"Be that as it may, my Father knows best, and I'm confident that He has placed me here; my task is to labor quietly until the pillar cloud removes and leads farther, working out God's purposes in God's time." -Jim Elliot


Beholding the Cheerios less and the Cross more

I have read several mommy blogs recently that have completely "gotten" me.  Like in a REAL way.  They describe my day to a "t": the good, the difficult, the in-between.  Many of these blogs have gone into details such as the day-to-day ritual of wiping up crumbs on the floor that seems to take an hour per meal...helping toddlers use the potty...responding to the needs of my little one wanting to be held all.the.time.  Yes, I get it.  I am right there with you.  But some of these blogs have left me feeling...unsettled.  I think we are missing something.  I think we are missing the bigger picture.  I think there is so much more for us in motherhood than just recounting a list of all the things that were expected of us that day.  There is a greater focus than the one that gets through the day repeating to ourselves, "I am laying down my life for Christ."  This calling is about so much more than our service, our works, our feats for our children...it is about so much more than us laying our lives down.  Are we truly created to behold our lives again, and again, and again with every wiping of the nose and every vacuuming up of the Cheerios???  The more I focus on these things, the more I find myself bitter, defeated, and sometimes literally pulling myself out of bed in the morning against every fiber of my selfish tendency to want to sleep just five more minutes.  The more I behold my martyrdom of motherhood, the more I resent anyone needing anything from me.  I don't know about others, but I know that my flesh feeds on inward thinking that somehow my life is harder than anyone else's.  There are days when I am sure if pity was ice cream, I ate about five bowls worth by nap time.

In the midst of this, there is Good News.  I do believe there is more to behold.  While being a mom is hard work, there is One Who came to this earth Who did the ultimate work.  Jesus.  He came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves.  He lived a life of humbly serving and loving His enemies...He died a death that He did not deserve to bring us into His grace...He is and has always been in the business of redeeming His beloved church.  We are His.  And I believe that freedom in Christ in any area, but especially in how it relates to motherhood, is found in beholding this incredible Savior again, and again, and again.  Instead of how hard we are working to keep our homes and families in running order, let us contemplate THE work done that allowed our hearts to change and be in "running order" in the first place.  Instead of exalting the service we do in laying our lives down for our children, let us exalt THE One who was the perfect example of a servant in laying His life down.  Like I shared earlier, this calling is about so much more than our service, our works, our feats for our children...it is about Christ and how He laid His life down for us.  

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, LOOKING TO JESUS, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."  (Hebrews 12:1-3)  Sisters in Christ, this is where our freedom lies.  Without beholding HIS work, we will feel as though the cup He has called us to in motherhood is unbearable.  We will be super frustrated and angry.  When tempted to glorify our jobs as stay-at-home moms as the hardest job, let us remember what we were spared on the cross.  Christ took all of what we deserved upon Himself.  He did for us what we were helpless and hopeless to do for ourselves.

I don't share any of this to discount or dismiss the real struggles and sacrifices that we are called to everyday as parents.  But what I am doing is inviting us to behold the earthly struggle of Christ who was crucified and overcame the grave to give us LIFE.  I am inviting you to behold the ultimate sacrifice.  I am far from getting it.  I long to behold Him more and more everyday, and yet I fail at it often.  And yet, I know in my heart that the only freedom we have from resentment of the cup given to us is to look to Christ who keeps pouring, and pouring, and pouring again.  As we behold Him more and more, we behold the difficulties of our lives less and less.