(This is part 2 of the post What’s a mother to do?)
Remember, you are a book that’s being written every day… and your husband and children are reading it. Your story, in part, is defining their lives. Let the Lord be the author and finisher of your faith.
You may resent (as many women do) that no one ever told you the truth about marriage, wives, motherhood and being a keeper at home. You may also resent that you were persuaded to pursue a career or led to believe that a “professional” career is of more worth than “just hanging around the house all day for the rest of your life.” And, given that scenario, I just might agree. But motherhood — true motherhood — and being a keeper at home isn’t at all about “just hanging around the house all day…” That’s another reason for the “exercise” above. True motherhood is a God-given, God ordained gift — this has to be, and become to you (and me), more than rhetoric — more that pious words. This is truly — truly — a very high calling.
And so there’s another thing I’d like to suggest is that you clean the slate — clean the slate of bitterness, resentment, disappointment you may be feeling toward your husband, mother, family and friends who instilled the “otherwise” teachings in your life. That regret or even anger against people or things will not allow you to move ahead in the way the Lord has planned for you. His plan is infinitely greater than you can ask or imagine.
Yes, motherhood and being a keeper at home is a cycle of dailies — and, yes, the dailies are *so* daily. But they are the rudimentary things God uses to refine us. They are the building blocks of character and training we need and we need to instill in our children. They are the stuff of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. And all of these things give motherhood its glory and define its purpose — and they are the things we must yearn for and seek in and through our lives and the lives of our children.
You may have been trained otherwise, but you’ve got something going for you that can dispel that training and replace it… you’ve got a picture of what you want (and what you don’t want). The title of that picture is haven and time. You know you want a haven for your husband and children. Stop for a moment and ponder what that looks like. You might keep that word in mind as you fill out some of your answers to the questions above. The second word, time, is also important to remember as one of the priorities you already know you have (or want to have). You want to have time for your children. It, too, will be important to remember when answering the questions. How will you spend your time in order to have or make time available for your children. I think you might also be implying that you want your children to remember you as their mama who always had time or made time for them. This will be important as you set up the routines of your day.
Schedules are very hard to implement and maintain in a home, but routines — daily set routines — priorities are the set activities of each day; these are things we see that we accomplish each day. You know the phrase goes something like: Fail to plan = a plan to fail. So, that being said, start today… take a step of faith. Begin with prayer: Lay all this before the Lord, lay proverbs 14.1)down your life before Him… give Him your sorrows and regrets; give Him your plans and desires; yield to His calling on your life. If you will commit your way to the Lord, He will direct your steps9. I know this to be true — I’ve lived this and for me this is not rhetoric but truth — a wise woman builds her house…. When I deviate from this, I fall. I literally fall and utterly fail. And a house comes down with the foolish mother. I know this personally and truly — thus I press on and part of my calling is to tell other mothers the truth, to show other mothers that the Lord is Faithful and True and His Word does not fail.
I hope this will help you today… I will think on this further and will write to you again. You know, the very fact that you wrote tells me you’re off to a wonderful start. I guess I’d add: take in the Bread of the Word, eat well, plan well, listen to praise music – not jarring music, get sunshine, seek every single day to find good things… good things to say, good things to think, good things to remember, good things to do for your husband and children. Their future (and yours!) really and truly depends on decisions you make today and every day.
This may, at first blush, seem harsh — but let the thought sink down in your ears — I say all of these things today at the door of my 34th wedding anniversary. I’ve experienced the fruit of good and bad decisions — good and bad branches and vines. You know, good and bad seeds both grow — that’s really a hard reality to grasp and to face — but it’s the truth. When I’ve neglected things, been distracted over things, been lazy or careless, lost my focus or given the bulk of my attention to things that didn’t pertain to the task at hand, the seeds planted in those times have yielded bad fruit — weeds — noxious weeds — branches and bitter fruit that needed to be pulled, pruned, burned and/or destroyed… even now, I must be vigilant to watch for roots of bitterness or selfishness of those times and even in these days and take the necessary — painful, humbling and difficult — steps to cut them out. When I’ve cultivated the soil and have planted good seed, when I’ve invested and have been eager, working diligently, heartily, cheerfully, purposefully and graciously, the blossoms have been fragrant, the branches strong and the fruit sweet. That’s what I pray will be the result of your life: sweet fruit.
May you always be blessed.