Have you ever just stared at a blank page? All those thoughts and ideas screaming to be scribbled out in front of you but instead they seem to be scattered among the chaos in your mind. My imagination and creativity seem to have lost themselves, not only in the fear but somewhere in the loads of laundry and the wild pack of children pulling at my clothes.
The idea of writing doesn’t scare me but when you add the word successful to the mix, that terrifies me. It makes the tiny hair on my arms stand up and the pencil fall from my grasp. While writing this, I was compelled to look up the meaning of the word successful, two meanings showed up:
- Accomplishing an aim or purpose.
- Having achieved popularity, profit or distinction.
That second one is what terrifies me, there comes with it a tower of self-doubt that would inevitably cause my desire and love for writing to collapse in around itself. But the first one, I think I can get on board with. To me, it means that successful writing is in the eye of the beholder. Regardless of the money or the resources or the time spent on it, if I read something that changes the very rhythm of my heart and soul then I characterize that as successful writing. So in that very way I shouldn’t be fearful to write but encouraged and inspired to scribble my heart out on the lines, even if only one person reads it and finds something of meaning or comfort in those words, that in itself is successful. So, my only thing to fear is fear in a blank page. Now to find a way to push through the chaos and the chores and the requests and demands of everyday life and put pencil to paper or fingers to keys and write.
“I have been commissioned by God to be their mother. Being a parent may seem like a commonplace human relationship, but I will not be lulled into downplaying it as ordinary. My role as a mom is a deliberate strategy initiated by God to rear young boys into godly men. And I am resolved to fulfill this calling- to be for them what God needs me to be during this critical stage in their lives.” -Priscilla Shirer
This thing happens when you become a mother, this thing that no one can really prepare you for and it has nothing to do with how much love you have for your child or how little sleep you get when you have children, those things I actually had some idea about but of course not to the degree in which they would come. But this thing I’m talking about is this uncertainty and this mentality that begs to ask questions like “Do I really have a purpose?”, “Is there something more I could be doing to contribute to the world?”, “Am I supposed to be doing more for God?” These are the questions that I struggle with and I’m sure that I’m not the only one and I know that almost everyone comes across these questions or questions similar to these in their lives even if they aren’t mothers but for me they started more as a mother, maybe because I stay at home with my kids and some days I really do want to rip my hair out or let the toys and the crumbs pile up until someone rescues me from the mess that is never ending. This does not mean that I love my kids any less those days and it does not mean I’m less of a mother for it. (it did take me awhile to figure that last one out). These questions come most often when I’m listening to a sermon or in a bible study and the questions arise… Are we intentionally living for God? Are the things in our life pleasing to him? Are we doing what he is asking us to do in our life or ignoring it to fulfill our own plans? These questions stump me at times because I think well I should be volunteering or I should be spreading the word of Jesus proudly every single chance I get but as a stay at home mom those chances are very limited so I become stuck in this rut of questioning my choices and my purpose for living. I’ve been stuck in this rut the last few months and it’s totally my own doing because I haven’t been reading my bible as much as I should and I haven’t had the kind of relationship with God that I know that I can have with him and so doubt settles in. Self-deprecating doubt that tends to build up and kind of nestles it’s ugly little self into the pit of my heart or head or gut and it pops up now and then, reminding me that I’m not worth it. I can usually contain it for awhile- on those days that my children learn something new and I see the awe in their eyes as they look at me in excitement. When they tell me they love me and that they are happy I’m here. When the cuddling never seems to end, well those days are pretty dang good and I forget about that thing growing inside of me and then comes the mundane, the dishes, laundry, constant toy picking up and it rears it’s ugly little head and I start doubting myself not only as a mother but as a woman and a person and for some reason I can’t rid myself of it until I let God in.
Today I started the fall women’s bible study at my church and guess who popped into my heart and cleaned out all that doubt that I’ve been letting grow in there for the last several months…. Gideon! Well, God through Gideon through Priscilla Shirer who is the author of the book we are studying this season. So far it has been inspirational and I only just started it. It not only reminded me that I am part of a divine story of redemption just as much as anyone in the bible but also that… I will use her words here “I have been commissioned by God to be their mother. Being a parent may seem like a commonplace human relationship, but I will not be lulled into downplaying it as ordinary. My role as a mom is a deliberate strategy initiated by God to rear young boys into godly men. And I am resolved to fulfill this calling- to be for them what God needs me to be during this critical stage in their lives.” This is it, this completely wipes that doubt away and this makes doing dishes for the 3rd time in a day not seem so purposeless. I hope parents, yes you fathers too matter just as much, I hope that these words take away any doubt that you may have about yourself and your journey as a parent. We are made for wonderful things and right now it is paving a life of intentional living for our children. Intentional living for God and letting that shine through us to our little ones.