Motherhood to reflect upon over the next two weeks:
1 Thessalonians 2:7
We are also reading Romans chapters 1 and 2.
Suggestion (from the book):
Schedule a personal planning time to evaluate your journey as a Mother. Spend time praying and journaling about your call as a mom and your goals for yourself, your marriage, your children and your family. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you!
May Christ's love fill our hearts with an overwhelming warmth and when we look upon our children, I pray we will see the true value of our calling and embrace it wholeheartedly to the glory of God.
You are not alone, we're in this together. If you would like prayer and/or support please leave a message or email me at cldorman (at) sympatico (dot) ca. I will do my utmost to pray and respond. We will also be launching a bit of an online prayer group, Lord willing!!!