We didn’t know where we were headed and in many ways, we didn’t mind. God was doing things bigger than us—we were just there for the ride.
Not too long ago, a missionary mom emailed to share a story with us. She told us she was using the podcast as a means to meet new moms in a foreign country. Many of the moms she met wanted to learn English, so she shared the show with them and quickly gospel conversations began. Another mom told us she was struggling in her faith after the birth of her second child, but after interacting with the ministry on social media, she decided to get back to reading her Bible and spending time with God. A third mom messaged us about an unbelieving friend she was praying for and witnessing to for two years. One day the friend finally showed interest in the gospel—she wanted to talk about what she heard on the R|M podcast. A husband recently messaged us to say he’d noticed a change in his wife. He felt it was due, in part, to God using the ministry in her life.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Each week messages pour into our inbox, telling powerful stories about God’s work through R|M. While every person has a different story to share, there’s one common theme: God is on the move, he is changing hearts and lives, drawing mothers to himself.
Literally. As in I’m physically, emotionally, & mentally reaching the end of my strength most days. At no other time in my life has opening my eyes in the morning been painful,—oh, how it hurts.
I’m not the polished, level headed, organized mom I aspire to be. In fact, I’m more aware of my inability than ever.
Yet somehow here, in the mere minutes of prayer before my kids wake, despite my sleep-deprivation & all the details that must be managed for the day, yes, in my weakness, God is meeting me.
He’s showing himself strong & keeping his promises.
In 1 Cor. 1:8-9, Paul writes, ‘For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.’
Do you see it? The trial Paul experienced exposed his weakness & forced his reliance on God. A few verses later, he writes:
‘For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory’ (v. 20).
Slowly but surely I’m learning to rejoice in the inadequacies that bind me to Jesus & release me to abide in him. I’m finding freedom—not guilt—in the fact that I bring absolutely nothing to the banquet table & yet his banner over me is love.
I’m learning to find joy in seeing Christ work through my weakness & in spite of me, for his own glory.
In this way, the hard work of motherhood is a gift, a sharp lens through which we clearly see our own weakness & our Savior’s all-encompassing strength. This was never about us or our motherhood journey. Our every life circumstance is orchestrated by his grace for his pleasure.
He knew motherhood, like life, would lead us here—to the end of ourselves, so he made a way for us to experience the joy of confessing our weakness, surrendering our strength, and resting in him.
This is gospel hope.
One of the challenges of being a mom is that most days are spent doing things that don’t feel important. The tasks you accomplish are quickly undone—laundry, dishes, picking up toys. Whether your days are spent primarily in an office or at home (or in an office at home), every mom understands that motherhood can seem a bit like shoveling snow off your driveway during a snowstorm, and it often doesn’t feel like ministry.
So what is ministry, exactly?
One way to think about ministry is a person or agency through which image-bearing and disciple-making are accomplished within particular spaces.
In Genesis, we read that God planted a garden called Eden, and he placed Adam in the garden to work it and keep it. Adam and Eve were not commanded to work and keep the whole world; they were to work and keep the garden in which God had placed them.
If I could go back and give myself a pep talk while in the midst of raising babies, I would clap my hands and say with great enthusiasm, ‘You are doing real ministry right now! Real ministry is not only ahead of you when you do a podcast or complete an in-depth line-by-line Bible study on the Minor Prophets. I know it feels like a lot of wiping, but you are bearing God’s image and raising children to bear his image. You are promoting life and doing good work in the space God ordained for you. And it matters.’
So embrace the wiping. Embrace the chaos and the endless laundry. Don’t just embrace it, enjoy it.
Instead of lamenting the unwanted limitations that accompany being a mom of young children, focus on the hugs and the way their eyes light up when you pick them up from school. Sing the song for them again today, and read the same book tonight.
You have been given meaningful work to do. The God of creation has given you the ministry of bearing his image, making disciples, and tending your garden.
The RM Team loves seeing questions roll in whenever we’re prepping for an “Ask Us Anything” podcast episode with Laura and Emily. Unfortunately, we can’t answer every question submitted to us—there’s not enough time and we don’t know or haven’t experienced everything! However, we have a treasure trove of resources and information in our show archives, blog archives, and old show notes. We’ve rallied up a collection links to help answer some of the most asked questions we receive below...
Hi friends, we wanted to take a moment to share about something new at Risen Motherhood!
Our belief is when you influence a mother, you influence a family. She listens to gospel-centered Bible teaching, and her husband might listen to it as well. She purchases a children’s Bible, and her children might hear scripture at breakfast. She thinks deeply about the gospel, and her husband is challenged by her example while her children see it in action. When a mom's heart is softened to the gospel, it overflows into living rooms, breakfast tables, bedtime routines, school meetings, playdates, and more.
We started RM because we believe in the impact a mom can have in her family and those around her. We create gospel-centered content through our podcast, social media platforms, and equipping resources, with the hope that moms will fall more in love with Christ, and better understand how the resurrection transforms their lives.
This work is incredibly important to us, and many of you have shared testimonies of how God has transformed your view of motherhood through RM's content. If this is you, we'd love for you to come alongside us in this eternally important mission as we launch Patreon, a platform for supporting brands and ministries like RM. When you join the RM community through Patreon, you partner financially with us and contribute directly to the work of this ministry. As a supporter, you'll not only gain access to insider perks and gifts, but you fund ongoing expenses for the website, resources, and podcast.
No matter what, our current content (like the podcast episodes and Abide Together tools) at RM will remain free – we want all mothers to have access and grow together in the gospel – but if you’re able, will you consider pledging a contribution as you see the value of what we're doing?
Please only give as you feel led, but even $1 a month will make a difference for the ministry. You can learn more through the blog post Laura wrote and on our Patreon page (both linked in profile).
Thank you again for partnering with us, as moms all over the world hear about the transforming power of the gospel!
Laura & Emily
Five ways to involve your young children in hospitality:
1. Have them help clean and prepare for guests. Set the table, run a handheld vacuum, decorate place cards.
2. Let them help in deciding the menu and preparing the food. Is there a simple desert or side that you can work with them the day before on?
3. Have them greet guests at the door. Coach them ahead of time on what to say. Tell them they can offer guests a "hug, handshake or highfive!" Allow them show guest where they can put their boots or coat.
4. During and after the meal, help them to "see needs and meet them." This usually means mom or dad "sees" the need and helps the child in meeting it - getting new napkins, handing someone a drink, finding an age appropriate toy for the youngest of guests.
5. Teach them to walk their guests to the door, thank them for coming and help them find their shoes/coats.
My children are two and four (next month), and both of them are capable of most of these things - admittedly - with lots of help from mom and dad. (But isn't that like everything in parenting?) We find the main key is in communication. Prepare your child beforehand for what you expect and how they can love the guests that come to your doorstep. Gently remind them of their responsibilities as the evening goes on. Talk about the why to point them to the gospel: We want to bless people through the blessings God has given us (skills, abilities, material things). Everything was given to us by God. We serve because Jesus first served us, etc. (Lots more "reasons" on this week's show!) Most children that are really young still find this exciting and fun – not dutiful – so it's a great chance to capitalize on their willing attitudes.
Hospitality in the little years does take extra work, but if we're thoughtful and plan ahead, we can use it as a wonderful teaching tool for our children to learn to love others more than themselves and show people the light of Christ.
In these little years, it can be easy to convince myself it's not practical to serve outside my home. I've got two under three that have only one incredibly loud vocal setting and their favorite hobby is running in circles while holding breakable items.
But the truth is, I can't serve inside my home without serving outside my home. What I mean is, a vital part of raising my children to know and love the Lord is showing them that loving God means loving others. So while you likely won't find us at a soup kitchen, you will find us doing seemingly small things in the home that matter outside of it.
"See needs and meet them."
My mom pounded this phrase into me as a kid. All she had to do was say, "see needs..." and I knew what she was going to say and (more importantly) what she meant. Today, I'm finding myself repeating that phrase to my children. Whether it's someone needing a tissue because they're crying, a cabinet door that needs shut, or toys spread across the floor that need cleaned up, my prayer for my children is they will grow to be people that see needs – and instead of waiting for someone to ask them to help – they are the first to stand up and help without ever being asked.
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.