A lifelong friend of mine and I happen to be in the same place at the same time for a very short time, as we are both moving across country in the next few months. We decided to read a book together before we had off our separate ways. Each week, we are reading one chapter of Sally Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood. I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you here each week. If you'd like to read along, I'd love to discuss the book with you, as well!
Chapter One is called "A Journey Like No Other: Discovering the Mission of Motherhood." Clarkson expertly describes the dilemma so many moms face--figuring out WHO exactly they are supposed to be in life. The church often tells us that we are to be wives and moms, nothing more. The world tells us that motherhood is a waste of our gifts and talents. Clarkson, in searching the Bible, has found the answer--and I have finally found someone who speaks directly to my heart!
In the first chapter, Clarkson describes her own journey to finding who she is meant to be as a daughter of God. I love that she describes motherhood as a 'divine calling,' but also says that "As important as my role is, and as important as my children are, they are not to be the center of my life, and my central calling is not to motherhood...My calling as a mother is the same as any other Christian's: to fulfill God's will for our lives and to glorify Him. This means I am to honor the Lord's design for my marriage...be a careful steward of the world in which I live...seek opportunities to bring God's message of redemption to others..to make full use of the gifts and talents He has placed in my life...to delight in Him and worship Him..." (Clarkson, 14-15).
I find that this statement provides me, as a mom, with a sense of balance. Yes, being present here with my kids and shepherding their hearts is an important part of my life--but it's just a part of who I am. And my role as a Mom is just a part of my role in God's kingdom. As I put the gifts God gave me to use, my children will learn how to use their own talents to serve Him. Being a Mom is a part of what I DO, but it should not completely define who I AM.
I think Paul's explanation of the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians applies here, too...
1 Cor. 12: 14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.