Purposeful Motherhood

My favorite hashtag is #motherhoodissanctifying used most frequently by Ruth Simons of Gracelaced.

Boy, is it ever!

Motherhood is a job with no instruction manual, some basic concepts that might apply some of the time, and no breaks. When we enter motherhood, no past experiences or accolades or classes can adequately prepare us for the confusion and chaos that comes with a child. I have always loved children, started babysitting at a young age, have nephews and nieces, and taught preschool. You would think that would give me plenty of experience to enter motherhood ready to battle every bottle and defeat every diaper. But my own babies-turned-toddlers-turned-children were a whole different situation than any in the past.

Motherhood is sanctifying. What does this mean? Motherhood is stretching- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Your body physically stretches to grow the child and then goes past the point of comfort to take care of their physical needs before your own. This physical stretching leads to mental stretching. Mothers become competent multi-taskers but also develop mom-brain from lack of sleep. Lack of sleep leads to emotional stretching where we feel we cannot handle the heavy weight of meeting the needs of these tiny humans who cannot care for themselves. At times we feel isolated from grown ups and talking baby talk all day takes it toll. This emotional stretching leads to spiritual stretching as we have no choice but to turn to God for supernatural strength. We turn to God to provide rest for our bodies, minds, hearts, and soul. We turn to God to envelope our children in His comfort and care because we quickly realize how lacking we are to provide for their needs. We gain a new understanding of God’s love and grace as we imperfectly parent our children.

Motherhood is sanctifying. Motherhood shows me just how weak and frail I am. Motherhood shows me how selfish I am and how often my flesh fails. Motherhood shows me how human I am and emphasizes my many ungodly characteristics. But motherhood also gives me ample opportunity to choose love and choose selflessness and choose joy to grow closer to God and to mirror His image.

So tomorrow we celebrate Mother’s Day. We celebrate their service and sacrifice to rear families and build up communities. We celebrate their strength and resilience in the changing seasons of family life. We celebrate the foundations they create and the homes they foster.

But let’s also celebrate that God chose motherhood (parenthood in general) to mold and shape us for our good and His glory. Let us celebrate and honor the example of a loving, caring parent He has provided for us. Let us seek to be more focused on His purpose for mothering and less on our own wants and desires.

Lord, thank you for mothers. Lord, thank you that motherhood is sanctifying.

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