Motherhood! Oh! Motherhood. It is a glamorous calling isn’t it?
Said no woman ever….
At least in this current setting and culture.
Motherhood is messy, frustrating and often thankless. However, you can actually broaden this quite a bit. I think it’s safe to say many stages in life are messy, frustrating and often thankless. There are many times we find ourselves in the trenches, chafing against our calling or just the status quo of our current situation.
There was a time I felt like my sole purpose in life was to take care of my babies and support my husband in his ministry.
And if I’m being honest, it was a struggle. It was also a struggle I didn’t see coming.
In my younger years I would often look forward to the days when I would have my own baby’s and an amazing husband. When I would stay home and read books, take the kids to play dates and the zoo, make dinner and sit down around the table with the family.
I still love all of these things. But they were often serene pictures in my head. Seen through unknowing rose-colored glasses. Absent of the crying, discipline, inconsistency, exhaustion and yogurt melts fused to my hair.
When the time came that I had all of it, I was surprised to find out how different it felt with a front row seat.
(I talked a bit about it in my last blog post in particular with the struggle of little ones.) You are Not Alone.
Sometimes I would take stock at the end of the day and think about what I had been able to be accomplish. There were days I would get so much done! And at the end of those I would feel pretty good about myself! Then there are the days when we didn’t get out of our pajamas, and I ordered take out for dinner because I didn’t want to deal with the massive pile of dishes in the sink. And, at the end of those days, I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t “get it together”.
In doing this I started associating my work accomplishments, with my self-worth.
This method of estimating value is….. A DISASTER!
Confession… I still struggle in this department…. I have to bring this one over and over again to the Lord.
Also, let’s just take a minute and talk about this whole ‘stay at home mom’ thing. What was once considered the ideal: supporting your husband by staying at home and taking care of the children, is no longer loved by society.
It’s all over the television, music, and the internet how, as a woman, I should have goals and dreams and all the people in my life, especially my husband, should support these dreams and goals at all costs.
Career is highly valued. And, hey, having a career is great, and should be valued. But am I ‘settling’ because I don’t have a career? Does it mean that I am worth less because I don’t currently bring home a paycheck? Or does it mean that I am worth less because I don’t have a career that is valued high in society? Or maybe just one that “I” don’t value?
Does it mean that my husband loves me less because my dreams or passions are on hold while he follows his calling?
My husband has often been involved in more “glamorous” callings than I have. When we met and were married he was in a band for 8 years. He was the “front man” in the band. (OK, so his work life was not glamorous.) But the whole band thing was pretty cool. Watching him play all the shows was fun. Their band had a bit of a following for some years, and eventually they were really good. Then we started having kids (that’s a longer story than I feel like getting into right now) and shortly after kids he went into ministry full time, and then to school full time. And now he is Pastoring full time. He gets the chance to preach the gospel into people’s lives from the pulpit every Sunday. Really, it’s an everyday type of thing, but Sundays are a big deal.
Honestly, I’m so proud of Him and all that God does through Him. He will be the first to tell you, it’s not about him, it’s never about Him. It’s all about Jesus and what he is doing through him in ministry. And using it to glorify God.
But God has called him into some roles throughout our marriage that sometimes take a lot of time and energy. Which means at times I have needed to put more time and energy into the kids or work. And there are times I have struggled with this…because it makes my life harder. (God loves to inconvenience me… haha!)
Not only does it make my life harder, but if I look at it from a worldly perspective (which I never do…right? Hah!) …his role is more exciting than mine.
Come on God? Can’t I glorify in a more glamorous way? I feel like you put me in the back seat! …. And there’s kids back here!?!
As I wrestle through evaluating my self-worth and my general purpose in life, God grabs hold of me and gently leads me back to the truth.
My confidence in myself, and my self-worth, can’t come from my accomplishments or big dreams, or a title. My self-worth can only come from who I am in Christ.
In truth, it’s really not about me at all. It’s about bringing Glory to God.
My role currently is just as important as my husbands. And I’m enabling Him to follow God’s call on his life. Really God’s call on our lives. We are very much in this together.
Daniel and I can both pursue passions and callings that God has put on our hearts, but we need to do them together, centered on Christ. Supporting one another and enabling one another. Always talking through what is working and what isn’t. Making a point to be sensitive to the other person, and at times that means putting something on the back burner, for a season.
I want to be cheering each other on and not jockeying for position.
If I start looking for my worth in a more “glamorous” calling you can bet that is when I will start jockeying for my position and pushing my agenda through.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to support Daniel in this way. He could not do the ministry that God has called him to if I didn’t. I’m thankful for the opportunity to raise all these awesome little men with an amazing husband. They are the biggest blessing and I am so grateful that I can teach them about the hope, security, love and grace found in our Lord and Savior. He is our shelter, He is their shelter, in this broken world. What is more important than that?
And later in life, if I have a more “glamorous” calling it can’t be about me. It must start in the humble submission to Christ, and glorifying God, it always must be about bringing glory to God.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.