“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
Well... I finally sat down and as I sipped my water, I happened to glance over at my shoulder... and saw a booger smeared and dried right on my zip up hoodie...
Did I change my clothes?
It honestly didn't really even cross my mind to be honest! My hair was up & the boogie was dried 😂 ... I hopefully threw it in the wash that night… but honestly, I'm just over it!
I have died.
Any other mommas out there 🙋🏼♀️?
Sneaking away to a special Mommy's Brunch recently, I was blessed to hear our pastor's MOTHER, Dee Bennett, share encouragement and stories of motherhood, prayer and encountering God.
"Motherhood will strip the flesh right off your bones" she began. Immediately the whole room of maternal powerhouses voiced their agreement with laughter and cheers, "and I would do it all again... and probably have a few more kids" she continued!
She understood the precious, high-calling of motherhood even alongside the high price every mother is invited to pay... death. 😬
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it."
This very high, real calling to self-sacrificial love is a beautiful picture mirroring our life in Christ: the calling to come and die.
Hear me, this is not a literal, physical death, but one much more difficult and ongoing.
You are daily invited to lay down your rights, desires, and needs on behalf of another... a little one who will never be able to repay or reimburse you for your trouble. You are given the opportunity to invest and pour in your strength, resources, and very life in order to sustain and grow another.
It is somewhat humorous to remember all those "death to self" moments after they happen...
You know, how about the time where your black shirt was covered in spit up while visiting a new church. The time you found poop smeared all over the crib during your toddlers nap. The night your baby would not stop crying and YOU started crying too because you were so tired and out of ideas. The time you forgot to bring yourself a water bottle and were DYING of thirst in the middle of TJMax so you just drank out of your kids sippy-cup without shame. I love hearing these stories and because I have tasted the flesh-stripping nature of becoming Mommy, and I can laugh!
In the moment, however, it is not fun, it is hard to find the humor and many times it is painful. Your basic needs are deprived without your consent or approval. Your space, sanity, sleep and soundness of mind are assaulted and you have a choice to let it happen or resist.
I want to invite you to yield to the crushing.
My ahhhhmazing doula and a mother whom I highly respect, encouraged me as I prepared for my fourth birth and her words have come back to me so many times since... she encouraged me to "REST" and "RECEIVE".
In the midst of labor and the overwhelming feelings of pain, pressure and uncertainty, REST and RECEIVE each contraction and know that you are one moment closer to holding your baby. This applies to more than physical childbirth. REST and RECEIVE the overflow of Love from the Father as you rock that crying baby. Rest and receive the grace from above as you fill sippy cups and scramble to feed hangry mouths at the dinner time rush. Rest and receive the Peace of God as you look at your bank account balance and fill up your gas tank.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
James 1: 2-4
As mothers, we can choose to REST and RECEIVE from the Father even in midst of our daily lives, the attacks against our family, when we are faced with our own frailty, inadequacy and spiritual poverty. Let us, as mothers… new mothers or those seasoned in years… lay down our lives freely as a living gospel story.
Grace upon grace,
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.'"
Matthew 16: 24-25
Look for Part III, For the Dads soon!