The Great Lie of Motherhood

Motherhood has a subtle lie attached to it.

These years are not about me, they are about them. Sounds good, right?

I scurry to fill tummies and enrich minds and foster hunger for Jesus. I teach fingers to tie shoes, lips to say “will you forgive me?”, and minds to memorize scripture. All good things, necessary things, but with a faint emptiness if fueled by this lie, cloaked as truth.

It’s this lie which leaves me feeling anorexic after even their best days, and it’s this lie which leaves me frantic to turn up the treadmill after their worst. Like a hamster wheel there is no way out of this notion, which is maybe only ten degrees off-center in appearance — but on the other side of the globe from what these years are really all about. Their needs only grow and my ability to meet them flatlines. Nobody’s happy.

Though selflessness is most certainly a bi-product of motherhood — or maybe, perhaps, a best supporting actress — it’s not the end in itself. And when I believe the end to be “the most selfless version of me” or “the most perfected version of them” — because, remember, motherhood is really all about them — I get lost.

Replace motherhood with ministry and that was me 10+ years ago. Different scenario, same outcome. And marriage? I’ve been there too. Meeting needs and finding the end in a person, or a mission, instead of the God-Man.

It’s subtle. The enemy comes like a thief in the night. And before I know it, my days have been stolen.

There’s no question that motherhood is not all about me.

But it’s not all about them either.

It’s about Him.  Him for them. And Him for me.

And if this new line to which my mind assents also filters in to the boiler room of my heart, everything changes. Under this umbrella, these years become limitless, instead of limiting. We’re all recipients. Their little hearts and mine. The lie none of us would ever say with our mouths, but often live by our actions, gets debunked when we believe that even our children’s lives and futures fall backseat to God Himself. Paint-stained fingers and moods out of whack and lessons learned over and over and over again are fodder for abundance … for His all. Because when we mamas (or we ministers, or we wives or we business men and women) eat daily of His abundance, glory breaks through.

So, since the best way for me to move a concept from my head to my heart is adoration, on this I will adore: abundance for them, and abundance for me. Glory. I speak, say and sing back what’s already written in the book of ages, and in hopes that it will soon become mine. History has shown it will.

Adoration works, out and in.

(So, each Monday, the column of adoration to the right-side of my blog moves front-and-center, here, and I invite others who are doing the same — stretching their heart to lift God’s Word up and back to Him, despite every obstacle the day presents – to add their link below in the comments sectionYou can link people back here from your post by grabbing the code on the right side of my blog. If you don’t have a blog but are, yourself, a lover of words and of God and of God’s word, feel free to add an adoration of your own in the comment section. Whether there is one of us or one hundred — and even if the words are written “merely” on our hearts — we will give Him the praise He’s due.)

Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Isaiah 55:1-2**

Abundant God, Your abundance is indiscriminate. I spend a day so undeserving, fighting off the deepest dark spots on my flesh, and You invite.

You say “come!”

Your requirement is thirst, and when I get through all the muss of life I realize, buried within, that thirst is the very thing by which I’m marked — and I hear Your call.

You came for not my best version of me but my me, weak-and-feeble, and You call me to feast.

I barely know abundance because my whole life I’ve lived with eyes on what I’m not and You say: today’s as good of a day as any to eat.

I worship You, cheerful God. I love You, God who loves to give. You are good and You satisfy.

When I come close to abundance, I realize I’ve never really known delight and You tickle my insides. I am mother to them, but child to You and You delight in my delight. I see my lack, fully prepared to starve myself into change, and You have another plan. Feast, You say. Dine. With the sweat of motherhood still on my brow, I can find elegance because in Your presence I am royalty. 

I come close and everything changes.

Oh, God of abundance, You offer me new perspective, and when I see You with Your eyes, I can’t imagine not coming back. Even the greatest of life’s consolations pale in comparison to the daily, hourly, minute-by-minute drip of endless delight offered to me directly from its source.

I praise You, God who lifts me higher. I praise You, Father, for a way up and out without the scenery ever changing. Beauty in my kitchen. Life pouring forth over our playroom and schoolroom, and even in the laundry. My waking and my sleeping hours — every single one of them — are just waiting to be made new with delight. All because of You.

 

**For a context to this little space on my blog, read: Why I Adore. You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit).

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8 Responses to “The Great Lie of Motherhood”

  1. Harmony on

    Sara, Thank you for taking the time to write the transparency of your heart. Every post I read encourages me and reminds me to turn my gaze back to Him. My heart has been refreshed and awakened by reading what God does in your heart. Thank you.

  2. Courtney D. on

    “I barely know abundance because my whole life I’ve lived with eyes on what I’m not and You say: today’s as good of a day as any to eat.”
    So good! I need rewiring! So much of my life I’ve lived seeing the lack and thinking it was what disqualified. God knows our lack and says it’s actually the prerequisite for coming to Him…and receiving…and receiving not just a the meager portion that He will somehow permit (just this once b/c He’s in a good mood today!) but receiving abundance!

  3. Sharon O on

    I love that picture of innocense, of trust and the rolly polly elbow as the hand is trying to grasp. Don’t we try to do that too?

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