Made for This

“It is within my power either to serve God or not to serve him. Serving him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving him, I forget my own good and deprive the world of that good, which was in my power to create.” -Leo Tolstoy

To establish a creative, resilient, visionary home requires a steward, an intentional life artist: a mother.  Mothers, activated by the Holy Spirit, can embrace their powerful destiny as world-shapers, and invest in the sacred and creative work of growing children from a place of freedom and joy.

{While clearly, the impact of any one person is magnified in synchronized partnership, I am not in any way diminishing the role of fathers in the home; the intention here however, is to focus on the mamas.}

Wonderfully Made

Millions of galaxies, untold species of animals, remarkable beauty, unrelenting perfection of detail and design; this earth was designed with you in mind, dear mother. Before God had even spoken the earth into existence, He knew He would make you; He created a space and an opportunity in the flow of life that only you would fill.

He knew that you would swell His heart with delight as you lived and learned and created and grew. God prepared a home for you to cultivate and a family for you to bless, desiring that you would love it, enjoy it, and know of His passion for you, even as you surrendered to it’s radical process.

God pulled out all the stops! He designed a family for you to mother, and a home for you to play in, create in, work in, steward and bless. He established possibility as your companion; He made you to be capable of much, all through His strength. He established you as a daughter, with full access to your inheritance now, even as your immediate path is littered with Legos and building blocks.

So, even when the laundry is high and the kitchen is a mess and there’s marker on the wall, remember this: you belong here. When you feel overwhelmed, like you don’t fit in or aren’t equipped, remember: you belong here. When questions roll and confusion appears to rule the day, remember: you belong here.

When the work piles up and the day feels long, know that it is all for a higher purpose, for your higher purpose, as you learn to walk with grace moment by moment. This is your place, your wild and wonderful home; a shadow of what is to come, but still full of gentle glory, even in the mess. God is here with you, whispering: you are loved, you are an important part of the story, you, mother, belong here.

The Painting

In my childhood home, my mother had a Mary Cassatt painting of a mother and daughter reflectively ambling down a beach together; the little girl is stooping to pick up a shell. Scrawled along the top of the picture someone had imprinted the words, The Art of Motherhood. That gentle phrase stayed with me, stuck dormant somewhere, until I began my own trek through the wild and wonderful early years of my own motherhood process.

To be honest, I rarely felt like I was contributing to much artful substance in the world as I aimed primarily to survive, while I flopped at my latest crock pot recipe attempt (again), cleaned fossilized oatmeal from the highchair, fought to dress a squirming two-year-old, or wiped slime from a remarkably productive two-year-old nose (uh, again).

At first glance, motherhood does not feel artful; in direct contrast, it often feels somewhat painful, or at least, sort of ragged. The role of corralling, feeding, bathing, dressing, and just generally establishing a handful of young lives with some degree of grace is somewhat daunting even for the most robust soul.

Motherhood has a way of stripping us down to our most tender and vulnerable parts as we peel away the false security of our more superficial, less tempered selves. We can often feel frayed and dislodged in the midst of our questions and concerns, wondering if we really will have what it takes to rise again early the next morning and start the routine all over again.

Yet, the artful mother, the mother with vision, has expanses in her heart that welcome the chaffing routines of the little years, the challenging marathon of life with older children, and even the isolating moments of loneliness and discouragement as opportunities to surrender to a process that is stunningly divine, and ultimately transformational for ourselves and those around us.

When the Bible tells us that children are a blessing, the flavor of that word includes the aspects of happiness and pleasure! Our children do not just ‘grind’ us towards grace and maturity; if we are open to it, they can actually ‘delight’ us towards grace! When we dive into motherhood with artistic intention and hope-filled anticipation of God at work in our lives, we are well on the way to a unconventional kind of joy that compares to little else in the world.

As we contribute to an investment greater than ourselves (the lives of our children – the seeds of the next generation) we actually begin to plant the future in our homes today. We cannot remain unchanged by the radical power of future-life we are engaging in if our spiritual eyes have seen the promised land lighted by a constellation of radiant peace-makers filling the earth with the love of God: our very own children.

You were made for this kind of glory work!

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