A familiar scene... I stand at my sink, gazing out the window at my babies who I bore. Bubbles in my hands and dirt on the dishes. Unfolded laundry laying on the couch while outside in my view my little ladies laugh and play, snicker and squabble. Those two girls are my people, my little people on loan to me from the Lord.
That’s right, the people in our lives are gifts we give back. God’s creation and our calling. Our children are laid in our laps for us to lead to a place where God’s purpose is played out in their lives now and in their futures.
I love that. I love walking the fine line between taking responsibility and relying on God. Because when we take our babies from our laps and lay them in His, we learn to listen hard and lean on Him, relinquishing self-responsibility and making our children a work of soul-responsibility.
That, friends, is the hard part of being handed motherhood as our life’s mission: remembering to train up a soul more than the self in a world where bodies and material successes mean more than following Christ’s calling.
You see, missions and callings happen right there at your kitchen sink and in the struggles of parenting and at the counters piled high with paperwork and homework. Missions aren’t reserved for overseas or building homes or in the fields. They happen in our homes!
When you wake up, grab your mommy boots and strap them up. Hold your tongue and take your chances. Live motherhood day in and day out because we don’t do it for the reward or the praise, we do it for the purpose behind the calling. And we do it over and over again.
I’m going out in a limb here, but how many times do we hear about Jesus taking a bubble bath or basking in the ambiance a spa? Don’t get me wrong! I’ve enjoyed pampering and required some rejuvenation. And, certainly we cannot be held to Christ-like standards…but we can work to come closer to His likeness through the conviction placed in the heart of a mother. Our hearts.
Motherhood is isolating when our children chase us from their play places and wipe the kisses away from their faces. It hurts when we hear them stomp up the steps or see them tromping down a wrong path. Motherhood can be downright scary when we, ourselves, feel like the child facing fears unknown and figuring out how to help them safely turn into the grown people they’re meant to be.
They reject us and remove us from their inner circles. They look the other way and sometimes stab us with what they say.
So, roll up your sleeves and be ready for a beating. Moms, this is war! It’s a battle between the heart work given to us by God and the hard work of a world turning wrong. It’s a mission to take something precious and keep it peacefully safe from sinful social standards and convoluted views of a culture crying from constant crimes on humanity.
And, moms, we must do it without hovering too close! Because a mom’s mission is not to smother or sink the hopes of a little one who has to step out on her own. It’s not to keep them from hurt or hide them from the suffering that will lead to their salvation!
The motherhood mission is to discern when to dictate and when to step aside. It’s to let go and let God do His work in a heart He’s molding through a mother’s touch. And it’s to selflessly and tirelessly allow our babies to be who they’re built to be even when getting there feels infuriating.
Let’s talk to our children. Let’s let them know we’re leaning on the Lord because our mission is too much for us. Let’s tell them we love them as we emulate the kind of heart we want them to wear in our war-torn world. Let’s learn to listen to their little voices and wipe away their tears.
And finally, moms, let’s learn to get down on our knees and ask for forgiveness when we’ve made a mess of motherhood and dirty dishes or loads of laundry pile up and our frustrations flair up. We will bow our hearts and lift our heads to watch them laugh and run, snicker and squabble because in the everyday mundane moments is when mothering really matters.
Yeah, let’s stand together at the kitchen sink, strap up our boots and get our hands dirty doing the mission of motherhood.