Three Key Words for Moms
Lately as I’ve had the chance to meet moms and hear their questions, I have realized there are three words that I have used over and over again in our conversations that bear discussing in a little more detail. I think when moms understand these three words, they have a much clearer picture of what their life and priorities are to look like. The three words are: calling, seasons, and balance.
Let’s take the word “calling” first. As I’ve mentioned here on this blog in the past, I believe the calling of the Christian mom is no different from the calling of every Christ follower: to love God and to live out the mission he has given us all (to be his witness to the ends of the earth, and to make disciples of all nations.) Motherhood is one of the avenues through which we live out this primary calling, and it’s a critically important one. But, motherhood is not the entirety of our identity as followers of Christ. We are each created in unique ways to live out God’s mission, and pursuing God and his mission is always the primary calling toward which we orient our lives.
But now we come to the word “seasons.” And it is also true that at different seasons in our life as mothers, the motherhood part of our identity will take a significant portion of our time and energy, especially when our children are very young. I love what my friend Shayne Moore, author of Global Soccer Mom, says about her motherhood experience, that when her children were babies, “my world became very small. I wish someone had told me it was okay that my world became so small.” By necessity, mothering young children in particular is a time in which we experience all manner of physical trials–sleep deprivation in particular! And so you may not find yourself able to do much in terms of active missional living in that season of life–which is okay!
But, even in that baby-focused season of life, you can still be missional in the way you live. You can keep up with sites and blogs to stay informed of what is going on in the church and the world; you can spend time in prayer for those global and local needs that stir your heart; you can take five seconds to sign a petition to rally against an injustice in the world, or donate funds to help the poorest of the poor. In other words, no matter what season of life you are in, you can find ways to live missionally, while recognizing that some seasons will lend themselves to being more missionally active than others.
Lastly, the word “balance.” I love what my wise missionary friend Grace told me years ago about living a life of balance, that it’s not about achieving the perfect combination of hours in different activities every day or every week. Instead, balance is something you achieve over the course of a lifetime. So some “seasons” of life will be more child-intensive, and others less so. But so long as we are always keeping our primary calling in mind, demonstrating that God’s mission is paramount in our lives, we can rest in the knowledge that whatever season we are experiencing is only a season. We can’t always do it all, at least not all in one season of life. But over the course of our life, we will experience and achieve the balance we are looking for.
So missional living, even when we find ourselves busy with managing our households, is something that can be done at any stage of motherhood, and it helps to provide a sense of balance that orients us properly to the primary calling that God has given each one of us. I hope you find these words helpful to you as you seek to find ways to live for God’s mission in whatever season of life you are in. Please feel free to offer other ideas or comments on how you understand these three words!