“I didn’t get anything done today!” I wail, surveying the dishes crusting over in the sink, the Legos crunching underfoot, and the blur of little boys buzzing airplanes by my face again and again. And dinner, still frozen on the counter.
Too many times my husband has come home to this scene. “I didn’t get anything done” is my distress call as a mom, my SOS, a sign that I have lost my moorings. My husband has learned over the years to ask patiently, “Now slow down and tell me, what DID you get done?”
And instead of letting me bemoan my outcast state by listing all the things that didn’t get done, he has me recount the many joys that did get done that day:
- The drawings taped to the wall evidence of creativity!
- Books slipping in a lopsided pile by the couch reveal a learning environment.
- Dishes in the sink: traces of a lunch served and enjoyed by our two boys.
He helps me see my distress is unfounded. My purpose as a mom was real and fulfilled that day. I feel my shoulders relax, and the stress slip away.
Yet why do I return to this state of distress so often? I know I’m not alone. So many moms live in a state of recurring angst, guilt, and shame.
- Why do moms today feel at a loss in our mothering?
- Why do we feel like it’s our fault if our boys have a hard day or struggle?
- Where does the tendency to compare and shame come from?
- Why are empty nester moms looking around in dismay saying, “Now what?”
Stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-outside-home, homeschool, traditional school—it seems no motherhood situation is immune from this feeling of getting the short end. Of being handed the consolation prize for our efforts.
Motherhood is not a consolation prize but instead, one of God’s consecrated purposes for our lives. Motherhood is not about the giving up careers, hobbies, and time, it’s about an investment for a season of our life, with an eternal dividend.
Here are five Scripture passages that reveal how motherhood is one of God’s consecrated purposes.
These verses apply whether you’re a mom or not, but read the passages through the lens of motherhood, if you will!
God created you for this purpose of mothering your boys! It’s not by chance that you (in particular) are the mother of your (particular) boys!
Revelation 4:11 – For [God] created all things, and by [God’s] will they existed and were created.
God has chosen you for this mothering season! There is no doubt: you were hand-selected, and hand-placed in your position as mom!
1 Corinthians 12:18 – But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
God takes pleasure in your mothering of little ones. Let Him work through you as you mother. The burden was never meant to be yours alone.
Philippians 2:13 – for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
God recognizes your labor in motherhood. Faith, love, and hope are all part of your investment as a mother; these gifts of yours rise as a sweet offering to Him.
I Thessalonians 1:3 – Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
God has several purposes for your life! Motherhood is just one season! A comforting passage for those who are not mothers, or who have finished launching their grown children. God still has more for you!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Whether you arrived at motherhood willingly, or by surprise, God knows the plans He has for you. Amidst the swaying seas of daily life that tosses and tumbles us, we can anchor ourselves to the fact that each day has a God-given purpose for us as moms.
Blog Post: Motherhood Is Not a Consolation Prize
Book: The Missional Mom