I’ve officially lost track of the number of women who email me or come up to talk to me at conferences about their worry that motherhood means they’re missing out on following all the “big” things they see other women doing online.
They’re so busy juggling a million seemingly “small” things that their days don’t have margin for more.
Here’s what I tell them. Here’s what I want to tell you if you’re knee deep in the season of Cheerios, diapers, wipes and midnight feedings. Or even if you’ve graduated to packing school lunches and braving your way through parent-teacher conferences – this remains true:
Becoming a mother might be the most profound faith journey of your life.
Because Motherhood INFORMS EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR LIVES.
My motherhood isn’t small. It isn’t what’s limiting me. It’s THE Lens through which I see Jesus.
It teaches sacrifice and selflessness and breathes life into Jesus truths like nothing else I have ever encountered. I am convinced that encouraging people to become better parents goes hand in hand with encouraging people to genuinely and truly pursue God. They’re not in competition with one another, I think they’re designed to inform each other.
What pastor could possibly ask a mother to divorce her battle with temper and frustration from her daily challenge of raising a willful toddler. This is the heart of where Jesus meets us – through our kids. And I am convinced that the best way for any leader or influencer to connect with a population group who drives the Internet’s massive percentages of mommy blogs is to understand our heart cry.
We are hungry for advice and encouragement on how to parent because we know how closely related it is to how we believe.
When I am learning how to like my 4 year old or to tame my temper – the post I receive the most email on – I have been the closest to the Holy Spirit, done the most work, the most frequent fasting, the most desperate research of Scripture, the most midnight prayers. Motherhood calls me to Christ. I hear his voice at 2am. I walk the halls with Him and know He sings over me when I’m cleaning up throw up.
I don’t believe that ministry begins and ends with serious theology instead of Cheerios-encrusted carpets.
Because I believe that that Cheerios, diapers, laundry, and dishes are serious theology
Yes, this is my house on an ordinary afternoon – are you following me on Instagram for more reminders that real life is messy and that’s OK.
Because of course in real life everything – everything that has breath – is a cry to bring us back to the Creator. God calls us each through unique avenues of life and for mothers, more often than not, His voice is heard loudest through our children.
More and more my children are my gospel in the sense that they teach, they reveal Christ to me. And if you haven’t read it, then Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls is one of my favorite books to recommend on the topic. In it Gary Thomas says,
“Let’s admit that family life tires us as perhaps nothing else does; but let’s also accept that, for most of us, this is God’s call and part of his plan to perfect us.
Once we realize that we are sinners, that the children God has given us are sinners, and that together, as a family, we are to grow toward God, then family life takes on an entirely new purpose and context.
It becomes a sacred enterprise when we finally understand that God can baptize dirty diapers, toddlers’ tantrums, and teenager’s silence in order to transform us into people who more closely resemble Jesus Christ.“
And so I keep coming back here with words about motherhood. I show up with my stories about sleep deprivation, frustrated four-year-olds and my constant wrestle with trying to make a home out of a house that is not my own. This is my truth. And I promise to keep on telling it, this love story. Of how Jesus would have loved me the same whether I had children or not. But how He is remaking me day in and day out through this gift that He saved till last.
So come back tomorrow. And the day after. And I will still be here, unwrapping, unwrapping, unwrapping all this crawling, toddling, laughing, crying extraordinarily sacred ordinary.
Missy Grant knows what I mean. A former NCAA player her story lead her one ordinary step at a time into adoption. And then a book about her journey. And then the opportunity to give away all her book proceeds to the community center in South Africa funded almost solely by moms and blog readers and mommy bloggers.
Here’s what Missy says about the “small” work of motherhood:
Often times, simply taking the first step is the hardest. We all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed in some way, and the remedy can sometimes be as simple as this: Just do what is in front of you. So began our journey into adoption. I was 43 and about to become a mother of two! We all have a unique story to tell as we take Lisa-Jo literally at her word that, “there is no such thing as an ordinary mom!”
I recently published a book that began as a blog to journal my thoughts while keeping family/friends updated as we began the glorious but chaotic journey into sibling international adoption. And it morphed into a heartfelt book of encouragement to our children and prospective moms. I am nothing more than a simple girl with a passionate story to tell. My former professional tennis and avid fitness career has taught me to stay PRESENT in the game and continue to persevere. ONE step at a time.
And Missy is donating all the proceeds from her book to our Community Center Project in Maubane, South Africa.
Change the world from your kitchen sink this morning – click here to get a copy of Missy’s story – what one “mommy blogger” accomplished right there in the middle of her every day life.
Then take the time to encourage another mother today – it’s about the most powerful ministry we have to share with each other.