When I was in high school, I used to lay on my bed and talk to my mom about everything I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t want to be “just” anything, especially a mom. Moms really seem to be at the bottom of the totem-pole, at least they did in my teenage eyes. They clean up after everyone, they cook, they drive people places. General door mat status.
Mom would listen to me talk about everything I wanted to do and gently say, “Remember, honey. Somewhere, someone wants to call you, Mommy.” Yeah. Yeah. Right. Whoever that person was, I had a slight twinge of guilt that I wasn’t thinking of them, but I was sure I would get around to it sometime.
There were so many things that were way more glamorous and exciting than mommy-hood. Really. In fact, when I met my husband, we both agreed that we didn’t want kids for at least 7 years. We had too much “stuff” to do with our lives. As a young person, I basically was very self-aborbed into what would be fun and the best for me. I think that is a general epidemic in America.
Much to my surprise, about 6 months into marriage, my “mom clock” went off inside of my head. I started having a desire for a little person that was half my husband and half me. A little person. That was pretty much it. My husband thought I had tricked him with my 7 year discussion, but I assured him that I was very much surprised myself.
So, a while later, our beautiful daughter was born. This little package totally rocked my world. I was suddenly learning that the world didn’t revolve around me. It revolved around her, all the time and at all hours of the night and day, even when I felt like I was dying from lack of sleep and sanity. We were very young and crazy in those days. Everyone who didn’t know me and saw me probably felt sorry for the young high school girl with a baby. I felt perfectly happy and complete, though.
At the time, I didn’t know the full reality of life, yet. But, I was very much learning. Within the first 7 years of marriage, that fateful marker we set a goal to wait for, we had two beautiful children whom I cannot imagine living without.
I take being a mom very seriously now. I imagine that the world would be a much better place if mothers were given more respect and honor in life. They create beautiful environments for the next generation to be raised in with security and love. They set the tone for the household and teach the next generation how to relate to other people when they are hurt, when they are leading, when they are helping and when they are loving. Moms do it all. And we carry the weight of our burden everywhere we go. In fact, Jesus said that those who would be first among you should be last. He said the leaders would be the servants. He modeled true servant-hood for all creation when he came to earth to die for the sins of those who would use him and walk all over him. Jesus is a picture of moms since the beginning of time. Or maybe we are a picture of him?
However, being a convert to the value of motherhood, the value of being poured out, the value of lifting up those who don’t appreciate it or seem to, I have also seen the value of crossing over into a different realm of existence. There is more beyond motherhood.
I have had so many discussions with mothers who say things like, “My calling from God in life is to be a mom.” YES! I agree! And? See, I think that every mom is called to be a mom and every dad is called to be a dad. BUT, as a believer in Jesus, there is a whole different spiritual realm he wants to call us into. It is a supernatural place where we can actualize all those dreams we had as teens, but not quite so selfishly. This is actually God’s dream for us. God’s call for us.
See, I talked to a mom today of 4 children under 5. She not only loves her children and struggles with the struggles WE ALL struggle with, but today, she carried the emotional load for a troubled teen for a day. She carries many burdens of many people through the week as she shares her home, a cup of coffee and how God has transformed her life and healed her. This young mother is amazing. She probably would say she is “just a mom.” But, she is so much more to so many people.
I think of another mom, my sister-in-law, who just became a mommy for the first time and nurses her baby while counseling other young women and girls. She may be 19, but she is a fierce lover of Jesus, her family and her calling from God to be a wife, a mother and….so. much. more!
I picture my young mother, leading Sunday school and children’s church for ages and ages and ages. I remember her frazzled self getting my little smart-alecky self out the door for church. I am sure she was tired and just needed a re-charge, but she chose to pour out herself during the sermon to other people’s kids in children’s church, as well as her own. She chose to get re-charged at the feet of Jesus during the week, even as a new, young Christian with lots to overcome.
I think of my mother-in-law, with 7 children, taking meals to those who were hurting. Feeding an army at home and serving the sick, praying with struggling single mothers in counseling sessions and also homeschooling during the day.
How about Elizabeth Elliot? (pictured above) Husband is killed by native indians. She kept her kids with her and ministered to the people who killed him. (yeah. maybe we should skip that one.)
What about another mom I know who does conference call Bible studies with believers around the world in her spare time? She has people into her home for meals and prayer time and does counseling on the phone with single moms and new believers.
Thinking about one of our elders wives who homeschooled, taught at co-op, yet has played an intricate leadership role in our church over the years with music, and servant leadership.
What about my friend who has 5 children, 2 newly adopted in the past 2 years, who opens her home in hospitality, serves the homeless at a local food kitchen and share Jesus with everyone she knows?
What about my grandmother, who is with Jesus now? She was a full-time nurse and led her head doctor to Jesus, along with many, many other people.
So, hopefully, this brightens your day! (Some may actually feel it is a rain cloud, if you let guilt hit you over the head. Choose joy, my friend. Choose joy.)
You can be a mom and so much more! (If you are a mom…) Now, of course, being a mom is foundational, because that is our very first calling. So as we work for Jesus, we need to make sure we are serving our family. But, don’t worry! The best classroom for your children is the classroom of seeing mom and dad pour themselves out for Jesus. As long as they get their emotional tanks filled up, they’ll learn the most from watching you do God’s work, all while being “Just a Mom!”