The other day, on the way to church, my son said something pretty interesting.
Son- "Mom, I want to tell you something, but I don't think you want to hear it".
Me - "Why wouldn't I want to hear it"
Son - "Because."
Me - "Why don't you just tell me. I promise not to be upset".
Son - "Ok."....long pause. "I think, sometimes it's good to do the bad things when we are younger so when we get older we won't want to do them anymore"
Me - Trying not to freak out. "What do you mean son? What bad thing are you talking about?"
I really was expecting and mentally bracing myself to hear a very serious confession.
Son - "You know. Like the other day when I got mad and you had to pray for me to stop having an attitude. At first I wanted to have an attitude and I wanted to be mad. So, its better for me to have an attitude and get mad when I am younger so when I get older I won't want to do that anymore and I will listen to the Holy Spirit easier"
Me - Relieved, but seriously amazed......"Oh yeah. I remember that".
Of course I took the time to point out to my son that we were born with a sinful nature and we will have to fight it all our lives but reminding him that the Holy Spirit will always helps us and convict us to do what is right.
I think he understood.
Yesterday, my 13 year old daughter showed me her own personal Bible journal. For her schooling, one of her tasks is to read certain portions of the Bible and then write a journal entry. This has been a part of her schooling since I began home schooling her 5 years ago.
However, I had no idea that she started her own personal Bible journal in conjunction with her Bible journal for school. In her personal journal she is paraphrasing chapters of the Bible that she reads into her own words so she can better understand what's written. I know I have been doing this for years but I had no idea that she paid any attention to what I do with my Bible time. I know she has stumbled across my journals because they are everywhere and she is always looking for an empty journal.
It's in moments like these that I realize that my job as a mom is important. I am very much aware that I cannot save my children. I am very much aware that I am not in charge or in control of their salvation. That is God's work and God's work alone.
However, I am profoundly aware that God has given me these children, not to sit back and relish in my great parenting skills, boast on their accomplishments inside or outside the home or put my children or family life on a pedestal. There are MANY Christian books and bloggers that seem to perpetuate idolizing family life and/or our children (of course they don't come right out and use the word "idol") but I will save that topic for another day.
My job lies in my obedience to God to lead, train, model and teach them about our Heavenly Father who loved us so much that He sent His only Son as a sacrifice for sin so that we can be reconciled to Him. My job is it figure out what that looks like in our every day lives.
That's my job description.
Yes...some days I do that well. Some days I'm a total fail. Nevertheless, I take it quite seriously.
Sometimes, being a stay at home mom feels insignificant, but I know it's not.
Our schedule is pretty boring, routine, and monotonous. The days spill over into each other and I often lose track of time.
The only thing that helps me figure out what part of the day we are in is remembering what meal we ate last.
I cook breakfast, we do school.
I cook lunch, we do school.
I make dinner. Hubby comes home somewhere around this time.
We eat dinner.
That's pretty much my day. Thrown in are random chores and laundry.
To be quite honest....I would not trade this schedule for any other option.
God has stilled my heart to love the routine life of being a stay at home mom.
When my children share with me their reflections about God and what God is showing them, I am reminded that mommy hood is never boring or mundane and definitely not insignificant.
I am my children's teacher.
I do not take that position lightly....however I need to be on guard and also remind myself that I cannot boast in anything but Jesus Christ.
Galatians 6:14 tells me "far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
I know there will be some days that are more challenging than others. Days when my kiddos argue more than normal. Days when I don't feel like folding laundry. Days when I don't want to see another math problem, teach another grammar lesson or correct another heart issue.
But I do it. I remind myself of God's grace toward me by first and foremost saving me. Then slowly, over years, He has been sanctifying me. That takes work. God has been patient with me, even when I am really stubborn. He disciplines me, even when I feel hurt.
I feel humbled and overwhelmingly loved that God would see me worthy of His time.
So, I show that love, patience, and discipline to my kiddos, while constantly reminding them of a better parent than myself. I remind them of a perfect and holy Father. I remind them of perfect and sinless Son.
That's all I got.
The alternative is that I would still be dead in sin living a life that glorifies me.
Living an empty life.
Void of conversations like that one I had with my son or void of discovering the growing spiritual discipline in my daughter.
I know there are many mom's that struggle with finding contentment with being a stay at home mom or feel overwhelmed with mom duties.
One of my favorite bloggers, Gloria Furman, wrote a book about it. It's titled Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full.
I plan to read it after Resurrection Sunday but right now, my reading schedule is pretty packed. The reviews on it have been really good.
In the meantime I stumbled across a really good and helpful reminder written by her.
Here is an excerpt from the article.
Here are just three of the ways the grace of God governs the areas of our lives that seem ordinary and unimportant:
1. We get to live outside of the garden. Live. We get to live. Let your heart soar with thankfulness as you consider that God continues to give us life even though we have all sinned against His holiness. Let your mind be blown by the reality that Jesus is currently, intentionally holding our very lives together by the word of His power. The gracious gift of life in spite of our sin is overwhelming. Surely this mercy is cause for unceasing praise to our Creator. Job teaches us that whatever condition our lives are in, God is to be praised. As recipients of such astonishing grace, far be it from us to lament that life is boring. Instead, let us spill over with praise to the Author of Life with our every breath.
2. We get to live forever in Christ. Each of us is just a breath away from meeting the Lord face-to-face. Because of Jesus’ atoning death on the cross, we will behold our God and live, and we will live forever in His presence where there is fullness of joy. In the meantime, we are comforted by the indwelling Holy Spirit and we can have fellowship with God even now. God uses ordinary means to conform us to the image of His beloved Son. This is just one way the gospel of grace gives new meaning to the seemingly unimportant routines.
3. We get to participate in God’s cosmic plan. The penal substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, His resurrection from the dead, and His subsequent exaltation above every name change how we view our ordinary lives because, indeed, they change everything. In order to experience joy in the work that God has for us, we must seek to understand the mystery of God’s will that He purposes “to unite all things in [Christ]” (Eph. 1:9– 10). While we’re tempted to fret over arranging our schedules perfectly, Jesus is infallibly putting the cosmos back in order. This big-picture theology of God’s cosmic plan sees through the morning commute and the dishes piled up in the sink to scan the horizon of the new heavens and the new earth. What remarkable grace we’ve been given to participate in God’s plan to reconcile all things to Himself (1 Cor. 15:27–28).
The article is titled Glorifying God in Routines and you can find it here.
In the meantime, I need to remind myself that as much as I love staying at home with my kiddos, I cannot boast in it.
As a mama/teacher/leader/equip-er/encourager to my kiddos, I want them to remember that I lived this and nothing else:
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection