Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Mission of Motherhood

I am meeting with a small group of moms to discuss the book, The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. I am only on chapter 3 but I am already quite captivated by some of what I have read. If you know me, you know that when I am excited about something....I have to tell everybody! So, here it goes...

"Doesn't it make sense that a wise God, who ordered the rest of creation in an intricate and systematic way, would also have provided such a person to care for children - to commit wholeheartedly to creating the right environment for them to grow and to prepare them to live throughout eternity bearing his image? I am convinced that God designed us as mothers to be that person in the lives of our children. He intended it to be a fully committed job, not something we do on the side." (p. 43-44)

The author talks a lot about not having your "heart divided" when it comes to mothering. Wow! I have been thinking about all the ways my heart is divided....how sometimes my desire to clean and organize is greater than my desire to hang out with my kids...how my desire to talk to other mom friends on the phone overrides my desire to watch my kids 'perform gymnastics tricks' for me...how my desire to take a nap wins out over my desire to read books with my children. Ok, the guilt is piling on now!

"...I had not yet given myself wholeheartedly to the mission of motherhood. Yes, I loved my family and wanted to do a good job as a mother. But when up to my elbows in the tedious responsibilities of life, I spent much of my mental energy thinking about when I would have more time for myself and my own interests. When my children are six, I would think, there will be no more children in diapers, no more naps, and my life will be freer. Then I will have more time to write and speak and spend time on me - to do the important stuff!

As I began to seek God in this area, however, he gently began to put his finger on the real source of my dissatisfaction, which lay not on my specific choices or my skills as a mother, but in my divided heart. How could I put all of me into my time at home if I was always thinking about a future time when I could escape the routine tasks of motherhood?" (p. 44)

"...I began to see my children's care and nurture as God's best will for my life during my season as a mother." (p. 45)

"...If I didn't commit myself wholeheartedly to the demands of motherhood, I would never be able to do my best, because my heart would always be somewhere else." (p. 45)

As all the moms with teenagers like to tell us moms with babies and preschoolers, "Oh, the years go by so quickly...enjoy your children...you won't believe how fast they grow up..." I think we all know that in our hearts, but it is so hard to keep that perspective when we are sleep deprived, working on our third load of laundry for the day, and sweeping crumbs (and entire platefuls of food) off of the kitchen floor.

I want to want to mother my children wholeheartedly! I love when I am changed by something that I hear or read...I hope that I am changed by this book...I want to be changed! I want to be able to say one day, "No regrets! I gave this mothering thing all I had to give...and then some!"


Laura said...

Thanks for your thoughts, wow that was powerful!

Teri said...

I read that book - in fact I just had it out again searching for a quote - it's good stuff, definitely life-changing!