8 Truths About Mothering That Your Mom Heart Needs Right NOW

These 8 Truths on Mothering Should Be Tattooed on Every Mom's Heart

Tonight as I sit to write, the kids unpack the Monopoly board and pour themselves Kool-Aid.

advanced-ads-inline

It’s late here, later than when they started last week’s UNO marathon and hotter, too. And if I’m honest with you, I’m ready to clock out and hit the sack.

Parenting has turned this weird corner on me and I’m not sure how I feel about this next leg of the race. My youngest is 5 and my oldest will be 14 in two days and I’m consumed with this feeling that someone is missing from our family. I’m thinking baby thoughts while counting how many summers we have left with our oldest.

Weird, huh?

You’d think with as many kids as we have coming and going I’d be content to just hold them and let them go. But I’m not. I’m just not.

And I think the coming and going of the neighborhood kids has only served to make the longing a little sweeter.

Can you feel the tension in the air I’m breathing? It’s here and it’s thick and it’s the sweetest tension I’ve ever felt and never wanted to talk about.

Mothering is like that for me.

It’s the thing I wear for always and yet never feel like I look good in it. I feel like a little girl playing house with a whole shoe full of children she can’t possibly launch into the world well.

This is why I steer clear of writing about how I mother.

Who am I to write about how I mother when I can’t sleep at night for fear that I am failing miserably?

Yet, of all the things I write, after marriage, this is the one thing I’m most often asked about.

How do you mother your children well while living where you live, doing what you do? And how in the world do you get everything done?

The answer, of course, is Jesus.

Jesus is the answer for everything.

He wakes me up and He sustains me. The Holy Spirit convicts me every minute of every day and on good days, I respond swiftly to his conviction. But on not so good days, my flesh rises up and chooses itself over every other thing and every other person. In the evenings, Jesus’s name is the one I repeat over and over again when I cannot sleep for all the failures and fears that plague my every thought. And Jesus is the one who reminds me that He loves me anyway and that my imperfections as a mama only push my children further into His arms.

But this post is the {After Jesus…} answer sort of post.

Because that’s what you’re really asking, right?

For two weeks, I’ve tried to come up with a bullet pointed list of my How-To’s of Motherhood, but at the end of the day, friends, there is no such list.

I simply wake each day trying to meditate on a few truths about ME, the person of Lori, the child of Jesus, the wife to Thad, the mother to my tribe.

I believe that half the battle of motherhood is fought in the heart of the mother.

If the enemy can capture our hearts and fill it full of untruths about our identity in Jesus, he’s won the battle.

We cannot mother well if we don’t know that we know that we know that Jesus has chosen us and equipped us for this work called mothering. And we can’t know that if we waiver on the simple truth that Jesus loves us with wild abandon and He loves our children with the same love.

So instead of giving you a How-To list, I’m going to give you a Things To Remember list. How’s that?

1.) Before the beginning of the world, the children in your home, and the ones yet to arrive, have been given to you by God for kingdom purposes you are not yet aware of.

You have been deemed worthy to parent these children and lead them after Jesus and you have been equipped to do so. God chose YOU. You are enough, you have enough, and you do enough.

2.) No matter what the whole world says about parenting and schooling and feeding and sleeping and disciplining, God has a unique plan for your family and to him alone are you accountable.

There are thousands of books you can read, thousands more voices you can listen to, and still thousands more opinions that can wreck God’s plan for your family if you take every word spoken on the matter to head and then to heart. When God made you and then gave you a family, he put a certain DNA in you guys that our world needs and it’s your job to abide in Christ, keep your heart soft towards the movement of the Spirit in and around you, and then foster an environment in your home that allows your family to respond to the Spirit’s leading. This looks different for every family.

Abide in Christ, be in community with other believers, submit yourselves to a spiritual authority, and guard your heart against every opinion that threatens to wreak havoc in what Jesus is doing in and through you.

3.) Before you were a mother, you were a child of Jesus. Nurture that person’s gifts, abilities, passions, and heart.

Underneath all the layers of mothering, there is a person with a unique purpose in this world, that may or may not be tied to your mothering. Do what you have to do to nurture those things you used to do before children. Allow yourself time to be you, apart from your children. Try to remember the last time you felt God’s pleasure. What were you doing? Do more of that. It is a healthy thing for your children to see you doing what God made you to do. It gives them permission to do what God has made them to do.

4.) You are a person, not a machine.

When God made you, he did not make you because he needed someone just like you. He made you because he wanted to enjoy you. He made you because he wanted to glorify himself through your life. He made you because he desired to stand back and say Man, look at her. She is a glorious thing to behold. I did a good job. So stop plate spinning and working your fingers to the bone. Let your house get dirty. Grow soap scum in the bathroom. Let your kids wear dirty socks and skip baths. Observe the Sabbath so you can remember that God does not need you to keep the world spinning.

Your children feel their own worth, not by seeing how much Mama can do, but by how much Mama believes that she is a beloved child of God, worthy of rest and play and fun.

5.) You are not the glue that holds the family together. You are a member of the family, playing one role, and Jesus is holding everything together.

6.) Jesus loves my neighbor’s family as much as he loves mine.

My family is not special. {that sorta stinks,huh?} My family’s calling is no more important that any other family’s calling. We are just one family, living in one place, among one group of people with the task of loving our people and our place with wild abandon, making much of Jesus with our lives. I belong to the people next door and down the street and they belong to me. We are meant to be part of a larger family, one that God would recognize as something beautiful.

We are responsible for leaving the footprints of Jesus in our place- not the legacy of our family name.

7.) Mothering is what we do. Mission shapes how we do it.

In the midst of laundry and bickering children, the undercurrent of our life’s mission is shaping how we mother. If your life’s mission is to acquire every good thing this world deems good, then your mothering will shift to hold your mission. You may work 2 jobs to get ahead and shuttle your kids from sitter to sitter to sitter. If your life’s mission is to rear successful kids who get into the best colleges, your mothering will shift to accommodate all the schooling and extracurricular activities and volunteer hours it takes to accomplish that. If your life’s mission is to point your kids to Jesus and send them out into the world as people who love their neighbors as themselves, your mothering will reflect that.

What is your life’s mission?

Look at how you mother your children.

8.) I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength.

That’s it. I can mother my kiddos because Jesus lives in me.

Mothering is the hardest, best thing I’ve ever done that I never want to end.

And if I could give you one thing to tuck in your pocket it would be this:

You are the person God chose to hold his babies. Lift up your head and mother them like you believe that.


Previous articleParents, Teach Your Kids to Lose Like Kerri Walsh Jennings, Not Hope Solo
Next articleThis Mom’s Prayer for Her Child’s Teacher Is One We All Need to Say
Lori Harris
Lori Harris is the happy wife of a church planter, mother of six, and mess of a woman. She loves authentic community and is a wild JOY seeker. Connect with Lori at her blog, LoriHarris.Me, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.