Thought I'd share a devotional I wrote for a friend's baby shower : ) Hope it encourages some moms out there today!
Becoming a mother... a sacred joy and blessing yet a noble and divine responsibility. Surely, we experience motherhood even before giving birth, protecting and nurturing a child in your womb. There will be thrills your heart has never known to exist and there will be pain that you think your soul cannot bear. I have heard it said to be a mom, it is to hold your heart outside of your body.
Being this incredible and serious adventure, mothers strive to do their VERY BEST! So many choices in motherhood... labor options, diapering options, feeding options, sleeping options, disciplining options, schooling options and the list goes on. Some of these options probably are already swirling in your head. Whew... it makes MY head swirl and I’m not even having a baby : ) Let me assure you though, that all of these options are non-essential and NONE of them will make you a good mother. Let me explain.
There is only ONE thing that will make you a successful mom. The only ONE essential to being a good mother is fearing and obeying the Lord.
But what does that look like? I am going to share with you from the Word a passage where we can glean insight to answer that very question. The passage of Scripture I felt led to share with you today is one of my favorites. And very appropriate in light of all of Jackie’s running and races(she ran her 1st marathon at 11wks pregnant!).
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witneses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
- “Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses”... in mothering, we MUST remember the lost world around us and our brothers/sisters in Christ are watching. We can greatly impact people around us either by making them stumble or encouraging them to seek the Lord. Our lives and our mothering must always point to Christ.
- “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and sin that so easily entangles”... in our mothering, we MUST be careful to examine our lives. To confess sin and repent, so that our children learn to do the same. So that they will learn to be holy and to be humble.
- “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”... one of the things I always say when David and I do pre-marital counseling is don’t expect to have a 50yr. marriage in the 1st year, I believe the same can be said for mothering. It is ok if you don’t have all the answers in the first few days of becoming a mom, you know the ONE who does. Relax, take it slow, enjoy the run of “mothering”. The point is to endure and be steadfast.
- “Fixing our eyes on Jesus”... probably one of the toughest things in mothering is the urge to compare yourself to other moms. But the WORD says to fix your eyes on JESUS... not the mom running next to you. Be careful to not “fix your eyes” on methods in mothering or on moms you admire. Rather, FIX your eyes on JESUS and HIS WORD and He will give you direction for your marathon in mommyhood.
- “For the joy set before Him endured the cross”... there will be many times that being a mom stinks : ) There is great sacrifice in being a mom... of sleep, of time, of money, of emotion, of belongings and so many more. There are times I want to just quit. But it is in THOSE times we need to remember JOY! For the JOY set before HIM, He endured the cross. There is so much JOY in serving our kids in service to our GOD! Always make sure your kids know that you have JOY in being a mom. They will see the JOY of the Lord is your strength. The JOY of the Lord as we consider Christ on the cross will keep us from growing weary that we may not lose heart!
As you run the "Mommy marathon", remember to relax, enjoy and most of all... Fear the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. " But a woman who [fn]fears the LORD, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30