As Mothers, our best efforts in life are spent on those we love – leaving us satisfied, worn out and smiling! I have felt this way many times over the years. However, if Mom isn’t refreshed then things don’t run as smoothly and our satisfied, worn out smile becomes well, you know, not pretty! There is a saying, “If mama isn’t happy then nobody’s happy!” There may be some truth to this.
I learned early on with five kids and all my other commitments that I needed time to refresh, but it took me awhile to figure out what actually refreshed me. It changed as the kids grew, but dinner out (without kids) in an atmosphere of beauty, peace and great food has always been a top pick! Other favorites to this day: garage sale shopping, time with friends & family, and gardening.
One of my favorite sayings is a twist on the following saying: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. (True in my family) Here’s my favorite: The way to a woman’s heart is through the door of a nice restaurant. Indeed!
As an extrovert, I usually get energized by people. Introverts usually need quiet time and space. With five kids, I discovered I needed both! So time with the Lord was key, worship music playing in our home regularly and creating an environment of peace were key for me. What I learned early on however, was the number one thing that kept me going in the fun times and the most challenging times was my attitude and beliefs about motherhood. I needed to remember that what I was truly accomplishing as a mom was much bigger than just the day-to-day needs of my family.
In a recent conversation with my friend, author Leslie Ludy, we discussed “Set Apart Motherhood”. Leslie shared about her own life right now with 4 small kids and the crazy things that cause moms to feel overwhelmed. She also shared how she wanted to host her own pity party at times, and instead reached out to God for help. He showed her how to be a mother with joy and beauty, rather than defeat and chaos. She says, “I’ve never met a mother who feels like she’s doing everything perfectly. And that is a relief, because neither do I! Being a good mother doesn’t mean perfect, but being dependent upon the only One who is. Whenever I lean fully and completely on Jesus Christ, He faithfully points me to His perfect pattern for motherhood, one situation at a time. Both Leslie and I believe the role of motherhood is sacred and powerful. You can hear our conversation from my daily radio show Legacy Out Loud at www.thelegacyinstitute.com and I know you will be encouraged.
I believe mothers have a unique and powerful role to show the unconditional love of God to their children and to raise them with truth and grace modeled after Jesus. Knowing I wasn’t just a caregiver, but a conduit of God’s immeasurable love to my children made the days precious. As a mother, being a messenger of His gospel, a model of his grace, and the person most able to notice and encourage the unique purpose of each of my children gave me the extra energy I needed to make each day count.
I hope you will join me in looking at the bigger picture of motherhood as well!
What helps you stay focused on the big picture of motherhood? YOU are making a difference!