When it comes to toiling in the call of motherhood, I often shift my focus from the upward call of Christ (Philippians 3:14) onto my self-constructed image of the "perfect" mom. Instead of working with the energy the the Holy Spirit provides for the work God has put before me, I clench my fists and drag the weight of "not good enough" as I press on to attain my idea of godly motherhood.
I mean, can't we all produce that image we compare ourselves to in a quick second?
A good mom, she:
...has this type of personality
...keeps her house in this type of way
...does these activities with her children
...works this amount
...gets up and goes to sleep at this hour
...has this type of physical appearance
...serves this type of food
...engages in this style of hospitality
When we're really supposed to be slaves to Christ, taking on His easy yoke, responding to His daily direction for the circumstances and family He's given us - we make ourselves a slave to this image in our minds.
And one day, we realize we don't have much joy. We're not thriving in our gifts. We're not even focused on the things our husband really cares about. We're obsessed with what our mom friends are doing. We're really worried that all of these days of "not good enough" are adding up to a big failure.
The reality is, the Bible doesn't spell out many of the culturally-relative details about the way motherhood looks in the practical areas of daily life. Most of the instructions God gives are about our hearts. When I think about what God has ACTUALLY called me to do, and I remember that He's already made complete peace with me through the cross (Romans 5:1), I can cease striving for my perfect idea of motherhood.
We are all going to toil in motherhood. But there is something worth toiling for - and it's not that picture you can paint of the ideal mom. We labor to advance the gospel by God's power. We strive to obey the things God has laid out for us to do, instead of perfectly keeping-the-rules in areas he hasn't even mentioned.
So rest today mama - love your husband. Love your kids. Lay down your life. Worship the Lord in all you do.