There’s an undeniable ministry in motherhood that is often forgotten by those of us who are in it. Results of parenting are rarely instant, and more often I’m focused on endless mac and cheese and Lego messes. Sometimes I’m aware of the deep trenches. In those moments, we mothers are ready to fight the spiritual battles for our families on our knees. But if you’re like me, there’s a tendency to fall into a pattern of ordinary… packing lunches, carpools, playdates, and homework help. Baseball practice, banjo lessons, and mom blogs. Then we wonder, why are so many moms overwhelmed, overworked, overbooked, and just plain exhausted? In this blessed and beautiful vocation of relationship, why do we women so often feel isolated?
Motherhood: married motherhood, single motherhood, stepmothers, godmothers, new mothers, empty-nesters. Though it comes in many packages, the need to refill and refresh stretches far beyond what the world tells us will we need to rejuvenate. Every day, we need resurrection. Jesus Christ fills more than the countless coffee pots we have drained as we pour ourselves into others.
Motherhood has been hard from the beginning (just think about poor Eve with sons Cain and Abel!)… but there’s hope.
There’s hope, because we were made for Hope. Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy—those are all names for our Lord and Savior who provides abundantly for the needs of those who seek Him. Sometimes, we just need help recognizing Christ in the struggle.
We were not designed to take on this great world alone. We were created to live in community, to lean on and lean in to each other. Remember Paul in the letter to the Corinthians. God has given His people different spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), and the body of believers is made of many parts (1 Corinthians 12:11-31). We were not intended to walk this spiritual journey unassisted.
Society places daunting expectations on mothers that draws the attention (and perceived shortcomings) to ourselves. You know the labels: Breast-Feeders, Free-Rangers, Homeschoolers, Working Moms, Soccer Moms, Boy Moms, Super Moms, etc. When we start to focus on being Model Mamas, we can miss the mission: our families. It seems impossible to do and be it all… and it is. But, remember: Jesus Christ! “For nothing is impossible with God,” (Luke 1:37).
As members of the body of Christ, we are called to be His hands, feet, eyes, and ears to our fellow man. In moments of discouragement, I’m thankful to have received the lift I needed from my husband, a dear sister, a minister, or even strangers when they shared their gift of knowledge, message of wisdom, or even faith.
I often think of how Jesus’ own mother, Mary, went to her cousin Elizabeth while both were expecting. In such an uncertain time, what encouragement Mary must have received from the mother of John the Baptist. I also consider the disciples, those who literally walked and lived with Jesus. Jesus sent the Twelve out to teach—not alone—but in pairs (Mark 6:7). What more must I need the accompaniment and community of fellow believers to carry out my mission than those holy men and women!
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Love and spur on your sister in Christ when she needs a boost—be it with her job, her children, or her ministry—and accept assistance when it is you who is lacking because He provides.
We’re all in a mission-field of our own, but that work and those gifts given to us by the Spirit are meant to be shared. Dear mothers, missionaries, teachers, farmers, politicians, nurses, executives… there is much work to be done and the race is long. Let us embrace the vocations and missions we are in, and walk together on our journey Home…bringing as many fellow believers with us as we can.
When not chasing after her two joyful little boys, Neena enjoys beekeeping, a good cup of coffee, and writing on her blog, “Words Like Honey” (www.wordslikehoney.com). Neena has spent much of the last decade traveling with her husband, Wade, a former professional baseball player. Throughout the 29 changes of address and the stresses of moving a young family, Neena learned to embrace the peace that only comes from the steady accompaniment of Christ in her heart. Today, Neena and her family are ecstatic to settled back in their Old Kentucky Home.