The curse and its stronghold on motherhood has been on my heart recently. The single most area I feel torn with in my life is my job as a mom. The curse put discontentment in my heart. Discontent with one child. Discontent with my financial contribution while staying home. It made me question if I am enough of a mother and enough of a provider. It stole my 3 babies from me. Maybe the curse makes you feel that you are spread too thin trying to be everything to everyone. Maybe it makes you wonder if you can live up to your idea of a mother your kids deserve. But it also gave us Jesus.
I wholeheartedly believe that the curse of pain with childbirth in the garden wasn't just physical pain. God created us (women) to be gifted and useful. He created us to be needed in creation in each of our own special ways. And it was good. He also created us to give life and nourish life. And it was good. But our sin nature stole the bliss of being fully fulfilled in each space of our heart. With the physical pain of childbirth came the emotional pain of losing the ability to completely carry out our calling of motherhood and our God given passions and gifts. One has to give. Even if it's just a slight give. There's no other way.
We were perfectly designed to live on no sleep, keep a baby at the breast, and juggle multiple nap times flawlessly all while using each gift and talent to the maximum capacity. We were created to be supermom. And that's why we mourn. We've all had those beautiful, once in a blue moon, picture perfect, unicorn mom days where everyone is fed healthy meals, laundry is clean and put away, and naps are miraculously and divinely productive. We have seen glimmers of mommy splendor and tasted the perfection Jesus gives and we crave what our hearts know in their depths. We crave what was given to us in the garden before the fall; we crave the glory of walking with God in creation and being free in our gifts and callings.
I'm sure there are some moms out there who feel 100% satisfied with their situation, working or staying home. They feel fulfilled and their conscience is clear. I'm jealous! I'm searching for that contentment.
But I also think that there are a lot of moms in the same boat as me. So blessed that we make stuff up to worry about.
So What Now?
"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." (Psalm 138:8)
Lately, I've been in a funk. The older Boston gets and the longer time passes that God doesn't give us a baby, the more insecure I feel in my role as a (mostly) stay at home mom. We've discussed. We've deliberated. And it makes the most sense for me to be home with our children while they are still young. I could make more money, shell it out for a nanny, and be right back in the same situation- wondering if what I'm doing matters enough. So many of my mom friends and I have been talking about this. If you work full time you feel as if you are missing too much of your babies. If you stay home you feel guilty for not contributing financially, or you go crazy not having an outlet.
For me, we lost our first baby the end of my Junior year of college and I never went back. I was going to school for a degree I had no plan on using and my heart was too badly battered to fight through and finish after the miscarriage. Then we had Boston! No degree is worth not having him in our lives. We pray he's not the only baby we get to hold, but if he is, school wasn't worth it.
I could go back. It wouldn't take me long to complete my degree. I don't have a clue what I would do with it, but maybe I would feel more validated. More respected. Maybe not. I don't think that's the root of the issue.
For as long as I can remember all I wanted was to be a mom and wife. Those were my dreams and aspirations. But in a world where mom and wife aren't lucrative ($$$) I've become unsettled. Worried that I'm not making a difference. Fearing that there won't ever be a path or passion for me. I don't really have hobbies that I could naturally develop to make money off of. I don't have one big lingering dream I'm holding onto (other than playing doll house and renovating fabulous homes while not shelling out a million dollars we don't have- it's a tricky dream). I don't know what I want my life to look like 5 years down the road, much less 5 months down the road.
I have ideas. I get halfway excited over them and then I don't execute them. Partly because I'm just not a salesperson. I like to save people money, not get them to spend it. But someday, and maybe someday soon, I might try some of my ideas out on this web sight. And maybe some of you will like what I've written or created enough to purchase it. And that will be cool! But every idea I get feels forced. It doesn't feel organic. Just doesn't feel right. Maybe that's fear. Fear that I'm not good enough. Fear that what I have to put out there isn't good enough or would flop and no one would want to buy it. That'd be okay too.
I keep praying that the right doors, skills, and experiences will open at just the right moment. There is no place I'd rather be than raising my children. I'm doing exactly what I've always wanted, but it doesn't feel like enough.
"I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me." (Psalm 57:2)
Jesus Says I Am Enough, and so are you
There is hope.! All too often I don't see myself through the eyes of Jesus. He says that I am already a conqueror through Him. I have to claim that. I have to believe that when I am feeling broken and empty. You are already a conqueror too! If you are staying home and loving on babies feeling lonely, lost, and lazy (that's me binge watching Pretty Little Liars for the 8th time on an iPad running on 5%, while in a mom bun and yoga pants as I do a sink full of seriously stinky dishes), it will not be in vain. Those babies will grow up to understand the life they sucked out of you when they have kids of their own and they will be grateful. If you are working full time and longing to hold your babies closer, when they are grown and parenting their offspring they will remember your hard work and sacrifice and it will be an encouragement to them that they can do anything and be anyone they want to be. You are paving a way for your sons and daughters to hustle even when it hurts.
"For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100:5)
We are already conquers because Jesus paid the price. He ransomed us. The drawing above brings me to tears and gives me chills every time I look at it! The enemy was defeated. When I think about the difficult road Mary walked as a mother it puts me in my place. I think it's safe to say that she had the hardest mothering experience in all of history. She was a vessel used by God and her vessel was probably broken like mine. I'm sure it leaked at times. She must have felt empty watching her son, her savior, be murdered on a cross. Her broken, leaky, vessel gave us redemption. It gave us hope. It gave us a way. It's a reminder to me that although our world is still fallen, still full of sin, and still broken, Jesus is a cure for the curse. I just have to lean into him. Am I praying about my calling as a mother enough? No. Lean in. Am I crying out to God when I feel purpose less? No. Lean in. Am I believing that I am already more than a conqueror? Lean in.
What areas of motherhood do you need to lean in to Jesus for? Leave a comment below and let's pray for each other!