I read this quote once, years ago: “Your greatest contribution might not be something you do, but someone you raise,” and I always think about it.
I don’t know about you, but I always put so much pressure on myself to do so much OTHER stuff in life, besides being a mom. I feel like I need to work full time to contribute to the family income. I feel like I have to keep up with this part time job I have out of fear of letting anyone else down. I feel like I need to exercise, and keep my house perfect, and manage a blog, and write, and do ministry, and travel the world, and so on and so on.
None of those things are BAD - obviously some of them are even necessary, to an extent. But I think a lot of us have this tendency to make everything else a priority BESIDES what is actually most important to us in our hearts. What I mean is that we treat the work we do OUTSIDE of the home as if it is SO IMPORTANT and SO urgent, but we often autopilot through motherhood and homemaking as if it doesn’t mean as much. We pride ourselves not on the daily grit that is essential to life for our households, families, and homes, but on the “other stuff” that we feel like we ought to be doing more of, but can’t quite always get to.
But what has been on my heart and what I’ve been wrestling with is how magnificently important the seemingly mundane stuff really is. It might feel like you’re just folding the same clothes over and over, or wiping down the same countertops night after night, or reading the same bedtime story for weeks at a time. But what you’re really doing is raising up children who feel cherished, cared for, safe and secure. What you’re really doing is cultivating an atmosphere in your home for these small humans to bloom into their best selves. The work you do, changing diapers and giving baby baths and preparing dinners - it’s life-changing.
Changing the world isn’t some big “OUT THERE” concept. It’s something you all do as mothers, each and every day, right at home. (Or wherever you are!)
You’ve probably heard it before, but do what only YOU can do. Your children have been entrusted to you by God! No one else in the whole world can be the mother you are to your children. If you’re married, no one else in the whole world is given the privilege and responsibility (lol) of being your husband’s wife.
When we do baby dedications at our church, our family ministries Pastor, Andy, gives out these cute little jars of marbles (which my husband and I have a running joke about because everytime I see it all I can think is that it’s a choking hazard!), but the point is that each marble represents a week that we have with our children before they’re grown; and it is wild! I have this app called Parent Cue that tells me how many weeks I have left with my kids. And when I see that I have already had 300 out of the 936 weeks I get to spend with my oldest son, that we are already OVER 30% through the way of his childhood, it shakes me to the core!
Motherhood really is only for a season. So while I have these dreams in my heart that I truly believe are part of my calling for the Kingdom of God, I believe that in THIS SEASON, God is calling me to rest in the peace of knowing that He is a sovereign and gracious God, so I can embrace this season of snuggles and skint knees without bearing the weight of all these other things that I’m not meant to carry. My hope is that you will embrace this season too.
Before we know it, our preschoolers will be teenagers, and they won’t be asking us to read to them in bed at night. They won’t want us to hold them or give them kisses or snuggles every day. So we need to embrace that while we can.
I think my own personal experience has made this such a passionate topic for me. I was a single mom for three years, and then I temporarily lost custody of my son after getting married because we had moved out of state for my husband’s job; I spent so many nights in tears during those two months when my son was away, missing him with a PRIMAL ache...). During those moments, I didn’t know how or if I would make it through that all. But by the grace of God, I did. And looking back, I’m actually able to thank God for walking through that with me because I don’t know that I would have been able to cherish time with my kids the way I do now if I hadn’t of once longed for that time so deeply at one point.
So, I just really have it on my heart now to encourage and exhort all of you mothers and mother-to-be to recognize the value in the role you’ve been entrusted as a mother. I hope that you will embrace it fervently, remember each day that the mundane is truly miraculous, and that this season truly does fly by.