Last week Hazel told me I don’t spend enough time with her. She referred to a time when we were playing a game and I walked away for a bit to take care of “something important.” It may have been important, but the fact remained—I don’t spend enough intentional time with my children. I wondered what keeps me from living intentionally with them.
I want to be intentional. I’ve spent the better part of the last four years cultivating a vision for my mothering career. I want to be a nurturer, a provider of truth, a teacher and trainer, and strength in storms to my children. I want our home to be a laboratory of life—oozing and bubbling over with the realities of life and growth—a stronghold in which Mike, the kids, and all who enter these doors will feel welcomed, loved, encouraged, and equipped for the good works the Lord has prepared for them. Our home will be the gathering place for our children, their friends, and those in our neighborhood.
Truthfully, it’s hard to focus on my vision when the messiness of life gets involved. There are three meals prepared and served daily, there’s the cleaning up after these meals, disciplining and keeping a watchful eye on my little danger man, cleaning sticky floors, and rushing out the door. It’s messy.
So, what inhibits me from being focused?
Not clothing myself. Both physically and spiritually.
I find that I can’t be prepared for the work the Lord has for me in my homemaking and nurturing my children if I’m wearing my comfy, frumpy sweats. I look lazy. I feel lazy. I am lazy. When I’m dressed in the morning I feel ready to face the day.
The Bible has a lot to say about clothing yourself in spiritual wisdom. Getting dressed in Jesus needs to become a priority in my day, and I am making huge strides at spending time reading my Bible every morning. Right now I wake up about an hour earlier than the kiddos and spend some time reading, praying, and getting dressed. Each morning and throughout the day I want to be clothing myself in the gospel.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. –Colossians 3:12-17
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. – Romans 13:14
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.Ephesians 6:10-11
Rushing, rushing, rushing. Some weeks I feel as if I’m always shoving kids out the door so we can go to school, play dates, grocery shopping, or volunteering. These are all great things, but too much can leave me gasping for air. My children thrive at home. When at home, we focus on deep relationships, on learning, on being thankful, on being hospitable, on being generous , and a lot of disciplining takes place. It took me a few years to seek out the glorious in the mundane tasks of being home. Slow down and enjoy.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
With such a grand vision of motherhood it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and inadequate. I remember leaving the hospital with sweet baby Hazel wondering if someone was going to chase down the imposter parents who left the hospital with a newborn. No one told checked our qualifications and we were allowed to take our baby home. I was so unprepared for the road ahead! At times I fear I’m going to ruin my children and that my brokenness will drive them away from the God who loves them. But I am confident in the Lord and that He will equip me to do this work in homemaking and raising my children as I set my mind on Him! He reminds me that there is no fear in love and that His love casts out my fears. 1 John 4:18
So go. Be intentional. Get dressed. Slow down. And boast in your weaknesses. The Lord will work through you to reach the hearts of your little ones.