Today, I am thankful that this post is being featured over at Encouragement Cafe and Crosswalk. If you are stopping by, from one of those sites, Welcome! If you are a regular reader, just know that (in keeping with our “cliff” theme) the cliffhanger post from Monday will be continued on FRIDAY!
When I was expecting my firstborn, I knew that I was on the verge of falling off a cliff…or jumping off of one! I had my dream job teaching dental hygiene and my husband was graduating dental school in a few months. Our life was completely ordered around work and school and we loved it; but he was graduating and joining the military, while I would stay at home. All of our friends wondered aloud to me, just how long it would be till I started back to work again, in the new place, after we moved to our first duty station, after we had our first baby. How long?
No one really believed me when I said, “I’ll be staying home. At least for the first few years.” Years…even a few of them sounded like forever to me and that was more than twelve years ago. But somehow I just knew, without a doubt, that this was what was next for me. And I was a little freaked out, on the inside.
I knew there was a reckoning waiting for me
on the other side of Motherhood.
Or a wrecking.
I read all the books like a good mom-to-be. And none of them prepared me for my new job. None of the books prepared me for the humbling of me. Motherhood is a life of service. To enter into it is to imitate Jesus, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” (Phil 2:6-7, ESV).
Loving difficult people is where God schools you in loving. It is where you meet Him. It is the hard place where The Rock refines your rough edges. And children are teeny tiny difficult people. So I think the thing that surprised me most about motherhood is that, the only way to prepare for it, is to prepare your heart by knowing God. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life (Prov 4:23).
Everything else is OJT (on the job training).
Parenting isn’t a skill or a love language or a philosophy;
it is a practice.
Paul gives us this promise: What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil 4:9). At the end of all the stress and the strife and the spiritual growth lies deeper relationship with the God of peace.
So, if you are a mom, how did motherhood change you? If you aren’t one, what has been the humbling of you?