I have never tried to cover up the fact that motherhood for me has been harder than I thought it would be. Not so much the being the mother part, but definitely the homemaker part. And while I would not trade what I am doing with my life right now for anything- I have had a difficult time catching a glimpse of the "bigger picture" of mothering I have been missing.this article that I found through a pin on Pinterest. In it she tells about her struggles with infertility and how the journey through the pain of not having children has changed her heart to where she is today- and how she is in the process of becoming the mother her children deserve while she waits for that opportunity to come into her life. And even though I am already a mother, I think that I have so far to go in becoming the mother I want my children to have. And it's less about doing things like the valentines treats, and more about doing things like leaving them love notes so they know how special they are to me and making sure they know what I know about faith and trust and love and working hard.
The second thing I read was actually given in a lesson in church on Sunday. The teacher read a scripture in Matthew 25:34-40. In this scripture the King is giving his faithful servants reward for being charitable to him, and the servants ask when they did these things for the king. v.37 "Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?.... v.40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
The teacher said she thought it was a perfect metaphor for motherhood. Often we see naked people and clothe them (as my naked baby just comes down the stairs- perfect timing), we feed the hungry and thirsty of our brood, and care for them in illness. Before when I would read this scripture I would think of the service I render to those outside of my home as the acts I would do to qualify for the reward from the King. It wasn't until yesterday that it really struck my heart that these acts of service, performed daily in my home, if sanctified by my love for my children and the willingness of my heart- are also acts worthy to qualify me for that reward I seek. And that these acts, lovingly performed for these children I have provided physical bodies for, are acts performed unto my King.
Motherhood, then, is not merely about surviving the different phases of raising children, or keeping the house neat and tidy, or keeping up with laundry and shopping. Motherhood is a purifying, sanctifying, learning process that takes the mother and refines her into someone stronger, better and more capable. We all have the opportunity to become the kind of women our children deserve, whether we have children or not. But being a mother provides me unique opportunities for service and learning that I might not find otherwise.
So today- I'm off to serve my children, and my King. With a willing heart and a mind open to seeing the lessons I am in need of learning. To look at the dishes not as a pain (which they totally are) but as a chance to learn and to teach- one I will try ever harder to embrace.
Have a Wonderful Monday!