I wrote a post the other day that really resonated with readers and generated a response I never expected. Women weren’t just reading it, they were encouraged by it and motivated to share it. Hundreds of shares…hundreds. I’m not sure if you know this, but I am not used to that kind of response.
While I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to connect with so many moms, it has left me asking, “Why was this message so valuable to these women?” It’s something many of you said you needed to hear, but why?
My best answer to this question, the reason you needed to hear it, is the same answer to the question of why I needed to write it. I needed to write about the depth of my wealth, because most days I completely lose sight of it. Motherhood is something so precious, so profound, so miraculous in it’s very nature, yet most days we find ourselves scraping the bottom of our spirits just to start the next load of laundry and come up with the energy to say “yes” to our children one more time.
Why, though? If the richness of motherhood is in fact profound, then why are we not leaping with joy and gratitude each and every day we are allowed to live through this piece of heaven on earth?
What is it that makes us lose sight of this invaluable wealth?
It’s the demand.
The screaming in the middle of the night that you barely have the strength and patience to answer. The hungry child that just ate up the last of your bread only twenty minutes earlier and a bare cupboard you can’t fill until pay-day. The strong pull on your pant leg as you quickly work to finish the dishes so you can move on to dirty more. The Cheerios sticking to your feet for the tenth time today reminding you to sweep the floor again. The punishments you are tired of enforcing while you wait for the lessons to sink into rebellious hearts. The commitments on the calendar telling you to bake something, prepare something, do something, be something. More screaming, more mess, more needs, more expenses. Less patience, less energy, less time, less money.
It’s the worry.
Is there something wrong with my child? Am I making the right decision here? What if this problem just keeps getting worse? What if things never get better? How will we ever afford it? Am I really cut out for all of this? What will people think? What if this is my fault? What if they’re right, what if I’m foolish to do this God’s way? Is there something wrong with me? More fear, more doubt, more confusion, more failure. Less strength, less confidence, less clarity, less victory.
It’s the isolation.
The scary realization that your best girl friend is a three-year-old that can’t begin to give you advice on disciplining your eight-year-old son. The longing for a friend or neighbor to stop by for five minutes of adult conversation before you snap at your whining toddler. Holding on to a hundred questions while not knowing who to ask for the answers. Checking the clock in the late afternoon, begging it to move closer to the time Dad will be home, if you are blessed to even get such a time in your day. Feeling lonely, but feeling embarrassed that you feel that way. More thoughts, more questions, more pressure, more white noise. Less friendship, less conversation, less relaxation, less peace of mind.
It’s the lies.
The demands are too great. There is so much to worry about. I am in this alone. We don’t have enough. Our things are not good enough. The neighbors have something better, something more, something new. We deserve new clothes, a beautiful home, a second car, a family vacation. What is childhood without expensive gifts and a great collection of toys? If we had more money, this would be so much easier. I deserve a break. This should be easier. Everyone else does it this way, so I should too. I need to buy more, own more, accomplish more, give my children more. I can’t possibly buy less, own less, accomplish less, or give my children less.
It’s the enemy.
I needed to write about my wealth last week, because Satan had been at me to write about my lack of wealth. I had started to believe that I had less to offer than the mores I saw adding up. I was feeling run down by the demands, the worries, the loneliness, and the lies that we buy into some days as we long for a break to collect our thoughts.
By writing about the wealth of motherhood, God helped me to get past the lies and see the truth: that I am blessed beyond measure. I worship the one true God, and I shall not want. When we lose sight of our wealth, we are believing that motherhood is driven by demand, worry, our own individual power, and the great number of things the world tells us we need to have in order to “have it all together.”
It is with good reason that God asks us to think of whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy in Philippians 4:8. It is by dwelling on truth that we are given the wisdom to combat lies. It is by pursuing what is noble and right that we turn from what is shameful and wrong. It is with pure thoughts that our minds rest in the peace of the Spirit. It is in loveliness and admiration that we recognize the gifts that we have been given. And finally, it is by valuing what is excellent and praiseworthy in the Lord’s eyes that we recognize all of our needs are made known and filled by the God we worship.
My hope is that anything you read here at Lamp on a Stand will help you embrace a life that lives by Philippians 4:8. I know that the day-in and day-out of motherhood can often leave many of you feeling stuck in the trenches, and I pray you will never settle there for long. There is so much to rejoice over, even in the depth of hardship, that we can not afford to dwell in lies and darkness.
Thank you, all of you, for responding so richly to The Wealthy Stay-at-Home-Mom. You’re words and actions of affirmation have taught me a valuable lesson about our need for truth and encouragement as moms, and have inspired me to pray for the mothers around me in a deeper way.
Now go and enjoy the treasures of this day, and let your minds dwell on the wealth God has given you!