First, I am sorry we have not been posting in a while! My family and I have been in the process of moving from Oklahoma to Texas and going on a week-long vacation. We are finally settled in and should be getting back to posting as normal!
Here we go!
I was praying over my role as a mother the other day, and was seriously convicted. I’ll just jump right into it - I often go throughout the day dealing with “petty” things, such as Jovi not wanting to wear her shoes, or Joshua not wanting to be put down, or Jovi taking off her diaper in her crib, or whining because she can’t overeat on blueberries and raisins. This wears on me, and I often find myself looking to the future of Whens. When they’re more independent… When I don’t have to hold Joshua so much… When they’re busier with school and their own friends… And maybe even, When they’re out of the house. And it all ends with the same concept: Then I can “do my own thing.”
I often revolve my thoughts around simply planned dates with my husband, week-long camping trips in the Smoky Mountains, traveling to national parks, sleeping in…. It all sounds so great to look forward to one day!
And then I was seriously convicted. I read in John Mark Comer’s book God Has A Name* about how in our world, we want everything and we want it quickly. Everything is instant now - instant potatoes, microwaves, instant coffee/tea, lightning speed internet service, fruit that is not in season right up the road in our grocery store… It is really hard to slow down and take a lot of time to really work on something and get good at it and make sacrifices to get there. Statistics say that it takes about 10,000 hours of work to really hone in on a job and get good at a skill. That’s around 10 years! Who sticks with a job for 10 years anymore? And I thought about parenting. I am a stay-at-home-mom. Parenting and mothering is my job. I thought to myself, I’ll reach 10,000 hours at my job way before 10 years! Then I realized, what is the goal of this “job”? What am I actually getting good at? If it is parenting in itself, that will end. Where will I be when the kids don’t need my parenting anymore? When they’re married and have their own families? What is it that I’m actually doing?
Well, I think the ultimate, base-line skill of parenting is learning to love. Self-giving love. Thankless, non-stop, tiring, bearing-all-things, hoping-all-things, believing-all-things, enduring-all-things love.** That is what I am honing in on. Deepening my capacity to love. Being sanctified and set free from self-centered intentions, desires, and thoughts. Parenting, if you do it right, takes every bit of self away, and, if you’re following Jesus, shows you how much you need Him and shows you how little (or none, actually) of your life belongs to you.
So what was I convicted about? I can be so selfish. My goal in parenting can often be finishing. So I can do my own thing. So I can have my time again. As if any of my life is my own. Instead of looking forward to the goal of Christ, for myself, my husband, and my kids, I look forward to the goal of finally not having to sacrifice so much.
Jesus opened my eyes to that really quick.
My life is not my own. My purpose in life is to serve Jesus, wholeheartedly, completely, non-stop, selflessly. And a prominent way of serving Jesus is serving His people. That includes my family, but it includes anyone else He puts in my life. (Also, we don’t always need to wait around for God to “bring up that person He wants us to minister to”; we are called to go. Earnestly praying for God to send workers into His harvest has been on my heart lately, and praying for God to train me to be His worker sent into His huge harvest.)***
This skill of loving selflessly will take more than 10,000 hours and many, many, many years to get better at. But I will never get to a place where I do it perfectly until Jesus comes and I am with Him for eternity. So this job called parenting is a sure-fire way to get better at it. And that is so I can continue to love selflessly all those around me.
Many look forward to retirement, when they can stop working and have fun. Same concept. We are never called to retire. We are never called to stop working for Christ. We are never called to look forward to the day on earth when we can just think about what we want. That actually will never happen. Not even in eternity. If we love Him, nothing can stop us from serving Him.
In parenting, if we love Jesus, nothing should stop the goal of growing our love.
*I highly recommend reading this book for a better understanding of God’s character in the Old Testament.
**1 Corinthians 13v7
*** Matthew 9v35-38