UPDATE: Thanks to my readers who commented, tweeted and linked this post. Thanks to a handy, dandy random number generator “Between Worlds” has won a copy of “The Missional Mom” by Helen Lee.
Things I learned in adulthood but didn’t expect to learn:
- Pimples do not stop just because wrinkles move in.
- Peer pressure does not disappear just because you leave high school.
- Becoming who you were meant to be can be just as difficult as an adult as it was as a teenager.
- You don’t lose yourself when you become a mom, even if there are moments like you might just drown.
That last lesson is an ongoing one (I suppose all of them all if I were to be honest). There are shelves of books to remind us that parenting, and specifically motherhood, is THE most important job a mother could have. It comes with or without Christian-ese about blessing, calling, heart and spirit. We talk about guiding and nurturing the future leaders of the world. We read about the studies of how a mother’s time working outside of the home can be damaging, be linked to childhood obesity, contribute to childhood delinquency and the general moral failure of the world.
So here in America, and even in the American Christian church, it’s easy to believe that being there for our children is a mother’s highest calling.
But is it?
“The calling and mission God has for us remains unchanged once we become wives and mothers.
What I have seen time and time again, in my friends’ lives, in my own life, and the lives of countless others reflected in the Christian and secular media, is that we mothers often forget how motherhood intersects with the bigger picture of our primary calling and mission. Sometimes we replace our primary calling and mission by saying, ‘ Motherhood is my highest calling…'” The Missional Mom, Helen Lee
Our primary calling, whether or not we are mothers, is to be Christ-followers who love others knowing and living in the knowledge we are loved by God and to be His witnesses everywhere we are. Motherhood is just one context in which that primary calling can be lived through.
Which is why reading Helen Lee’s book was a relief. It challenged me, encouraged me and unsettled me in all of the good ways we need to be. Telling myself that my life is good because someone else’s life isn’t as good doesn’t compel or inspire me to reconsider my choices, but reading stories of women – mothers who love their children and want not just the easiest or nicest or best for their children but want was God wants for them – inspired me.
It inspired me to look past the boxes of photos screaming to be organized or framed or scrapbooked, to look past the various piles of artwork, homework and plain old work, to look at my family’s schedule and to ask God for wisdom to make the choices that actually align with the values I hold as a Christ-follower and not as a supermom.
Worldly martydom is easier than the daily dying to yourself that Christ calls us to. It really is easier to pore myself into being the best mother and lose sight of who God intended me to be and become in the context of my many circles of influence. It’s easier for me to be busy making sure my kids are happy than to take the time to direct myself and my family into joy and a spirit-filled life. Kodak moments are easier than a Christ-filled life.
So when you, friendly blog reader, find yourself in a quiet moment when you are wondering where you lost yourself choose the better thing and dare to ask God what might need to change in your life.
I have a copy of The Missional Mom courtesy of (and signed by) Helen to give away to one of you! How do you get a chance to win a copy of the book?
- Post a link to this blogpost on your FB or blog for a chance;
- Tweet a link to this post for another chance;
- Leave a comment on this post. Ideas for comments: Why do you want this book? How has becoming a mother been challenging to you? Have you ever felt like you “lost” yourself after becoming a wife, or a mother (or a husband or father) and what was that like? If you’re not a mother, what are you most afraid of as you consider the possibility of becoming a mother?
“Kodak moments are easier than a Christ-filled life.” I love this quote! Its so true. Its very easy to get caught up in the here and now and forget the calling that he has is irrevocable. His calling doesnt change when we become mothers, its part of the calling. Thank you for reminding me to search out my calling. Because, ultimately, that will help my kids fulfill their callings.
I would love to read this book. I have three children 3 and under that are very demanding. It’s very easy (and sometimes neccesary) to forget to live eternity-minded and just live in the here and now. The diapers, fits, bumps and bruises, feedings, and daily life get in the way all to often. It’s amazing to think that God still desires to bring me to new places in him, even when I feel like I’m the last person on everyones list, including mine!
There is a lot of wisdom shared here. It is very possible to get caught up in the JOB of motherhood and forget the calling of motherhood. Callings are missional but jobs are dreary.
I have some friends in Chicago who have been talking a lot about this book. I did not know what it was about, but this is helpful. It articulates something I have long felt, but have not known how to articulate.
I heard Helen Lee speak at the Heart of the Matter online homeschooling conference. She was so fun and personable, I found myself wishing I could invite her over for coffee! I was encouraged by her stories of families who live as Christ’s witnesses right where they are. I’ll definitely be reading her book soon!
I would love to read this! I have 3 kids of my own under the age of 6 and sometimes its so easy to lose focus on what we mothers are really here for. As Keith Green sings, “I pledge my kids to heaven for the Gospel…” is my prayer. I would love to read this book!!
I borrowed this book and love it! I would like a copy to share with others too.
Hi there. I’m a brand new mama to a plump-cheeked four-month old. I quit my job to stay at home with him. There are so many books out there supporting different parenting philosophies and it is easy to feel confused as to what type of mama I wanna be. I would like to shed some bad habits I learned from my family of origin while also not falling into the dangerous trap of keeping up with the Joneses when I see babies with so much more stuff than my beloved boy. I hope to win a copy of this book to stay grounded in Christ and hear what a wise and faithful mama can teach me. Thanks!
Kathy – Every time I read one of your posts, I breathe a sigh of relief that I’m not alone (both in my sane and crazy moments!). I’ve seen Helen’s book, and am quite intrigued by it as purpose is something I’ve wrestled with being a working mother. I’d LOVE a copy!!
As a mother of a young toddler, I have good days when I am confident in my purpose and call as a mother. Other days are more difficult, filled with bitterness, anxiety, and other unpleasant things. I’d love to read this book, and gain more insight from Helen. The more wisdom I can glean from good people, the better!