Motherhood changes us. An amazing heart transformation takes place when we hold our firstborn in our hands. Something dies in us and something else comes alive.
Changed by Love
When I first became a mother, I noticed that selfishness was replaced with unwavering care, nurture, and giving of myself wholeheartedly to a tiny human being. I began to love as I’d never loved before.
After graduating college and moving to Texas a day after our wedding, I was ready to take on the world. My aspirations were to climb as high as I could on the ladder of success. Though there’s nothing wrong with desiring to better ourselves as women, there is a time to embrace the amazing gift of motherhood, which may require putting the pause button on our own dreams to focus our attention on raising a family. In 2009, my husband and I decided to take a pay-cut so that I could home-educate our daughters for 10 years until they graduated high school. And we’d do it again.
You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that I did not want to have any children. I disliked the idea. Now that I’m a little older and a little wiser, I realize how self-centered such desire is. Of course, that sentiment is fueled by a society that bombards us with marketing messages to chase after the insatiable thirst for success… for more… for “better.” It’s sold to us in a beautiful package. But it comes with a huge price tag that can eventually affect our physical health, our marriages, our families, and even our spiritual walk with God. Sadly, a lot of times God’s children get wrapped up in the deceit and illusion of worldly success and jump on the rat race too.
What is success, really? A mother who puts her dreams on hold to raise her family. Isn’t that success? How about a teacher who pours her heart into her students spending countless hours preparing to impart knowledge. Isn’t she successful? How about a man or woman who leaves everything behind to follow God’s call in their lives (i.e., Abraham). Isn’t that success?
Our society mostly equates success to financial gain. If you have a big house, you’re successful. If you have the latest car, you’re successful. Oh, but looks can be so deceiving. Everything looks amazing on the outside but in reality, we’re drowning in debt and stress. What’s the point of being earthly rich yet spiritually poor?
As I’m reading the Bible, I notice how Jesus always steered his listeners to the things above; to the eternal versus the temporary; to things that really matter most. People sought him for physical healing, but he dealt the heart first. Because wherever our heart is, there the rest of us will be also – our dreams, ambitions, and priorities. If our heart is in God’s kingdom, we will make all the related kingdom-minded activities a priority, such as attending church, being involved, giving our time, tithes, and talents to our local church community.
Changed by Community
I am so happy that I get to live in community with other moms during this season of my life. It was not always like this. Many Mother’s Days went by where I did not enjoy sisterhood.
Due to a few past unpleasant experiences I had with women in the body of Christ, I secluded myself from deepening relationships with women in general. I know I am not the only one who’s ever felt that way. It’s a defense mechanism we run to protect ourselves from getting hurt again. Though the intention is pure, it is not what God intends.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.Proverbs 11:14
Because of our role as mothers, women gain so much wisdom that benefits others. And it is so much better to do life with other moms than to struggle by yourself. One word of wisdom from another mom can save you years of stress and headaches.
This past weekend I got to spend a wonderful Mother’s Day breakfast with several amazing women. I learned quite a few things as I listened to each mom share. We grow when we listen to others’ life lessons.
God created us for relationship. Life is more beautiful when we live it in love and community.