Monday, May 28, 2007

Believing God

I am not claiming to be a great theologian, but merely a mother trying to work out the best way that I can to live my life for Christ in my own circumstances. So this series on Joy is more of a working out of my own thoughts, of paring it down to essentials.

We need to remember that Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. The only way we are able to get Joy is from Him, through Him and by responding to Him. This is the case in Motherhood, and all of life.

We need to believe God. As Piper says,

"Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself."

I know many of us, including myself, know that the role of a Mother is considered to be a beautiful thing in God's eyes. But do we believe it? By that I mean, do we raise it to the level it is supposed to be? Do we have a vision for the Ideal of Motherhood? An Ideal is not meant to overwhelm, it is a way, not means. Do we believe and understand the enormity of our role? It is a high calling. If you have children, then you were called to be a mother.

This role is hard, no doubt. But do we believe wordly lies, or biblical truth? The giving of ourselves, the daily sacrifices, the not getting to eat your dinner when its hot, yes, that is beautiful in the sight of the Lord.

"But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."
~Matthew 20:26-28

There are so many wordly things feeding us daily, telling us and encouraging us that our fulfillment can be found outside the home, or even inside the home, with distractions. Yes, mothers need a break, but God did not say "you deserve a break", He said, "And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up." (Galations 6:9-10)
When we cannot serve anymore in our own power, this is good, for then we can truly serve in His strength.

Believe Jesus when He says He understands. Believe God when He says--"all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16) There is no mistake the setup of our families, and that we are mothers of our families.

Preach God's word to yourself, don't listen to yourself.

I am saying this to myself!


Betty said...

Amen, Andrea!

It is so hard sometimes to move this information from my brain to my heart. Sometimes my "ideal" comes from things I've read or watched and are not always realistic. Lately, I've been asking God, what He requires of me, what is His yoke for me in my role of motherhood? That's been helpful.

But yes, the need to preach to myself is one that is very helpful. I even write down what I should say to myself! Keep fighting for joy! Me too!

Grace and Peace,

Betsy said...

So good Andrea. It's always when I'm looking back at my day to see how I *feel* about it.. did I do 'good', was I productive, did dear daughter have a 'good' day? And it's NEVER about any of those things!! I love it that joy takes on forms beyond happiness or just feel good emotion. It's such a deep contentment in God's perfect plans.

Last night, a girlfriend and I were talking about motherhood, how do we ever get things "done", and so on. She reminded me of what a friend said to her..."it's a daily dying to self, that's my spiritual discipline for my children". Our season of motherhood in the trenches will be a blink when our babies fly the nest. Thanks for your joyful post!

Christine said...

This is a great beginning to this series, Andrea. I needed to hear this while recovering from this virus! There's nothing like being sick while caring for sick children to show you what motherhood and serving are really all about.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Yes, that whole servant thing - tough words! Finding the balance between serving my family and teaching my kids to be independent is a constant challenge for me. It's more of an attitude, really. I do what I do (even if that means asking you to pick up your dirty socks) with YOUR good in mind, not my own convenience. Sigh. I guess I need to do more preaching to myself!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

To me, joy is a part of satisfaction. I was just doing a Bible study on Isaiah, and in ch. 53 he talks about Jesus being satisfied after his work on the cross. He did what he knew he had to do. I think that we can experience satisfaction (and thus joy) when we are doing what we know we are supposed to do as mothers. We may not be "happy" due to a child's rebellion or bad attitude or our own sacrifice, but we can still have joy.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much Andrea! Once again, your words are meeting me on a particularly tough day when I have been deep in thought and prayer. I've been feeling dry in my walk, and sorry for myself in the continual serventhood of motherhood. I liked your point about it being good when we can't do it any more on our own, I have to keep reminding myself to go to the Lord FIRST, not when I'm at the bottom. Growing, growing, "Refine me Father!"

Beck said...

Sometimes I read something and it's just so well timed that it feels like a thunderbolt - like this. I'll be musing over your words all day - thank you for writing this.