The Way of Motherhood

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable~ if anything is excellent or praiseworthy~ think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Tomorrow is the day we celebrate MOTHERHOOD.  Mother's Day!

Becoming a mother at a tender young age, I have been honored and blessed to bear the "mother" name just 30 days shy of 27 years.  27 years of loving, heart captivated by the children God gave me to mother.  27 years of learning, and growing. Giving and receiving. 27 years of failing and finding better ways to mother.  Perhaps more than any other, motherhood has gifted me a desperate walk with my Lord as I entrust these eternal souls to Him and make every attempt to point their heart to the Savior that has captured mine. That promises to gift my children the same saving grace that they and I desperately need.

As much as I love being a mommy, in the secret moments of my Mother's Day celebration, when the handmade cards are being passed about, my mind can drift to the negative. The days when my heart was tempted by anger. When my way became more important than their little heart. Deep in the pit of my stomach, a churning reminds me of the moments when I was so busy cleaning the house or filling in every box for school that I forgot to treasure the moment that slipped into yesterday.  

So, on this Mother's Day Eve, I've decided to claim victory over the Celebration of Motherhood! Using Philippians 4:8 in light of motherhood, I'm setting my mind on things above.  Things that are true and noble, right and pure. Lovely and admirable. These are the things that I want to focus on this Mother's Day.  

The truth is, the enemy and my own pride and self-focus desire to point out the times I've failed. The moments when my attitude and words became smothered in grace as apologies and forgiveness paved a way forward. 

The truth is, there are very few undertakings than that of a mother, be it biological or not, that are more noble and right. An admirable calling to devote your whole heart, unadulterated and pure in the care of another. Yes, mother, you are lovely!  The eternal souls in your care desire to celebrate you!

As I ponder on nearly 27 years of motherhood, sifting away the negative and setting my heart on the things above, I've decided to share a few things I've learned on my WAY of MOTHERHOOD. Here are 5 things that I believe have had a great impact on my children and my home as I mother.  I pray that it would encourage you!

***Encourage*** Mothers who encourage their families have a HUGE impact on the heart of their children. Be the mom that uses your every word, as much as is possible, to encourage your children and your husband.  Use practical examples from their real-life decisions, personality, gifts and talents to encourage them in character and the ways of the Lord.  This is not the same as pampering or becoming child-centered.  That is a huge temptation for parenting in our day.  There is no need to overwhelm your child and friends with how great your child is.  This can actually cause great pressure for a child to perform instead of being loved for just who they are. The most effective encouragement comes in the secret. In the quiet. What others don't see and never should.  This is where real character grows. In the secret of your own home, encourage your children verbally and often. Don't allow them to wonder how proud you are of them as their mother!  Let your encouraging words be quick to recall in their mind and ring in their ears. Even better if you can tie scripture to the character that they are displaying.  Encourage your children to follow after God's heart in every way.

***Respect*** Much in the same way, respecting each child as an individual with their own will, way, heart, personality, and talent is a very effective way to mother.  It can be easy to see a child as just that, a child.  Always keep in mind that this little person has an eternal soul and will one day become an adult.  Slowing down and really seeing the little children in your life with their very own valuable insight and way of being speaks loudly to the heart of your child.  There is a way to mother, offering boundaries and Godly authority in the heart of the child while also maintaining unconditional respect for their heart. This takes Godly wisdom and balance but the rewards are long-lasting for the heart of your child.  The younger years are filled with teaching, the child learning to obey and honor you as mother. As the child grows, our role moves toward coaching and offering insight in the proper time and way.  In the right time, with a healthy balance of discipline, encouragement and respect, these littles grow to become our greatest friend.  There are some fantastic days ahead!

***Joy*** There is almost NOTHING more impactful than a happy mother.  One who has embraced the lovely calling of being their mother. Admirable Motherhood.  We've all heard the saying, "If mama ain't happy, no one's happy." And truly, there is an element of truth in this saying.  Choose joy.  Walk on contentment as you cling to your Faithful Savior and be the one to set "JOY" as the tone in your home.  Your children will want to be around you. Your husband find you delightful.  Fight for JOY and when you fail, get some sleep and start again tomorrow.  I know that this is so very hard, especially when we're tired, serving constantly and dealing with very real pressures in this adult life.  Loss, health issues , financial strain, relational challenges, even parenting children can steal our joy.  With God's strength, He can gift you more.  Fight for it. Choose it.  And often, the temperature in your home will become joy-filled!  The JOY of the Lord is our strength!

***Nothing in the way*** Okay, momma.  This one can be tough.  Effective Mothering involves setting about the "busy" FOR your family. For your children.  There's a million ways to be busy and almost all of them are good. Choose the BEST in your family today and set about meeting the needs and hearts in your family above all else.  This isn't about a rule. If you can do this effectively while maintaining your hobby, business, friendships, church or community opportunities, then do so.  If you need to set aside some good things to focus on the best, then do so.  But don't let anything distract you or keep you from mothering the eternal hearts that God has blessed you with!  Sometimes different seasons require different things.  But in every season, a child (or adult child) needs their mom.  Make room in your heart to keep your focus of bringing joy, encouragement, respect and guidance to your children.

***Marriage Done Right*** If you are married, you must war for the heart of your man. Yes, you've heard this term before. I am 90% on my way toward completing my book, 'Warrior Women, Warring for the Heart of Your Husband.'   I believe the greatest thing you can ever gift your child is a love and respect for your husband, so much so that I had to write about it.  Left to our nature, we will drift apart as life gets busy and various challenges and pressure bombard our family.  Fighting for a heart connection with your husband paves the way forward for great relationships with our children.  It's worth every hardship!  Keep warring for his heart!  The whole family will be blessed!

I pray that whether you are a seeking to honor your mother, in the midst of the hustle and bustle with the blessing of children in your life or longing to embrace motherhood someday with a little one of your own, you would treasure the wonderful blessing of motherhood!  Happy Mother's Day!!!