This is my would-be Mother's Day post, one week delayed. :-) First, I'd love to invite you to take some time to read this excellent post on Annette's blog. Ever since I read it, I've wanted to share it on my blog as well--I think the concept is one I've also had on my heart but have been unable to put words to, just as Annette wrote about. The article she copied is a challenging and convicting one, and I've thought about it a lot since I read it a couple of months ago.
So it was fresh on my mind when I attended Barb Cash's excellent session with the same title as this blog post at the homeschool convention. I really enjoyed what she had to say and wish it had worked out for me to attend other sessions she gave, but I was thankful for what God allowed me to hear at this one. I took notes, but they are quite random; still, I think they may bless and encourage others as well, so here are some things I wrote down, along with a few of my own comments.
"We need to sense there is worth and purpose in our work. Otherwise it becomes a series of obligations that weave a ho-hum tapestry of life." Isn't that true? If we are not absolutely convinced that God has called us to an INCREDIBLE ministry as wives and mothers, we can all too easily fall into the trap of not only feeling frustrated and discouraged at the difficulties we encounter, but also even bitterness and resentment. It's far too easy to underestimate how valuable it really is that we are changing diapers and caring for little ones.
I am the ONLY one that God has called to be Ted's wife and the mother of Charis, Tobin, Arden, Kenna, and Lucan! No one else can do this job--it is mine alone for as long as God grants me life on this earth! Say that to yourself with the names of the precious ones God has given YOU, and thank Him for the privilege of being called to such a unique place.
Barb read a quote from an old Betty Crocker cookbook that talked about how women could "minister to loved ones by cooking them good food." Though you may not find such language in modern cookbooks, it is interesting that not too long ago a domestic chore was spoken of in a secular book as being "ministry." And truly, isn't that what we do, ladies? Every day!
1 Timothy 6:6 speaks to the issue of contentment--Godliness WITH contentment is a means of great gain. Be careful not to let a root of discontent grow in your heart.
One of the difficulties of being a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), especially a homeschooling mom, is dealing with interruptions. Barb said flat out that interruptions ARE life! We can't wait for the perfect week or even the perfect day--we will always deal with interruptions, and our attitude toward them goes a long way in determining whether we are content or not. Hold loosely to your plans, she encouraged!
So, how CAN we be content when things don't go according to plan? One big factor according to Barb is to find joy in the simple things. Otherwise, the extraordinary becomes the standard, and how can you maintain THAT?! A plain and simple life is a full life. Sometimes it's as simple as changing your perspective. Choose to think of your role as a holy privilege: I "get" to share life with 6 messy people! Rejoice, mess and all!
We CAN have a heavenly perspective on our earthly lives. Living in the Spirit allows us to experience so much more freedom and joy than living in the flesh. It is more important to have influence than control--what a challenging concept!