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Motherhood is a beautiful tapestry of a million little moments woven together. Intertwined in this masterpiece are the gifts of sacrifice, tears, laughter, grace, frustration and a whole lot of love.
There’s truly no greater calling than that of parenting.
I love many things in life. But being a wife and mother is the most incredibly rewarding and wonderful thing that I’ve ever experienced. It’s also been the hardest and most frustrating.
I’ve had many days when I’ve felt like a complete failure in the mom department. Too many impatient words, frustrated moments and feelings of sheer exhaustion robbed me from seeing any good being accomplished. I’ve prayed, “God, I just don’t know how to be the good mom these incredibly sweet (at least when they’re sleeping) children deserve. How can I keep giving when I’m so empty myself?”
Now that my youngest is eight years old, I’ve had time to reflect on the lessons my five blessings have taught me. The first lesson being that they are teaching me far more than I’m teaching them. And I will always continue to learn.
Godly mothering is extremely important.
One way I show love to Jesus is simply by how well I love my children.
But what are some of these unexpected lessons I’ve learned from mothering my incredibly sweet, exhaustingly wonderful, maddeningly frustrating and beautiful children?
1.) It’s a good thing I can’t always protect my children from harm or loss. My children have shown me that painful losses and hard things they experience can strengthen their faith and make them a better person. As much as I want to protect my children, I realize their losses have the potential to mold them into a less self-absorbed and more others-centered individual.
2.) It is more beneficial to teach my daughters the lesson of hard work rather than creating pampered young women. Yes, teaching young men to treat women with respect is important. However, I’ve also seen too many pampered young girls who are easily offended and require high maintenance in relationships. Their high expectations suck the very life out of others. You are hurting your children if they don’t know the meaning of hard work and “getting dirty”.
3.) True joy is more dependent on their perspective than their circumstance. Our son, Austin, taught me more about this than anyone I’ve ever known. His obvious joy and zeal for life far exceeded his hopeless circumstances. He possessed a strength and peace that truly defied all odds. He chose to focus on his blessings rather than his challenges and losses. And I see the same resolve in our daughter, Alisha. (Read more about Austin and Alisha on our bio page.)
4.) Flexibility and self-sacrifice is much more attractive than outward beauty and flawlessness. With our extensive ministry focus and travels, our older girls have the opportunity to demonstrate flexibility on multiple levels. They’ve learned that outward beauty and looking “put together” is never as important as their attitude. True beauty is being able to change in a cramped space and be ready to sing for a large group of people in fifteen minutes flat!
5.) A meek and quiet spirit is of far greater value than accomplishments and social status. A person who attempts to flaunt their accomplishments or popularity is indeed struggling underneath the surface. My girls have shown me the importance of being secure in who they are without the incessant need of talking about their relational opportunities or social status. A meek and quiet spirit goes a long ways.
6.) Our children desire to know the clear boundaries we’ve established. No matter how old our children are while living in our home, they need to know our boundaries and respect authority.
7.) Demonstrating humility to our children should be one of our highest aspirations. We attempt to teach our children that one’s accomplishments, gifts, or journey will never dictate our worth. Our worth and success in life is based by the depth of our love and commitment to Jesus. Each of us are made of the same broken flesh. I am well aware that I am as flawed and broken as so many others (as are my children). We should never view our children as an opportunity to glorify ourselves, but rather as an opportunity to glorify God.
8.) It’s more important for our children to be taught to relate with others rather than merely their peers. I don’t know about you, but it blesses me to see young people having fun in relating with the elderly or young children, simply because they love it. True maturity in our children is when they don’t focus on people as being on different levels as much as they focus on loving and serving each other. Making each person feel valuable.
9.) My greatest ministry opportunity isn’t in what I do but it’s in who I raise. My children should never feel as if they’re a distraction from my important work. They are my most important work!
10.) My children will never fill the God shaped void in my life. I deeply love my children. They are my greatest treasures. But they will never satisfy the longings of my heart and soul. I’m still learning that man-made idols will never truly satisfy. Not even those coming from my own womb.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. I pray you will find rest for your weariness, sufficient emotional strength for challenging moments, wisdom from above and grace to walk joyfully in this beautiful gift of motherhood.
Our children aren’t trophies to be molded, polished, or displayed before others, they are vulnerable souls in need of our spiritual, physical and emotional nurturing.
Your beautiful tapestry of a “million little moments” may look dauntingly flawed and tattered, but one day it will bring warmth and comfort to your thin and weary shoulders. And you will hear these honorable words, “Well done, My daughter, you have done it as unto Me.”
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)