The Motherhood Press


Why does it take motherhood to bring out the worst in us?

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 (ESV)

I sat in the late evening sun on the front porch of our home, head in hands, tears streaming down my face, rendered speechless by the realization that I didn’t have what it took to be the kind of mom I wanted to be.

Before having kids, I’d never really failed at anything. Oh sure, I had been through failed relationships. I’d come close to failing a test here and there. I even failed to live up to my own expectations from time to time, but never the big things. Every goal I set for myself I achieved. But as a mom — the one thing I really wanted to get right in life — I was failing.

I wanted everyone to believe I was capable of handling the two beautiful boys God gave me, but I wasn’t.

I wanted everyone to believe I could juggle work, kids, husband, home and church with ease, but I couldn’t.

I wanted everyone to believe crying babies, nursing problems, shift work and the Terrible Twos weren’t too much for me all at once, but they were.

And what I really wanted everyone to believe — that I was a confident, capable, smart, fully independent woman — was keeping me from admitting the truth. I didn’t have what it took.

Motherhood showed me just how much I needed Jesus.

It scraped me, rubbed me raw and pressed ugly emotions and words out of my heart I didn’t even know were there.

If you asked people I grew up with to describe my personality, I’m happy to report words like “angry, insensitive, overbearing, short-tempered and unkind” would not have topped the list. But there, sitting on my front porch in front of all my neighbors, not really caring who saw, I realized the woman I so proudly presented to others wasn’t the real me.

The truth taunted me and beat me down. The person I thought I was didn’t exist, and for the first time, I couldn’t fix my situation by working a little bit harder. My need was greater than my ability. I simply couldn’t do it by myself.

Why does it take motherhood to bring out the worst in us? Maybe it’s because most of us have never really been pressed so hard, pushed so hard or loved so hard. We’re like children eating a jelly-filled donut. When little hands squeeze, the jelly hiding inside dumps into their lap … and when life presses a mama too hard, sin lurking in her heart comes out and dumps on the people she loves most.

I love today’s key verse, Psalm 119:11. I learned it as a child, and its simplicity is the perfect antidote to my challenging, chaotic mothering days: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

I learned a life lesson that day I hope will stick with me forever. What’s in our hearts will come out, good or bad. In order to be the kind of godly women we want to be, we have to store God's Word in our hearts, letting it change who we are in our most-hidden places, so when we’re pressed, His love pours out.

Father, give me a never-ending desire to spend my moments storing up the treasures in Your Word, so that when I’m pressed by life’s challenges I might not sin against You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Matthew 12:34b, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (ESV)

Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (ESV)

How have you been “pressed” by motherhood? How can you rearrange priorities in your life to store up God’s Word in your own heart?

Pick one thing you can do differently this week to give you more time to spend studying the Bible.

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