I have a confession to make. I used to judge working moms. I thought that being a stay-at-home-mom was God’s work and that if I allowed myself to think my self-worth was tied up in anything other than that, well I just wasn’t doing it right.
The self-help mommy craze.
Social media has changed the face of parenting in this country dramatically in the last decade. Suddenly what used to be an opinion that resided only in someone’s head about a stranger, now could be typed in a comment on a website for all the world to read. We are bombarded on the daily by articles, pins, status updates, tweets, snapchat stories…the list goes on and on. And there are only a select few who’ve managed to escape Facebook. And the ones I’ve spoken to who have, admit they often reconsider because they inevitably get left out by even their closest community members, if only unintentionally.
For what seems like an eternity we can scroll through our Instagram feeds or Pinterest clicking on this link or that, promising a better way to parent, a better way to organize, a better way to live (would you stop trying to make minimalism a thing?!). And those of us who like a strong dose of Jesus with our coffee have fallen just as victim to it. Shoot, you read this blog, right? We are flooded with devotional email subscriptions, prayer journal printables and whatever else is out there.
Sifting through the clutter.
Don’t mis-read me, I’m not saying its all useless. I am inspired throughout the week by extraordinary grace-filled women in my own generation whom God has gifted to encourage, lead and serve. And it often spurs my own writing itch, showing me that God can use the gifts He’s given me to reach whomever He choses.
But when is it too much? How much is too much? At some point I realized that God did not make me to JUST be a mom. And day by day He’s showing me how much more deeply I can grow in my walk with Him by allowing myself to be MORE. In “Wild & Free” by Jess Connolly and Haley Morgan there’s something so profound it nearly brought me to my knees: “I see women believing and repeating the lie that motherhood is the highest calling for all women. Did you know that’s nowhere in the Bible? The only reference to a chief call on anyone’s life is found in Matthew 6:33: Seek first the Father’s kingdom and His righteousness. We watch as that lie discourages those unable to be mothers and immobilizes those who love their children and still feel called to serve in other contexts.”
We need a reality check.
Did you catch that? Did you read it again and again letting it sink into your bones? I don’t know about you, but I am ready to stop believing a lie. I’m ready to stop putting God in a tiny mom-sized box where I must minimize myself and my abilities because the martyrdom of motherhood is the “season” I’m in. I choose to seek first the kingdom. I choose a grace filled life that doesn’t require beating myself with the “maybe I just suck at being a mom sometimes” stick, daily.
So this year I am drawing my line in the sand. I’m going to work hard at what I love, where my gifts lie. But continuing to be the best mom I know how, with a lot of Jesus and a lot of coffee. Because God put us on this earth to glorify Him. Not motherhood. It is a noble cause, and part of His creation. But He created us to be so much more.
So go. Be more.