Thursday, August 15, 2013

American Supermom or A Mom After God's Heart? Pt 2


"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." 

-Psalm 90:12

She gets up early. She has a lot to start before her children wake up. She washes her face and takes a look in the mirror. She notices fine lines are starting to form. They don't bother her as they once would have. Now they are just a sign of her growth process. Her's is an inner beauty that shines on the outside--- a glow and peacefulness to her face. She brews her coffee, starts a load of laundry and pulls out something from the freezer to thaw for dinner. She checks her emails, and takes care of some other tasks for the day. She cleans up a few cluttered spots to keep the house looking nice. She has some quiet time reading her Bible and praying for lots of patience today. She knows it will be a long day and she needs lots of grace! The day ahead seems daunting and sometimes she feels overwhelmed at what lies ahead--- but she's going to invest in her children on this day that she will never get back.

She deeply trusts in God's promises. Although she feels inadequate most days she knows God grace will fill in her imperfections. "...may he equip you with all you need for doing his will." (Hebrews 13:21) She trusts with every part of her being that her children are placed in front of her by God to love and that there is no more worthy investment of her time.

Her children are awake and she gets them fed and settled into the morning. They have a "reading marathon" reading their latest library books. They say the verse they are working on for the week together. There's some fussing and a tantrum to work through. The kids almost spill her coffee quite a few times and there are some breakfast crumbs and applesauce marks already on her shirt. Her children play while she puts the laundry in the dryer.

They play during the morning, do art work and chalk, and the kids play outside. They take a walk outside and collect pebbles, leaves and sticks. She constantly cleans up the children's messes and kisses and hugs the child who took a fall. She corrects and disciplines them with love when they are disobedient or displaying a character trait that needs work. They probably won't be going anywhere today, the kids are settled into their playing and they've got lots to do at home. Her job is full time at home and it's hard to "leave the office." She's guards her families time spent in outside activities wisely. She knows that it takes time and effort to water her children's hearts and pull the weeds out of them. She knows it takes purposeful intent to build up a home for God, and that she has to be present to do so. The days are short, and she must use them wisely.

In the quiet of her own thoughts she wonders if it might be easier or give a temporary fulfillment to go pursue more of her own interests. Sometimes her life seems small within the walls of her home. She's not beyond struggling with the day to day monotony and the more exciting things that call her and would distract her from what is before her. Sure, it would be nice to have the time and money to make the bathroom more up to date or to have nicer clothes and more things. She'd like to do more things for herself. There is a lot she'd like to change about her home and she knows pursuing perfection in her home would be an unending pursuit. But she knows in the end those things are temporary. When the thoughts threaten to overcome her she remembers: "bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)  She knows that a new bathroom does not make a home. She knows her children will not remember a perfect house, but they will remember a loving home. She knows that the time it would take to host fancy dinners and entertain would come at a cost to her family. When she does entertain it is simple--- but beautiful, thoughtful and from the heart.

She plays with her children more before their nap time. She knows there is great value in their playing and exploration. She wants them to view home as a place of safety, learning and joy. They sing some songs and do shapes, letters, numbers and anything else that comes to her mind. She has totally disconnected from any technology or distraction. She knows they need to see her there right with them. They talk to her and tell her about their toys and games. They climb on her and she tickles them. There is laughter and kissing baby feet and toes, and more kisses and hugs and cuddles. She believes Jesus when He said "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them!" (Luke 18:16) She knows Jesus wouldn't have treated them as a bother. They aren't an accessory to her life, a fashion to be changed with the seasons. Their hearts are treasures. She doesn't want to look back and have forgotten the dimpled, pudgy fingers of babyhood.

Sure, there haven't been as many vacations and their cars are older. There aren't as many extras in her life. The budget is tight. The lure of getting a job and working for extra money is there, and the lure of a life of ease calls. But she knows they are extras, the pleasure is momentary and fleeting. She knows to do this job every day she must know how to die to herself. She can't leave her family simply to have extra stuff. She is not popular for the decisions she makes for her family. But she never expected to be popular and be social butterfly. She doesn't do things the way the culture that surrounds her does. The world seems to be whizzing by her at times. It says to her "you are missing out on all I have to offer!"  But God is deep in her soul calling to her. She just wants to do what is right in God's eyes. There is not much earthly fame and no earthly notoriety. Her fame and notoriety are in her husband and children's eyes. More importantly, God see's her.

She puts them down for a nap. Tired and weary herself, she finishes up a few things she needs to do. She cleans up her children's toys and messes, does some dishes. She finalizes what she wants to make for dinner. She has a grocery list to finish and bills to pay. She thinks of something special to do for her husband that day. She tries to get a half hour nap or time to sit down herself. She thinks of what it would be like to sleep for twelve hours straight! But she keeps pressing on, with her eyes on her long term vision. She knows these children need to know a right way of life, and she must live it herself. She wants them to know God. She wants them to know joy, peace and love. More than anything she wants them to walk the path of Life.

In her day to day life, there's a deep peace that she feels. It reaches to the depths of her heart and spills outward. She follows God's word and what He speaks to her each day. He brings freedom! She doesn't live in bondage to the world and it's expectations.  "Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

Busyness knocks on her door frequently. "Come participate in the busyness club!" Sometimes she is tempted, but she shuts the door. There are many temptations to say yes, but she says a lot of no's. She knows that busyness will distract her. It will keep her from her God given role and her God given goals for her family. It will hinder the training of the young hearts she cares for. She knows some outside activities, sports and classes are necessary, but she uses her discernment on what is wise to participate in, and what will bear the most fruit. She realizes too much busyness will not lead her family down the path of Life. She watches over her family carefully and guards the gates of her home with wisdom.

The children are awake from their nap time. It's dinner time and everyone needs to eat. There is play time with Papa and laughing and a few meltdowns. Dinner dishes to be done and end of the day chores to be done. After bath time, reading, songs, and bedtime kisses they put the kids to bed for the night.

It's late and she reads her Bible. She reads articles and looks up books to read to her children that will bring life to their home. She has a list of books to read in the future, and things she wants to teach her children. She wants to instill character, learning and a deeply rooted faith in them. She surrounds herself with Godly wisdom and knowledge so that she can surround her family with it. Filled with love but weary to the bone, she turns out her light to sleep. God will give her strength for tomorrow.

This continues for many years. There are changes throughout the seasons of motherhood. The pudgy fingers to kiss have long been gone. She has always been fully present, her feet firmly planted where God called them. She has been there through the teenage years to guide and listen, and now the beginning of the adult years. She has two in college and one is married. One is attending college nearby and she is glad to have one still at home. She is a big part of all of her children's adult lives.  Her children have had their struggles, but they have always trusted that they could open their hearts to her and she always listens with wisdom and points them back to God. They know their mother's deep roots in God and they draw from her wisdom. Her other two children call frequently and want to visit often. She is deeply connected to her children. Her husband's heart trusts in her. She knows her husband and he knows her. They have shared life all these years, and they share it now.  Her years as a mother and wife are still continuing, and she looks forward to being a grandmother. She will be fully present for all the remaining years. She has never once regretted her decisions. She can't imagine now it having been any other way.  What she would have missed had she given in to the trap the world had set for her! She has drawn from the life giving well of Christ all these years. He has seen her every sacrifice, her every tear, her every sleepless night, every toilet scrubbed, every nose wiped and every diaper changed. He has heard every prayer she has prayed for her husband and children.

She is a mother after God's heart.

He says to her "well done, thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21

She never bought into the myth of the American Supermom.

"The best way to prove that a stick is crooked is to set a straight one beside it. No words need to be spoken." A.W. Tozer

"Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem." Ruth 4:11

"Godly womanhood...the very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear every other type of women: beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women. But so seldom do we hear of a godly woman- or of a godly man either, for that matter. We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife, than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with trash. It is far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned, than to be ultra-modern. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct."
-Peter Marshall, Former U.S. Senate Chaplain

"We must not succumb to the deceptive mathematics of worldly thinking that considers the pouring out of one's life on a hidden few as a scandalous waste of one's potential."
~Kent and Barbara Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Family

“A Christian home should be a place of peace, and there can be no peace where there is no self-denial.” ~Elisabeth Elliot 

"In every generation, mothers must answer the call to be what no one else can be, to do what no one else can do for their children. It isn’t that mothers can’t do many other things, but if they refuse to accept their calling as a mother, some child ends up shortchanged, and the empty space that mother leaves echoes for generations. Mothers are neither the cause of all of society’s ills, nor the saviors of the nation. But the future of society does depend in part on what we do with the children under our care. What calling could be more significant or more glorifying to God?" ~ Jeanne Fleming



  1. "Busyness knocks on her door frequently. "Come participate in the busyness club!" Oh my... I love this!! I am always answering that door!!

  2. Thank you Ashley for sharing this beautiful post.

  3. I'm a big sister, and I need this today! Thank you so much!

  4. Beautifully written. I enjoyed reading both parts and certainly identify with the struggle. There is so much pressure to be the super-mom but there is so much more eternal value in being a Godly-mom and so I will continue to strive to live His plan for my life. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I absolutely LOVED reading this post tonight. Your vision is so in tune with what God seeks. I was refreshed and encouraged, and I am so grateful you took the time to mind God and write this! May the dear Lord bless you and keep you and your family in His care, and may His peace continually be yours.

  6. Thank you for this. It can be so hard to find the balance. I'll admit, I struggle with playing with my kids, mostly because I don't think I'm good enough, or worthy enough to be allowed to enjoy them. I sometimes feel that my family best served by me cleaning, preparing the meals, and staying out of everyone's way.