“You’re that mom of five little boys?”
“You’re that mom of the kid in the wheelchair?”
“You’re that homeschooler, that stay-home mom, that mom with a huge vehicle full of car seats parked in the handicapped space?”
“You’re that one who writes that weird blog?”
I mean, yes. I do write that weird blog. I do homeschool, and don’t have a paying job, and do drive a beast and park it boldly. My kids are young and male and awesome; the one in the wheelchair revels in your attention and will probably take your money if you offer it. And I answer to “Mommy” 36,453 times a day.
But that’s not me.
Every day I see articles and encouragement to moms and wives for their great and holy work. And it is great. It is most holy. The work of a wife and a mom is worth far more than rubies, no matter how thankless or difficult it feels. When my husband walks in the door after a long day walking circular miles though his store, he usually finds me somewhere in the midst of feeding a late supper to unobliging toddlers/wrangling slippery kindergarteners out of the cold bath/finishing reading homework with grumpy 8 year olds/kicking aside the already-folded-and-dumped-back-out-laundry pile/stepping on the 7 year old’s almost finished lego creation/nursing a tired baby/trying to answer the three year old’s endless question “why?”/and counting the minutes till bedtime when I can catch up with remembering all the necessary things I had to do today, like breathe and eat and scrub play dough off the walls. I’ve got this most holy of jobs in all its beauty and terror. And I wouldn’t trade it.
But let’s not deify motherhood. I’m potty training. Is it important? Heck yes. But is it my ultimate purpose? I sure hope not. I am really just one big sinner showing other little sinners how not to do things. God could use a donkey if He wanted to get a job accomplished – or an unwed teenage mother (it’s been done.)
My three year old tried to sum it up for me yesterday. “Mommy, I am in charge and you are the binch.” He said it confidently as he sat on my lap. “What?!?” I gasped before the translation kicked in. “Oh, you mean your ‘bench.'” He snuggled back against me, content.
Yes, child. I am providing you a sturdy seat from which you will launch off when you are ready. Someday you won’t need me under you. I wasn’t made with seat belts; because my purpose isn’t to keep you safe forever. My purpose is to glorify your Maker with my life. And to bring you along for the ride.
I am for God. My kids, they are for God. God – He is for God.
It’s not about me, or my kids, or our happiness. It’s not about their safety, or their education, or their success in life. Life is about Him. This is epic.
It’s freeing, really. I am going to mess this motherhood thing up. I already have, today. And yesterday. And tomorrow. And if my focus is on being such a great mommy that they turn out to be decent, successful men, then I am failing. My sights are too low if I’m merely trying to be supermom.
My sights should be on Jesus. Always. They said when I was learning to drive, keep your eyes on the road, because you will turn the wheel whichever way your eyes are pointing. Sometimes He takes us off-road, over bumps and around sharp corners. Sometimes the road is hard, and His directions don’t make sense. But Jesus is more honored by me trusting Him than by me trying to give the kids in the backseat the safest, quickest route. I will dishonor Him if I take another road.
I was made to honor Him above all else. I wasn’t made to figure Him out.
After all, He made me, though He didn’t need His creation.
He chose me, though He could have had anything else.
He loved me, though He didn’t need my love back.
He died for me, though He could have lived without me.
He asked me to respond, though He has every right to force my allegiance.
He calls me to trust Him, though circumstances sometimes belie the very provision and safety I expect from a good God.
For God so loved the world, that He made a woman capable, if only she tries hard enough, and dresses right, and reads the right books, and chooses the best education, and eats the right foods, and marries the perfect man, that she could be supermom.
No. That’s not how it goes.
He didn’t give us super powers. He gave us His son. He gave us His everything. So I don’t have to be everything. I can be nothing.
Or just a bench.
I hope, at the end of the day, when people think of me, I won’t be remembered as a good mom. I want people to think, “that crazy little lady clearly had a really big God.”
Because He is.