I stood on the balcony of our cabin and stared out at the ocean. Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong? I was a bit baffled. Usually when you’re on vacation isn’t everyone supposed to be happy? Aren’t parents supposed to get a bit of a break from lecturing the kids and all the life lessons?
A few days passed and I walked into the room where my husband, who was flighting the flu, sat staring at me with droopy eyes. I just got back from lecturing a different one of our boys and putting things into perspective for him.
“This trip has been non-stop talk about life lessons and I feel like I’ve had to do more training with our boys than when we’re at home,” I said with frustration in my voice. “That’s because a different environment is bringing out character flaws that we need to work on.”
Dean was good at pointing out the obvious. Most of the time it’s not obvious to me until after he points it out.
In all honesty, it got me a little tied up in knots. I sat on my bed and did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed and gave it to the Lord, asking Him to help me when it comes to making the best decisions and to follow through with disciplining my boys, even when it’s hard.
Motherhood is a Call
I had the privilege of having my sister as my first guest on Her Faith Inspires podcast and she talked about the triumph and trials of motherhood (click here to listen). Because in reality, motherhood brings both of those things. But, we can’t forget that motherhood is a call that God gives to women.
I love the example of one mom in the Bible. The story is found in Joshua chapter 13. Samson’s mother is visited by an angel and he gives her strict instructions about the child. She is told Samson will be a Nazarite from birth.
1) Touch the body of a dead animal
2) Drink wine
3) Shave his head
The ironic thing about it all is the Nazarite vow was taken by choice. If people wanted to fulfill the Nazarite vow, they did these things for a period of time. But not Samson. He had no choice in the matter. His call was to abide by the guidelines of this vow his entire life, beginning at birth.
But, here’s where a mother’s call comes in … the angel told Samson’s mom it started with her. She had to abide by the rules of the vow first.
Our lessons to our children are found in the example we live out
When God calls our children to face things in life that challenge them, He calls us as moms to prepare them for it. Samson could not have fulfilled his call had his mom not committed to the Lord first.
If my boys do not see me committed and faithful to God and to the lessons I teach them, how can I expect them to respond in commitment? They won’t.
Motherhood isn’t always easy. Sometimes God asks us to have great faith so that our kids can see the faith we have and follow behind us as we lead them. That’s what Samson’s mom did. She prepared the way for him to take up his call that God placed on his life. If she would not have committed from the early days of Samson growing in her womb, he would not have committed.
Motherhood never stops … even when you’re on vacation
To be honest, I expected less “parenting” while on vacation, but those moments taught me a few things:
- My boys need me all the time. Not just when we’re at home and on our routine.
- A mother’s job is never done. We should always care enough about the character of our children to stop and teach them. That’s what God requires we do.
- New places and new environments bring opportunities to instill life lessons into our kids that we would not otherwise get a chance at.
I can’t say it enough … motherhood is a calling God has placed on our lives. It’s exhausting sometimes. We barely got home today and since my boys missed a week of school they had to catch up on some homework before tomorrow. Besides helping with math and how to spell “integrity”, I had to buy groceries, wash all the clothes for this week and cook dinner.
It’s trying and hard. But it also has it’s joys and victories. Like when my oldest finally sang his first karaoke song on the ship this week after struggling to find a song and get up on stage for more than a week.
Or, like the time my youngest told a stranger he liked his necklace and the man literally took it off his neck and gave it to him. Or the time he got to know the other employees on the ship and everyone gave him fist bumps.
And I can’t even begin to explain how I felt when my middle child bought everyone of his cousins a souvenir while on vacation because he wished they were there.
If you wonder if they’re “getting it” I can assure you they are
As women, we can sometimes wonder if what we’re doing is considered great in this world. If the call God has placed on our lives is impacting more than just our families. We wonder if our career choices make a difference or our education brings validation to who were are.
Those things make it easy to overlook the fact that motherhood is the highest calling a woman can have. If you have kids, the greatest thing you will ever do is to rear them up to become men and/or women of God.
My challenge to you today is not to get discouraged when mothering is hard. Stay the course and commit your ways to the Lord so that your children will commit theirs to Him too.
And don’t forget to listen to this week’s podcast episode “Called to be a Mom” with my sister Jamie. She takes us on a journey through her own experiences with motherhood and helps us realize what it means to keep the faith and inspire others when obstacles and hardships come your way.
And don’t forget … a mother’s influence is the most impactful influence there is on a child’s life. How blessed are we that we get to leave a mark on our children’s hearts.
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