When I was in the dentist's office the other day, I got a chance to catch up on all the celebrity magazines. I would've never thought that admist all that entertaining trash I would find an epiphany-a-ha-click-lightbulb- went-off moment for myself, but God is infamous for turning garbage into gem! Here's what I found.........
"Mother is not maid."
"Mother is not maid."
-Jonas Brother's Mom
You know when I am most frustrated with motherhood is if I'm not actually engaged in it. I get most frustrated when I feel like I've just been cleaning up, shuttling kids around, and feeding everyone all day.
Yes, those are all parts of motherhood, but it is NOT the definition of motherhood. I think in a lot of ways the pattern of this world says... "do not over-mother", "let the village raise the child", "don't cram things down the kids' throat", "you're just a mom, you're not capable of what the professionals are" and on and on. On the inside I am not duped into believing these things. God is transforming me by the renewing of my mind. But I have to admit that there are many times when I will just nodd my head and agree so as not to look "over-bearing" and so that I will not look "foolish" because I consider being a mother the most important-eternal-world changing- legacy leaving thing I will ever do. I have 5 little disciples 24/7.
So I have been really pondering lately my role as Mother in my children's lives,
how am I and will I be actively engaged in raising my children?
A Mother nurtures and takes responsbility for her offspring. A Mother trains, guides and protects her children. She does what she knows to be best for them. She does not just wish, or churn things over in her mind, or simply sit in thoughtful prayer; she puts her love into action, she takes a stand, and she takes full responsibilty for being the only mother that God has given her children. She is fierce, but gentle. She has her mind made up, but is open to Heavenly Father and earthly father directed change. She is steadfast, but knows when to take a break. She respects her children, but is not afraid of them. She is head over heals in love, but sensible. She is friend and foe, depending on the the child's perception!
And more precisely:
A mother meets the need of her child according to what he/she cannot do for themselves (much like ministry!) A mother selflessly serves, teaches, demonstrates and helps her child do for themselves what they cannot do until they can. Oh, how tender God has made our hearts! How He has put these special abilities in the hands of Woman for all the world to benefit and see His glory and grace.
Not what they won't do for themselves.
A mother uses discipline, routine, natural consequences, and sometimes punishment so that the child will eventually do for themselves what they won't do. THIS is where it counts. It is my intention to raise men and women, not helpless children in an adult body. I must constantly be on my toes in this area- praying for discernment so that I will know the difference between cannot and will not. For example: My 3 yod, Hannah, is in the mostly "cannot" area when it comes too cleaning up her room perfectly, but my 10 yod, David, absolutley can, and perfectly at that. My 10 month old, Mary, can not possibly make her own bowl of Cheerios, but my 8 yod, Elijah, sure can. This also applies to heart areas. I expect my older children to be more in control of their emotions than my little ones. Sometimes I need to physically hold a child until their temper cools but I expect an older child to hold themselves.
What does a "will not" look like? Hear me----it is very rarely in the form of open defiance!! It comes more in forms of laziness, "not hearing", denial, moodiness, divertion, lying, sneakiness, self-justification, blame, forgetfulness, selfish acts, and more. These are the areas that require the heart of a mother to tend after. Others would want to expose these sins to make themselves look better and feel better about themselves (that's my conclusion of why we pick out others' sins), but a mother does it with un-conditional love, acceptance, and perfect hope for the path that her child will be on. A mother is on her child's side, not against.
She pours her energy into the character of her child before she pours it into anything else.
She is far more Mother than Maid!