Today I have the privilege of having one of my dearest and oldest friends on my blog today. We survived high school and college together. Since then a good number of years has passed and there are now 2 husbands and 7 kids and many states between us but our friendship continues to grow and change with life. I love her dearly and always appreciate her perspective on life, especially when it comes to motherhood. Happy to share Julie with you all today! You can connect with her on twitter at @jahufstetler.
He smiled, clapped and laughed. My one year old did this as we drove around running errands with scripture songs playing and me, his Mommy that rules the world, sang to him. With every quick glance back at him, he would smile and squeal with glee. Mothering a herd of boys ranging in ages 1 to 9 creates some interesting dynamics that are continually sharpening me to the cross. Cause in that moment in the van with my littlest one, I realized how quickly I can base my mothering choices on the emotional response I’m feeling, specifically with teaching my boys about God.
I still sing and shout song to my boys. Sometimes they laugh, sometimes they run. But lately sitting my boys down and teaching them of God, or telling them of God’s love or reading scripture together isn’t top on their list of things to do for their day. If it’s on the list at all. It’s hard as a Momma to stand for Jesus, when aren’t there moments where hiding my light would just feel better in the madness of my day and altogether lessen the amount of conflict and conversation. As if we don’t have enough conflict with assigning chores, dinner preferences, agreeing on a movie….I mean, simple things here friends. But here let’s make your day all the more conflicting and go sit that stubborn 9 year old down and tell him again how much God loves him and desires his choices to bring the Lord honor. Yes, because the 962 times I did it already obviously weren’t working. It can be a real pick me upper to the day of mothering.
Training my big boys in the truths of God requires more faith. I must have faith when I see glimpses of doubt in their face, all is not hopeless. God promises to bring His work to completion in their life. I believe when we open God’s Word together, it is a holy moment. The words are living, active and ready to do good work. And my faith in mothering cannot be based on the response of my boys’ actions or their hearts.
I spoke to a dear mentor friend the other day. I sat in her kitchen with my head down on the table and said into the table, “I don’t like my kids. Please tell me why I’m doing this all again. “ I’m tired. I’m burnt. And really, what’s the point of teaching my little ones to share and not whine when I’m still reviewing these concepts with my big ones. She had great encouragement, of course. She straight up shot it at me, “you’re training them in Jesus because it’s what we’re commanded to do and He is all they will ever need. You are not training them with the expectation of results or it feeling good.” Thud. That was my head back on the table again.
Mothering is hard and it isn’t getting any easier. Trust me. And I will keep clinging to Jesus, teaching my boys of Jesus and His love, taking them to scripture to learn of God. I do it because life is a beautiful mess. And I want my boys to run hard with hope as the darkness tempts to invade. They see it more. They feel the sting of disappointment, the difficult in forgiveness; the consequences of sin are becoming greater. I won’t hide my light amidst rolled eyes, because I don’t want them to hide theirs. Mine will shine and I am faithful in a God that will pursue them, seek them, and woo them so that their faith too will one day shine amidst others. Even if those others in their life don’t seem to always be listening.