Finding Meaning in Motherhood
I have talked with many mothers over the years who struggle to find meaning in their role being a mom; feeling trapped by their culture to be “perfect,” or the stigma of having to survive and raise kids as a single parent, or trying to overcome the resentment of an over-scheduled husband. If you’re a mom and this sounds familiar, please take a minute to read on.
Mothers are the first to get up and the last to go to bed in most homes. From piles of dirty laundry to the daily inventory management of the fridge, moms are the hardest working of God’s creations. Driven by an innate sense of the need to nurture and love, moms live their lives for others. Sacrificing their deepest dreams and hopes for others, they often need to retreat from the aspirations of their youth to simply survive the present demands of their families.
But is that enough?
Ah, I said it. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not being disrespectful in that question...but seriously, is that enough purpose and identity for a mom to live off of for an entire lifetime? The simple satisfaction of being a “mother," of knowing they have served their homes faithfully and selflessly for two decades or more? Only a mother can say for sure.
What I’m referring to is the struggle of a mom living out her dirty diaper years in a state of frustrated meaningless yuck. Some toddler parents wonder aloud how they could have ever wanted to do this? They question their faith, their sanity and their purpose after a few long months of sleepless nights, soiled clothes and toilet bowls with 3 month dirt rings screaming at them to be removed. When a mom can’t remember what she looked like before kids, and the last time she enjoyed a long bath and a book was measured in months, not days, it’s time to remember what this is all about.
Weary mothers of the world, hang in there. Your value is greater than rubies, your worth beyond measure. God describes you as the “apple of His eye." Faithful and true you are. Regardless of your doubts, and your fears, and your over-reacting, well-meaning compulsions to keep your kids clean or their rooms neat, you're amazing. You're gifted to give the greatest and most potent gift of any life…
As you choose one more time to deny yourself to lay down your hopes and dreams for your kids little league practice or your daughters payment plan for her braces, your husband's late work crisis that delayed or cancelled your dinner date, remember this: God is well pleased. His heart laughs and dances at the power of your life weaving eternal tendrils of hope and peace and comfort in the lives of those little ones entrusted to your care. He whispers to you of His love, His concern and His deep and abiding commitment to you. Not as a mother, but as a woman of great beauty, power and passion.
He has created you to represent a great part of Him to your family, to your husband and to your community. Your role is irreplaceable in every way. For those of you who serve your blended families as a "step-mother,” this is every bit as relevant to you as to those who serve as "biological” mothers.
Be refreshed in your calling, your assignment as a mother. God has placed you in a strategic role for the formation of life values, faith and family before all else. Don’t abandon the dreams of your youth as lost or forgotten. I believe God will draw you into those dreams and passions for service in His kingdom in dramatic and beautiful ways over the course of your lifetime. Look for ways to explore those God-breathed desires to His glory, knowing that in time your children will have children and your role for their lives will change.
God has so much for us all to seek out and discover about Him, about our lives and about our families. Never limit His creativity or His desire to see you become all that He created you to be. Motherhood is the first step of many in your life, and loosing track of that reality can become a dark and defeated present burden that none of us can bear for long.
Remember and be revived. God is using you in ways you cannot imagine. He wants to use you in the future in ways that you never dreamed of; all the while, He has you currently enrolled in the school of motherhood to prepare you and your families for the next season on your journey.
Blessings to you “MOM”
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