When we realize we’re not enough and that we can’t live out our “right” way of doing motherhood, there is good news that frees us from shame.
We all crave comfort. Comfort food, comfort zones, comfy clothes, comfortable jobs. Our decisions are often motivated by a desire to mitigate distress, discomfort, or inconvenience. Being comfortable isn’t always a bad thing. It can be one way God demonstrates his grace to people.
The privilege of Christian motherhood has challenged my notions of comfortable living in full force.
It’s uncomfortable as our bodies are broken for the sake of another’s welfare through pregnancy, delivery, feeding, & sleeplessness. It’s not easy consistently training up our children in the way they should go through fights over food & school work, tantrums & unwise choices. It’s humbling to tell our young ones about the mighty deeds of God & then display gospel-kindness when faced with their rebellion.
Yet we pray, forbear, & show mercy because God, in Christ, forgave us. There’s no ease on this battleground because it’s a 24/7 job.
...This role is rife with opportunities to image what God is like in his self-sacrificing, nurturing, & life-sustaining attributes. In God’s supreme design, mothers were made to image him in unique ways to our families, in our churches, at work, in the community, to ‘the authorities & the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.’ (Eph. 6:12)
This sometimes-uncomfortable work of mothering draws our attention to our need for the great shepherd’s comfort. Only his rod & staff can give us a lasting sense of safety in hard places.
Just like we wean our children from milk to solid food, the God of all comfort weans us from a taste for only physical comfort to delight in the divine comfort of his everlasting presence. Knowledge of his presence drives us to joyfully live an uncomfortable life for God’s glory. As we share abundantly in Christ’s suffering, we share in his comfort too.
Dear sisters, when tempted to begrudge the costly & uncomfortable work of mothering, let’s remember Jesus went before us. His joyful obedience in hard things accomplished our redemption & adoption & will result in our resurrection one glorious day.
Stomach bugs. Hitting. Biting. Lice. Bed-wetting. Tantrums. Sleepless nights. Exhausting days.
Each day you wake up with a plan, only to find your efforts dismantled before you’ve even finished your first cup of coffee. Like a rudderless boat tossed back & forth on the waves, our days rarely go the way we hope. With so many ups & downs, plans made & plans delayed, how do we learn the secret of contentment in the season of motherhood?
Is it even possible?
The short answer? Yes, I believe it is possible.
Often, I picture contentment being a moment of stillness when everything surrounding me is calm & peaceful. Beds are made, dishes are done, children are napping, & I’m sitting on a cool porch in the sunlight with a hot cup of tea.
In this situation, I’m hoping for outward peace in my circumstances to work inward peace in my soul.
However, Christian contentment works in the opposite direction.
Christian contentment is an inward assurance in God’s sovereignty & goodness that produces the fruit of joy & peace & thanksgiving in the life of a believer, regardless of outward circumstances.
Notice the difference—Christian contentment begins inward & is independent of daily events & circumstances. Its source is God’s character & his plan, not our own. It’s rooted in the belief that God is working all things for our greatest good—fashioning & shaping us into the image of Jesus.
This belief allows us to view every tantrum & trial as a means by which God is at work in us, not just us at work in our child.
How do we take hold of Christ’s strength? He tells us, ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me & I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’
We need time with Jesus each day because without him, we’re powerless. He’s the source of strength we need & the refreshment we seek.
We desperately need the truth of God’s word to remind us of the good news of the gospel.
Today, God is at work in every detail of your day. He never forgets you & he always sees you. Take your worries & concerns, hopes & dreams to him. Trust in him, rest in him.
Mom friends—you’re doing it. You’re fulfilling the work of ministry God has planned for you! He’s given you a wonderful gift in your children, and though the days feel long and nights, even longer, this is precisely where he wants you. Right here with your kids.
You’re exactly where you should be.
We can’t foresee all that will happen, but we can anticipate our hearts—our struggles, anxieties, and fears—and proactively preach God’s Word to ourselves.
When you struggle with feeling depleted from lack of sleep, remember that God’s grace is sufficient for each moment, that he will give you what you need with every breath you take.
When you struggle with choosing motherhood over other things, remember that for everything there is a season, perfectly planned by God for the advance of his purposes in the world.
When you struggle with a sense of purpose in the routine, remember that motherhood is a calling from God, an important work of faith and labor of love that images Jesus Christ.
When you struggle with guilt over time in God’s word, know that the basis of your salvation isn’t dependent on this, but on Christ.
You and I can embrace our need for an all-sufficient, perfectly wise Lord and Savior in this unique season of motherhood.
We can praise God for a new grasp of what it means to cling to him—because we know that when we are weak, he is strong.