Finding & Keeping Joy in Motherhood
Have you ever seen the movie Jersey Girl? It's about a guy who decides to move from New York City to New Jersey and into his father's house to raise his little girl. After a while, he becomes antsy, wanting his old life back. After several failed attempts, he finally lands an interview in the city giving him hope of returning. He is overjoyed, but his now 7-year-old daughter, who has fallen in love with their life in New Jersey, does not want to move back to the city. After fighting with her about it, he makes the decision to go anyway. While waiting to go into the interview, he has a conversation with a previous client. He comes to realize that the life he once had and longed for was just that…his. The life he leads now is not just about him anymore. There is a little girl...his little girl and her life to consider.
It made me realize how often we long for a life other than the one we are currently living. God has given each of us a calling while on this earth. We will have many seasons to walk in and out of within that calling. Or perhaps, He will assign us a new one after we complete the first. Some of us have been called to motherhood. But, we look at it as a lowly place to be, full of unfilled desires and disappointment. We feel like we are missing out. Guess what?! We ARE! We miss out on SO much that God has planned for us right in the middle of the season we are in. I am not saying we don't chase after those dreams and visions God put in our hearts. I am talking about placing higher priority on them while sacrificing your relationship with God, your spouse, and your kids.
If you are not walking in what God has for you…there will always be discontent. He has created us for purpose and to actually fulfill it! That discontent can often be misunderstood. We are unsettled or disgruntled because we are confusing His purpose and ours. We are, at times, unwilling to embrace where He wants us to be and try to do something He has not asked us to do. This causes us to lose our joy and miss out on amazing opportunities.
Being a mom can seem unsatisfying at times or like there is more we could/want to be doing. In those moments, let's pause and think about it from God’s perspective. He has entrusted these kids to us. and has faith that we will raise them to love and serve Him and others. He has full confidence in the Holy Spirit to help us get the job done. That, my friends, is a hefty calling in and of itself and one we often take too lightly (I know I do!). We think our daily mom tasks are just mundane chores (and sometimes they are). I know you have probably heard this before, but it is TRUTH. Those moments of butt-wiping, nose-blowing, and boo-boo kissing? Those "to-do's" are serving and learning opportunities.
It's reflection time. Do you find yourself angry? Stressed? Discontent? Miserable? What is it that has you feeling this way? It is possible for that to change? Let's make a list of things you do in a week. Include everything! What is occupying your time?? Cooking, laundry, dishes, banking, grocery shopping, church, cleaning up toys, re-decorating, workout/gym, on the phone, social media, playdates, running errands, serving others, serving the church, quiet time, work, sports, etc.
I am not saying that these are bad things or even things you should cut out. First, pray and ask God to show you what to let go of and what to keep. Be READY and WILLING to hear Him say, "Let go" of things you may have been holding onto. It may be time to lay down things that have been stopping you from fulfilling your present calling. Ask yourself these questions:
1) Are you putting God first? Are you setting aside time for just you and Him? Letting Him fill your spirit?
2) Are you a wife? Are you dating your husband? Is he truly 2nd place in your life? Are you pursuing Him? Praying for Him? Respecting him?
3) Are you taking care of you? Do you have "mom" time or girlfriend time? Do you take care of yourself mentally and physically?
4) Are you a mom?? Are you spending time with your kids? Are you really getting to know who they are as people? People who will one day make a difference and have their own place in this world? Or do you see them as whiny, needy, discontent beings in your house? (Doesn’t that last description sound familiar? Actually, maybe it sounds a lot like me some days. If I am behaving that way, aren’t they just modeling my behavior? Hmmm. Something to really think about.)
I had a wise woman tell me, "Sometimes we are our own worst enemy on influencing our hubby and kids, but that also gives us the ability to change." Your children will have all kinds of outside influences, good and bad, that you can do nothing about. Right now, their biggest influences are mom and dad. How will you choose to handle that responsibility? It's your choice!
When you look at your life what do you see? Are you thriving in your role as Jesus girl, wife, and mom? Are there areas that need some extra attention? Please know, the enemy would love for you to think my goal is to make you feel guilty. That is the complete OPPOSITE of my heart. I am sharing this because God has been working overtime with me and I know there are so many other women who need to hear this too!
I love to give to others and do things for them that will make them happy. I love to make others laugh and be joyful. I love to encourage others to be all they were created to be. I love to ________ for OTHERS. Am I doing these things with and for God and my family? They are the “others” I need to focus on first. I was once told, "No matter your calling in life, if you cannot minister to the people in your home, your “out of the home” ministry/job will not reach it's full potential." (Luke 16:10) Our first and most important ministry is within our own four walls: our husband and our kids.
The best part about all of this is that we can be find and keep joy in every season.. We can be content in our current season of life. We can be successful. We can change our life NOW!! The question is...do we really want to? And are we willing to do what we need to do to get there? Joy and contentment are choices. Will you choose them?
1/28/2017 11:38:15 am
Thank you for the good encouragement! It's easy to give our leftovers to the ones we love the most when it should be the opposite. I'm thankful for a God who helps us on this journey towards wholness!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.