Mothers of the Past
In the long and traditional past, most mothers are expected to stay at home, supervise – if not do – house chores on their own, and take care of the children.
Many of them also educate their children at home.
Imagine doing all these and still putting their husbands as the top priority — respecting them, serving them, submitting to them.
With all these responsibilities, we’d think that mothers have more than enough on their plate.
But guess what:
Mothers can do more.
A Mother of the Present
With the advancement of technology and the invention of computers, smartphones, and the Internet, a mom’s life has become more complicated than before.
I, for one, is a classic example.
I am a wife and a mother of five beautiful children.
I work from home.
My husband works from home.
Many people think that since we work from home, that makes life easier for us.
While some of its pros include saving time from the commute and the morning preparations, I can’t say the same for the hours we do our work.
At the office, there is a fixed and allotted time for doing focused work. At home, we may be working in our pajamas, but the little ones in pajamas also want to be part of the “working team,” which makes working longer than it should take.
We don’t have a house helper, not by choice, so my husband and I take turns doing the house chores.
We take our son to his therapy sessions twice a week.
We don’t have the bandwidth — the time and effort — to prepare our own food. Thank God that there’s a nearby food stall that sells clean, homemade meals.
We also don’t have a washing machine. Thank God for drop-off laundry services! (I must admit that this weekly service does huge damage to our finances.)
The Craziness at Home
It’s easy to thank the Lord when your day is going well, the kids are still asleep and the house is quiet and organized.
To look forward to accomplishing a lot at home and at work is surely a great way to start your day — with positivity and energy.
Imagine this happening after you’ve decided to overcome whatever life will throw your way today:
You hear children crying because they couldn’t get what they want.
Teenagers obey after you have uttered the same command for the 1,916th time.
You can’t find your smartphone charger among the pile of things — clothes, books, toys, and other things — on your workspace.
Once the craziness starts, staying positive starts to become a challenge.
You give your all. Give everything you could. Do your best to stay composed and be careful with what you say or do because the craziness is starting to get in your head.
Yes, it becomes more and more difficult to stay afloat.
A Timely Encouragement
It’s during these times when I couldn’t remember how good it feels to smile, relax, and slow down to appreciate and be thankful that I have a roof over my head, clean water for drinking, and the small people with the sweetest voice saying “Thank You” with sparkles in their eyes.
Today, I thank God for lifting me up through the First Book of Thessalonians 5:16-18 that says,
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Always be Joyful
When we feel frustrated, it’s easy to forget that being a parent is a privilege. That it is a noble and life-changing calling.
I confess that I have recently caught myself complaining in my head and expressing loud, frustrated sighs as I work in front of the computer while I hold on to my little one and try to do my (online) job.
Just now that I’m writing that last sentence, I realized that my job — first and foremost — is to be THE parent of my child.
To have and hold healthy children who give warm, comforting hugs are reasons enough to be put a smile on my face.
Another reason to have joy in my heart (and yours) is in knowing that I do not need to do it all alone.
I am not SuperMomma (as much as I want to be). I will never be.
But I have a Super Strong God where I can cry out and recharge, connect and be refreshed.
Letting go and letting God takes practice but it’s a habit I want to invest in that will definitely benefit not only me but also my family.
Never Stop Praying
If you read my last blog post Day 115: Fighting the Darkness, you’d know where my efforts to do things in my own strength and wisdom led me — in a place I, or anyone at that, didn’t want to be.
To take care of your family, you need to take care of yourself first.
I knew this fact in my head.
Did I apply it?
No. Instead, I had to experience the undesirable effects of trying to get through each day on my own, apart from the Lord, before I opened up and started my recovery process.
Do you feel tired? Tell the Lord.
Are you exhausted? Seek His comfort.
Do you feel like giving up? Cry out to God.
As you connect with God, remember to envelop your children in prayer.
We cannot be there for our children at all times, but God can.
Most importantly, pray that they get to know Jesus and that they would choose Him to fill the innermost desires of their hearts — desires for love, acceptance, significance, approval, etc.
Has this ever happened to you:
During the busyness of the day while your world is spinning around you, suddenly your child (can be an image or a memory of him/her) pops in your mind?
That’s one of the obvious cues to pause and pray for your child. Let’s humble ourselves before God and lift our children up in prayer.
Remember that the fight is not only against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
Be Thankful in ALL Circumstances
Ahhh, the antidote to the complaining heart!
Being thankful for our kids doesn’t come easy on days when they’re testing your patience and you’re running on empty.
What I do as a practice for years now, I write down the things I’m thankful to God for each day as I remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life.
Take a minute and read the heading of this section again.
Be thankful in…
Some circumstances? A few circumstances?
No, in ALL circumstances.
Yes, especially during the times when we feel like we’re like a bomb that’s about to explode.
Because that’s the time you need it most.
I have been struggling with complaining and grumbling. There was a recent incident when I almost “exploded.”
I thank God that my husband lovingly listened and didn’t “attack” me back.
After several minutes, the Lord proved me wrong. I humbled myself and apologized first to the Lord, then to my husband.
I don’t like complaining but old habits are difficult to change (not to mention I came from a family of complainers).
That’s just it — I don’t want to dwell on that last statement and give myself an excuse to continue doing it.
Change is possible with Jesus — the Hope that allows me to be joyful for the grace and mercy He gives me every morning, and for the honor of Him interceding and praying for me and my family.
Mothers of the Future
To say that “Parenting is tough” is an understatement.
It’s “easy” to become a parent but it takes hard work to be a good one — the kind who does everything without complaining, balances love and discipline, models how it is to be a respectful and daunting wife, and emphasizes the significance of knowing and walking with Jesus.
If we, mothers, don’t take care of ourselves, imagine the impact it’s going to have not only on ourselves but also in this world’s future generation — the future leaders of their families, future leaders of societies, future leaders of countries.
I thank the Lord for a very timely encouragement especially for mothers out there who undoubtedly love their families, work hard and, and give their best.
I am reminded that in the middle of the chaos, the busyness, and the hurry, a fresh perspective on my world’s craziness can dramatically change not only my countenance and my attitude but most especially my heart.
Mommies, remember that there is nothing wrong with giving your best because you do what you do out of love.
But remember that it’s also okay to admit to yourselves that you’re tired, you’re exhausted, and that you need to take that much-anticipated break — even if it’s only 5 minutes of alone time in the shower.
Thank You, My Jesus!
Thank You, my Jesus, for the new mercy you grant us each morning. I praise You for You are the Lord who knows my every sigh. Oh, I’m sorry, Lord, for my complaining and grumbling. Thank You for the forgiveness You offer at Your cross. Continue to hone me and transform me from the inside out.
Joy and gratitude are possible if I keep my eyes on You. Thank You for the privilege of talking with You in prayer — for the 24/7 open line with You. Thank You that my journey is sweet because You are in it.
How about you?
What point in your day do you feel stress or tension the most? Share your answer in the comments below and let us know what you do to stay joyful and thankful during those challenging situations.