Monday, May 15, 2017

A Higher Calling

For better or worse, it's no secret that motherhood plays an important role in all of life. From carrying life in the womb and bringing it into the world, to nurturing physical and emotional needs, to teaching and directing and supporting an individual soul, to encouraging, consoling, and advocating... To loving unconditionally.

Or not.

No matter what our culture deems valuable in terms of a mother's role, few would dare argue the lasting impact a mother has on the inner person of her child.

I've seen firsthand the tragedy of a mother's neglect on a child. Open your doors to certain foster children and you will see unimaginable brokenness. Even in utero, a mother's influence has the potential to produce in the spirit of a child a brokenness that far surpasses physical malformation in its scope and impact. Continued neglect and abuse yield life-long wounds and destruction that multiplies.

Motherhood is a powerful force in the formation or destruction of the entirety of a person, and it cannot abdicate its influence. There is no neutral ground for a mother's influence. There is a ripple effect that moms have, and the waves created touch our society and sets a course for history.

Most of us moms try hard to do and be the best we can. Even mothers whose children end up in the worst of circumstances may have tried real hard. But it's a broken world we live in, one that is spinning to it's final doom. And we are broken people, our own needs often surfacing like gaping wounds. I've seen how short my best efforts can fall, how my own sin and baggage inflicts pain. How, then, can I hope to fulfill all that rests on the shoulders of motherhood?

Motherhood is a high calling, but it is not the highest. Loving God and living in relationship with Him is the highest calling. Being transformed daily, knowing who I am - that I am loved and cherished - in Christ alone, and living as a new creature ought to define me first and foremost. God himself invites me to find joy and satisfaction in Him alone, and then to find wisdom and comfort and strength for the journey and responsibility of mothering my children.

What hope! On my own I fail gravely. My children see it and are affected by it regularly. But my prayer and my hope is that they will come to see me as a fellow needy soul in need of a great God. My hope is that my broken, human, earth-y life will point to a loving, forgiving, and relational God, and that one day they will say to me, "Taste and see, Mom, that the Lord is good!" just as I have endeavored to live it before them each day.

May we know the grace of God that far surpasses our best efforts...


After church, I asked for a quick picture before we changed and rushed off for the afternoon.
Mothers Day 2017

Mothers Day is a secular holiday, you know. Something to think about...

Honestly, I feel bad for my kids on this day. They are kids: They can't go out and buy fancy things, they have limited understanding regarding motherhood, limited ability to express appropriate words. There is a tension about this day that I dislike, and I want to minimize feelings of obligation and entitlement that can creep in.

My family served cinnamon rolls with strawberries and coffee. Jacob was probably more into breakfast-for-mom than the others.

This year I decided to give my kids each a little gift, much to their surprise. The anticipation of giving rather than receiving brought me much joy over the weekend. But as it often happens, and for whatever strange reason, I woke up on the emotional side of the bed this Sunday morning. Sunday mornings are weird. I cried the whole way through as I gave them their gifts. All I could tell them was how much I love being their mom!

Yesterday I also felt gratefulness for a handful of women that have come alongside me as an adult. They have made themselves available to me as mentors, prayer warriors, cheerleaders, and friends. They are my Titus 2 mothers!

And my own mother... I'm so thankful for her. I could write a real long post about her, but I know it would be much too teary for me to do. Yes, appropriate words are difficult for a child to express. There is a story that is complex, deep, delicate, difficult, powerful... and it screams, "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" I love her dearly for it.


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