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I remember my husband saying it to me, before we were even married.
“I consider being a mom an important mission. When we get married, I want you to be able to stay home with the boys and really focus on that.”
(He really is a keeper y’all.)
A year later, I found myself nodding in agreement, reading a book entitled, “The Mission of Motherhood.”
I say it all the time.
My family is my first priority.
My home is my mission field.
My children are the unbelievers that make me most passionate about sharing my love of Jesus.
And all of this is true, at least in concept.
But the truth is, I don’t often see this motherhood gig as the mission it is.
The past few weeks have been a haze of sleepless nights and hospital visits, and meltdowns and doctors’ appointments.
The dishes have piled up. The laundry is piled higher than my head, threatening to completely envelop me and end my suffering.
The bills are coming in, one right after the other.
My hair has been actually washed and styled just once in two weeks.
The standard yoga pants were even set aside, in favor of just staying in my pajama pants a day or two.
And all the while, I find myself resentful, and wanting to wish it all away.
I read a book once, by Elisabeth Elliot about Amy Carmichael.
Two women. Two missionaries. Two stories of amazing difficulties and peril.
Two stories of faith in the midst of darkness.
Now, please hear me – I am not comparing myself to these women, and I hope you won’t either. I am 100% certain that we are all called to different roles in the kingdom.
I am struck however, by how callously I use the word mission when it comes to my children.
If my mothering these boys is truly my mission, and I firmly believe that it is, why am I so surprised that it is difficult?
Why I am so shocked that it requires so much effort?
Why do I sulk when the day doesn’t go the way I want it to?
If motherhood is a mission, why do I think it should be easy?
The reality is that living on mission requires more than any of us are prepared to give. It requires service beyond our capabilities. It requires a selflessness that makes no sense outside the kingdom of God.
It requires planning.
It requires prayer.
It requires long days and long nights.
It requires living with uncertainty.
And so today, I pray I embrace the requirements, knowing that God is using them in shaping my sons, and even more so, my own heart.
I pray I remember the way Jesus spent his life here on earth, pouring himself out, working, seeking the will of the Father, loving.
I pray I rest, knowing that this is not about my performance.
I pray I let go of the lies that tell me if something is difficult, I must be doing it wrong.
“If this is my life, if this is where I am, then this is where God is also.” Sarah Frankl
This is my life.
This is my mission.
This is where I am.
I can rest.
I can even find joy in the midst of the difficult, knowing that this is where God is also.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.