Friday, August 2, 2013

Words of Wisdom

I've been thinking a lot about those two articles I posted last Saturday (here: point 6), and the reactions I got to them. Since then, I've been gleaning little bits of wisdom from people far wiser than I. I thought I'd compile it here. 

I was thinking again about the "happy medium" between those two articles - finding compromise between cherishing our children and being honest and encouraging about motherhood. I do think our culture focuses too much on the bad, and over-exaggerates the hardship of being a mom. But do I think God commands us to spend every waking moment doting on our children? No. They should be a top priority, yes, but I think we have to be careful with making them our everything. 

My friend, Rhonda, told me recently that she and her husband consider it their responsibility to teach their children that the world does not revolve around them. Children (and everyone) are naturally ego-centric. They have to be taught that "it's not about me." And by putting all of our other responsibilities and needs aside, as mothers, we're telling them the opposite. Lucy needs me to tell her, "I can't play with you right now. I'm making dinner." Not only does she learn that not everyone is going to cater to her every want/need all her life, she's also learning valuable lessons in patience and delayed gratification.

However, I also love what my friend Laura said:
I feel as though there is this huge idea of having "me time" in the mothering world today. And while I definitely am not saying moms don't need times away from their kids for everyone's good, I think it has gone a little overboard. As Christians, I feel like the Biblical model is much more what the lady in the second article was talking about--suffer the little children to come unto me, put others before yourself.
She gave an example from another blog entry. The author writes about how much she loves baking bread. How peaceful and therapeutic it is for her. Then she says this:
"My kids love making bread too. With me. And I hate to say it, but this changes the experience for me – significantly. Because when I have my little helpers?  I’m no longer unwinding or getting lost in the wonder of it all. Instead, I find myself distracted by their wiggly fingers and chattery words. The mess, the mistakes, and the mayhem. My nerves are inevitably on edge by the time the loaves are tucked safely in the oven. I’ve a difficult decision to make. Should I minister to my own soul…or pour into theirs? A real dilemma. Because I’m aware that if we do this together, our children will probably remember it forever.  They’ll remember sinking their hands into the warm, sticky dough. Kneading and forming each loaf. Trying to follow my hands and copy everything I do. They’ll never realize that it cost me much. They can’t understand how it changes everything. They’ll not know that I gave up some of my own soul-feeding moments to nourish their own."
I love that last line. I feel like I've gotten so caught up in the need for "me time" and my kids driving me crazy and the intense pressure of doing everything perfectly, that I've forgotten motherhood is a call to sacrifice more than anything. My friend Jennie, posted this as her status this week:
I pray that I will be willing to endure anything for the sake of reaching others for Christ. More specifically I pray that I will be willing to endure anything (living out of my comfort zone, being a godly example, giving up worldly culture and comforts) for the sake of my own children's salvation. (2 Tim. 2:10
I need to make that my prayer as well. And then I need to live it out. Not just spending time cherishing my children for the sake of sweet memories and happy feelings, but living sacrificially to show my girls the gospel.

Thanks, friends, for your wisdom! And for all the honesty and encouragement all of you share with me on a daily basis. I'm so glad I have you all to spur me on in this journey!  

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