By Jean Stockdale
Trust me. You don’t know anybody who loved mothering more than I did. The only thing I ever wanted to do with my life was to be a wife and a mom. God gave me the desire of my heart when I married Craig Stockdale (45 years ago, I might add). Five years later the Lord gave us two boys in two years, and I was over the moon! Most of the time, that is. Lots of days I felt overwhelmed by the mundane and (seemingly) meaningless parts of childrearing and housekeeping. My husband owned his own business, put in long hours, and worked most weekends. I began to long for adult conversation and spending time with people who could cut their own meat and dress themselves. Craig was also beginning to have opportunities to be involved in short-term mission trips. I found myself longing to be on the front-lines for Christ, doing something that really counted for the Kingdom. I knew I had a mission field at home. Two little boys demanded my time and attention and usually I found great satisfaction pouring into them. But I must confess, at times I longed to be involved in doing “something more” for Christ. Maybe you can relate.
As a young mom, I discovered this truth. This singular truth lifted from David’s life revolutionized my attitude towards my role as a mom. I have returned to this truth many times in my life. I trust it will be as mind-altering for you as well!
Let me briefly set up the story, found in 1 Samuel 30, for you. David and 600 of his men had been to battle. Upon returning home, they discovered the Amalekites had raided their city, burned it to the ground, and carried off their wives and their children. David sought the Lord who commanded him to go and rescue their families. Two hundred of the men “were too exhausted . . . and remained behind” (1 Samuel 30:9). That phrase rang true to me as a young mom and I am thinking you can relate! David and 400 of his men tracked them down, put them to death, and “recovered all that the Amalekites had taken” (1 Samuel 30:18) from them along with livestock stolen from previous raids. When David and his victorious army returned home, families were reunited, and he prepared to divide the spoils of war with all 600 men. The men who had done the fighting resented David’s generosity and said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart” (1 Samuel 30:22). David’s response became one of the governing principles of my life. God lifted this verse off the page and pressed it to my exhausted mommy heart. “As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part like” (1 Samuel 30:24 KJV).
Like a bolt of lightning, this passage struck me. I was in the season of exhaustion when I would give half my kingdom for a good night’s sleep. I was in the season of “tarrying with the stuff.” And just as David equally honored those exhausted men who remained behind with those who actually engaged in battle, God would honor me with eternal rewards as I “tarried with the stuff” training up two little guys in the way they should go. This brought about a shift in my thinking that changed my whole take on mothering. I began to see that I had been called into a holy partnership with the Lord to work eternal things into the lives of our guys. Suddenly the seemingly mundane tasks of mothering took on a whole new meaning!
So beloved mom, in this season when you might be tempted to grow weary in your well-doing, in this season of exhaustion when your floor is sticky with apple juice, when you have been up all night with a teething baby, when nothing is going right and you are fit-to-quit, when brushing your teeth and taking a shower in the same day seem like a vacation, in this season of “tarrying with the stuff”…please trust that your Heavenly Father is keeping meticulous records of your devotion and service to your family and in due season He will reward your faithfulness to the fine art of Christian mothering.
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
Jean Stockdale is a wife, mom, grandmother, Christian author, Bible teacher, and disciple-maker. Her ministry, Standing Near the Cross, Inc. allows her to fulfill her vision by passionately encouraging and impacting families through discipleship and the study of God’s Word. The Lord has gifted Jean with a winsome combination of humor, profound spiritual insights, practical life lessons, and the ability to communicate scriptural truths with personal illustrations. She writes and speaks with a passion that comes from her devotional love for the Lord Jesus and others are blessed out of the overflow. She is being widely used of the Lord in motivating and challenging women of all ages and stages of life to be students of the Word and to live out in everyday life the reality of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.