*I love this picture of my friend and fellow momma, Lorah 🙂
“God has amazing plans for your life. Remember Jeremiah 29:11!”
Growing up I believed the amazing plans God had for my life would push me up above the norm. They would elevate me in a way that revealed how truly special He made me to be. I would do great things for the Kingdom of God. I would be used by God in a unique and life-shattering way. I would be a world changer. So imagine my surprise when I awoke one day and realized my life didn’t look as glamorous as I once thought it would.
My life looks like cleaning dried play dough out of pajama pants. My life includes wiping boogers and butts. (Sorry, moms, I know we don’t say the “b” word…) My unique and life-shattering situation looks like that of many other middle-class Americans. My husband works to support our family financially while I have chosen to stay home with our children for a season. We both end up exhausted at the end of most days only to wake up and start back over the next. Weeks and months go by and I wonder if anything we accomplished was truly meaningful or if we simply trudged away, completing necessary tasks as they arrived. All the while our children are growing at such a rapid pace it causes my head to spin.
How did I get here?
Is this the great plan God had for me?
Am I merely living, or am I thriving?
Am I making an impact at all? On anyone? Much less the world…
Will my life truly begin when the responsibilities of motherhood are fewer? Am I a horrible person for wondering that?
In her book, Fit to Burst, Rachel Jankovic describes the way we think our lives should look as a perfect picture of a perfect moment—a picture indicating we have arrived. But our lives aren’t like that in reality. We never simply arrive. As Rachel points out, the very fact that we were created with the need to breath continuously, eat often, and sleep every night is proof that we cannot escape monotony, repetition, and mindless tasks.
As mothers, we understand this idea of repetition. We mop the floors…again. We wash, fold, and put away laundry…again. We slice off the crust…again. We cook the meals…again. We bathe the kids…again. We sing songs and read books and argue with tiny tyrants about bedtime…again. We sit on the couch at the end of the day, when we planned to do this or that, and mindlessly scroll through Pinterest instead…again. We oversleep…again. And repeat. Again. Again. And again.
Is there purpose and hope in the midst of it all? Where is God’s great plan in all of that?
It seems God has been gently teaching me lately that this life—the real life I am currently living—is full of meaning, purpose, and hope. It is all a necessary part of a story much bigger than myself. It’s a life of sacrifice and giving. It’s a life of dying to myself daily. It’s a life of investing in eternal souls right under my roof—because the amount of precious souls under my roof currently won’t last forever. It’s a life of creating memories and laying a firm foundation. It’s a chance to worship my Creator even as I dig hair out of the bathroom drain. It’s a life lived not aiming to constantly please and amuse myself. I’m convinced if we mothers were to stand before God today, He wouldn’t look at us and say, “Why didn’t you accomplish something great with your life? Why didn’t you do more?” Perhaps instead He would say something like, “Daughter, you sacrificed your time, your dreams, and your life for others. Well done, my good and faithful servant. You did not neglect the lives I placed in your care. I did have great plans for you. Those plans included nurturing the smallest and most vulnerable of my children. Those plans were not easy, but you fought the good fight. Yes, you stumbled here and there, but I was always holding you by the hand. Well done, my child. You accomplished the work I sent you to do.”
Does this mean motherhood is the only thing we are good for? Is motherhood all that God created us to do? No. But motherhood is a glorious blessing given to us from the hand of the One Who created us and knows our innermost thoughts and desires. Motherhood is not a roadblock to greater world impact. It is a gateway to impacting the world beginning right under our own roofs.
“Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15
So, fellow mommas, allow me to speak some words of encouragement to you (to myself).
You, sweet mother, are a breath of fresh air and a source of matchless comfort for your family. You are truly the heart of your home. You have a magic kiss that can heal boo boos and dry tears. You have the special touch that can make your home a haven for your family, even when the toys are scattered and the throw pillows (which are super cute by the way) have been puked on. You have the ability to mold the minds and shape the hearts of the next generation. You are an incredible storyteller and song singer (no matter what the toddler plugging her ears has to say about it). You can dance in the kitchen with the best of them and laugh until your belly hurts! You can build a serious block tower and color within the lines like a rock star! That sock bun you wore to work today, it proves you can look good in ten minutes flat while making sure all of your child’s needs are met for the day ahead. That shirt you have on when your husband walks through the door, the one with spit-up and drool, it’ll be a jewel in your crown. In fact, go grab that plastic tiara out of the dress-up box and rock it while you eat a big bowl of ice cream, because you did a great job today. You did kingdom work—important, foundational, life-shattering work.
May your children one day “rise up and call you blessed.”
Hang in there, mommas! We’ve got a job to do.
*Please leave your comments below!