Sunday, April 06, 2008
The Mission of Mothering
When my oldest daughter, Sarah, suggests a book, whether it's a child's story or a novel or something non-fiction, I usually take a look. (I just finished 'Freckles', written in 1904.) There have been a few times I struggled to make it through her recommendation. (Silas Marner was tough!) My middle daughter is usually behind me in reading, so I'm the one slinging titles at her, and my son tends to have his nose in either a text book or something on fly fishing, so he and his Dad trade authors.

One of the authors Sarah has mentioned is Sally Clarkson. Nothing warms my heart as much as knowing there are godly women out there, further down the trail of mothering, who are mentoring, whether they know it or not. My daughters already know what I believe, how I feel, and have seen what I did - good and bad - so it's nice to have someone else model godly mothering for them. Sarah has mentioned Sally's books many times, and I finally ordered two of them to check out myself. The one I'm reading first is "The Mission of Motherhood, Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity."

One thing Sally states in her prologue (of course I read the prologue, don't you?), is that the job of raising children is a 'vital part of God's call on their life.' That's something my own mother has told me many times. My number one job, calling, ministry, begins within my walls, with the people that I've either repeated vows with or brought into this world. She explained what she thinks that call entails. ' ...the fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully. It's up to us to embrace that mission, to use mothers' hands as instruments of his blessings.'

I started on the journey of motherhood at the ripe old age of barely 20. The last one left for college when I was 47. That was 27 years of having children here in our home, day in and day out, for better and for worse. I can't say that I'd want to do it all again, parts of it were so, so hard. There are moments I'd love to recapture, rewind and play back on slow speed, rocking them to sleep and smelling baby breath, watching first steps being taken, first rides on bicycles, reading to them at night, the smell of them fresh out of the bath, watching them pass a swimming test, or score a touchdown, or leave for a dance, pinning a corsage on their date, walking across the stage with caps and gowns on, diploma in hand, and those walks down the aisle. All would be worth repeating.

I'd love to redo some of the moments, disciplining out of anger and frustration, not taking the time they needed when it wasn't convenient, the moments I acted 17 when they were acting 17, not listening when they wanted to talk, giving advice too quickly instead of letting them figure it out, anytime I yelled, some of the angry words I spoke. Those I would love to redo. But you don't get to pick and choose. You just forge on through it, and no matter how many times you've already done it, each kid is a brand new experience. New joys, new trials, new growing experiences for both of you.

Tonight, I'm going to bed thankful for the Sally Clarkson's of this world, women whose hearts God has impressed with a message to share, one that tells my daughters their mission field is right at hand, and 'it's a vital part of God's call on their life.' You can check out Sally's blog here, to see what's on her heart lately. Whatever she has to share is likely a great read.


  posted at 10:54 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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