We’ve all seen them- the blogs from fellow Christian moms and housewives promising us the formula to a better life…how we can keep our homes sparkling clean and always ready for drop by company…how we can stay thin, fit, and youthful whilst being sweet, soft spoken and beautifully gracious and homeschooling our 15 children, training them to be perfectly polite, super talented, whilst we write an eBook about it all and still manage to keep our marriages thriving.
Well, this is isn’t going to be one of “those” blog posts. I read one once by an admired and respected Christian lady and instead of feeling inspired, I felt defeated. And that was after all I’d been through and accomplished even though my day started loud and tumultuous. Let’s just be raw and insanely honest, here, sisters…Motherhood is messy, painful, difficult, and yet, still worth it. Motherhood will pull from you every ounce of what you can give and then some even to the point of wondering if you aren’t just running on empty but have totally begun to dissolve. Then we get up again in the morning, grateful to do it all over again…usually, anyways.
Motherhood is hard…sometimes even heartbreaking and painful. It can leave you asking at the end of the day- “where will the next ounce of strength come from?” It’ll leave you feeling that you are really not enough for all you are called upon to do..for all you are required to endure and all that you have to give up to put the needs of your children first.
The truth is- I really am NOT ENOUGH. All alone, I cannot and have never been,able to be what it is I need to be to raise my children the way God intends. It is only through His provisions that I can keep on keeping on even on my weariest days. Today was one of those days- I was weary- all the way down to my soul w-o-r-n down...to tears at one point.
The only way I get through some of the issues that I have while raising my children is through the grace and mercy of God. I almost always start my day by reading the word, drinking a good strong cup of coffee sweetened just so, and praying for wisdom, peace and strength. These peaceful daily morning times are precious and so much needed to keep me going. I usually start my day with fresh hope and lots of positive energy.
Then…the kids get up.
I’d like to say that everything goes smoothly and we all sing and laugh while starting our daily routine.
But, I’d be lying…or just trying to sell you on some formula to a better life.
Don’t get me wrong, reading God’s word and conversing with the Creator of the Universe first thing in the morning is highly recommended and I certainly hope to inspire you to try it and see if you don’t miss those quiet times when they’re skipped for one reason or another. But, please hear this:
When you actively seek a closer relationship with God, your life will not magically become smooth sailing and fairy tales. As a matter of fact, it just might become more challenging. I am not saying this to discourage people from seeking after God more passionately. I’m only telling you to be prepared to “put on the full armor.”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.…”(Ephesians 6:10-11)
I never truly understood what that verse meant until I got some real living “under my belt.” Now…I get it. Really, truly, understand it. And oh, how vital and essential it is as a mother to be prepared…to be fully armored against whatever you come up against.
Now before some of you start misunderstanding what I’m implying by thinking that I’m referring to our precious children as “little schemers of the devil or forces of darkness,” (although some children may actually have you believing they’ve got evil intentions on some days) …let me make this very clear- As mothers, we hold great influence in the lives of our children and ultimately the influence they will have on the world if we are raising them to be true followers of Christ and to love God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their might. Do you really think Satan and all his evil forces will just stand by and allow this to be a “walk in the park?” Not.
And then maybe none of you have ever been through this spiritual warfare I’m referring to or maybe you just don’t realize that’s what you’re experiencing. Or perhaps there just isn’t any real reason for Satan and all his evil forces to waste his time throwing darts at you because you pose no threat.
Let me rephrase: If the devil ain’t bugging you, perhaps you aren’t bugging him. He just doesn’t see you or yours as a threat. However, if you are actively raising up your little “arrows” as heirs to the Kingdom of God, you will see spiritual warfare whilst doing so. I promise.
Here recently, God sent into my life this very special friend. She is one of those people who just glows with the influence of God’s Holy Spirit. The story on how she came to be my friend is unique and for another time, but let me just say this- when she walks into my door every week, I am reminded how much God loves me and sees me. She comes every week to help me but before she does we pray. She has been a source of great comfort as we compare stories of our journeys in mothering and how God has provided what we need. She holds my hands and prays for me, at times with tears of empathy.
She sent a text this morning- it said “praying for you.” I have to say, her prayers were definitely felt as the day was a particularly rough one as I had some hurdles to jump. I was able to get through the chaotic start and still have a very valuable and memorable, albeit, exhausting, day with my children. During lunch,(which was much more peaceful than the start of the day) I talked to my children about the attributes of God, how much He loves us and wants us to love one another and how to live as Christ did.
” Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
I have truly seen God’s hand at work in all my years of mothering. I am daily reminded of how much I need Him in this very important task of raising children. As much as I love them all and would give my life for them, I know that He loves them even more, because God is the one who loves the best!
” Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.…”(I John 4:7-8)
Some other verses about teaching our children about God-
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”(Duet. 11:19)- this verse is one of the foundations for why I home-school my children
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:14-17)