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?