As I sit in my “office” (outside on my deck) this chilly fall morning, I am overwhelmed with the joy of being a woman and a mother. We’ve been doing the “Jesus & Women” Bible study by Kristi McClelland, and it has brought lightness to my heart to see how Jesus spoke with women, honored women, and lifted them up from their sin, disease, or lowly status. As God would have it, I “just happened” to be drinking coffee out of one of my favorite mugs that states: Being a Mother is a Holy Privilege. Oh how true! But Oh how often I let the cares of the world blind me to this truth. Anybody with me?
How often when the kiddos were little did I long to be somewhere else, socializing, taking a romantic vacation, doing something more exciting than mundane laundry or changing diapers? When they were elementary age, how often did I shoo them out of the house to play with friends? And how often as they were teens did I take it for granted that they would always be there heading in and out of the house laughing, chatting, or griping about having to clean up?
Now as an empty-nester, I look back and realize how much I overlooked what a Holy Privilege this motherhood thing was. But we don’t get do-overs. So I pass along my encouragement to you moms who are still in the thick of it – relax and absorb the Holy place in which God has placed you. You are doing a holy work. Rest in the fact that He will allow you to accomplish all that really needs to be done. It is eternal souls you are guiding. Laugh and enjoy them. You don’t have to make them perfect. Pray with them and apologize when you need to. All that is necessary is to simply love them and guide their hearts toward the King the best way you can. No perfection or status purchases necessary.
The primary way we moms manage to affect our kids for God’s kingdom is by staying in an obedient, loving relationship with God. Reading His Word. Listening to His voice. Conversing with Him in prayer. Living out what He whispers to us each day. Keeping the faith when it would be so easy to turn our backs on it.
What keeps us from staying close to the Lover of Our Souls? For most, it’s not the big, huge sins, it’s the everyday mundane distractions that Satan uses to lure us off track without us even noticing.
I was reminded of the Parable of the Sower. You remember the story. Jesus tells us about the sower (Jesus Himself) sowing in different kinds of soil: the hard path, rocky soil, among the thorns, and on good soil. The seeds in the various places yielded varying results in growth and development. Some never sprouted. Some plants were scorched and died after they came up. Some were choked out and never bore fruit. But others grew and flourished into a fruit bearing, thriving plant. Listen to Jesus’ words as He explains those last two types of soil. See if an arrow pricks your heart.
“As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”Matthew 13:22-23
Isn’t that last one what we all want to be? Planted in good soil, bearing the fruit of a faithful life. But to be that we have to have the kind of soil in our heart which allows that to take place. Too often, I have a thorny heart where the weeds of the cares of the world choke out my fragile plant of faith and make me fruitless. I long for these times to disappear, but it all depends on whether I am tending the soil of my heart.
Mamas out there, being a mother is a holy privilege. Fertilize the soil of your heart. We hear so much today about “Me Time.” I’m all for it – let’s make sure the firstfruits of our Me Time is offered to God as we sit at His feet and allow Him to weed the garden of our heart. I challenge you as I challenge myself today. Stop what you’re doing for even 20 minutes sometime today and tend to your heart. Tend to your relationship with the Father. Soak in the truths of His Word and listen for His still small voice. Then go and obey!
Live out your Holy Privilege with all you’ve got for as long as you’ve got!