Tuesday, June 11, 2013

enjoying not enduring

after my post on being an american mother, i was chatting with my friend and (forced) mentor, leigh thune the other day about a follow up post on mothering. leigh has 4 children ages 14 to 7 so she knows a couple uh' things.

i had been reading Galatians about circumcision (i know, not really a lady topic), and how people were fussing over this rule:
you belong in the club when you exhibit this certain physical sign. when you're circumcised that is.

and it reminded me of motherhood.
what do wieners and motherhood have in common? a lot actually now that i think about it, but let's pretend like i didn't just say that and stick with me here.

what i'm trying to actually say is that we put outward signs on ourselves signifying that we belong to the "good mother club". or more often for me...the "approve of me club". those signs range from breastfeeding to pinterest parenting to meals to busyness to well behaved children and so on and so on. (there's one million more)

so if doing a bunch of activities and being busy all the time and hovering over children aren't the signs, then what are they? my american brain is a little messed up in this way. i've forgotten the gospel application here by living entrenched in convenience and wealth of resources for so long. as a black and white person, i tend to say, jami, your goal is to glorify christ. just glorify christ.  when i say that, i mostly think about this in a sacrificial way. like, it's just going to be hard so buckle down, and make it about Christ. but leigh pointed out something beneficial and wise as we talked through this. she said:

I think a better way to put it is that our chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever BY enjoying Him forever. Are you enjoying Him as you mother? Or, are you miserable? Are you at an end of yourself? Do you live with a hidden list of expectations of what a good Mom does? When you fail your kids or your husband, what is your reaction?
Do you see that the best thing you can do is cling to Christ? He is your righteousness. Cling to God, He is your Father and YOU are a beloved daughter. Live in that identity first and you will teach your children what is most important of all. They are children and, more than anything, you want them to have willing hearts ready to enjoy, love and obey God. Is this part of your life? 
So, walk by the Spirit. He will guide you, comfort you, bring you peace and wisdom to be a Mommy "as unto the Lord."
Colossians 3
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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i just thought that was really simple and wise. we do not carry the physical markings of a "good mother" through activities and busyness and best schools or material possessions,  but with the markings that happen in your heart through the blood of Jesus making you righteous. and in that, the outward fruit will look like enjoyment in Christ and enjoyment in motherhood.

i hope that encourages you as it has encouraged me these past days. i'm continually amazed at how much hope the gospel brings to every situation and how it cuts through culture, habits and shame so quickly. it's very freeing to live as a mother made to enjoy her children and not to simply "endure" these often exhausting and sometimes difficult years with our growing families.

Leigh Thune lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She's Bob's wife and the mother of 4 wonderful kids. They, by the grace of God, are her favorite people in the whole world.

10 comments:

  1. great follow-up post! I've been trying to work on this whole being joyful in the Lord thing. My mommy issue that I deal with is being able to be home more with my kiddo. Right now I have to work and I have to have to be happy when I'm home with her or else I'm wasting the few hours a day I have with her...etc. etc. But God's been working on me.
    Awhile back I read Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. And there's a part near the beginning where she talks about how from the outside her family's life looked pretty good, but she was gritting her teeth, buckling down to take what life threw at her. She was describing exactly where I was at. Since then I've been working on being thankful for what the Lord has given me and what he's doing in my life; clinging to him so that I can be a person who is full of joy and thanksgiving even when all the components of my "equation of happiness" aren't present.
    Thanks for sharing this today. I've been encouraged!

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  2. super encouraged.
    grateful for these words, timely and true.

    xoxo

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  3. I am reading Shepherding a Child's Heart right now and this was another reminder of that phrase...Glorify God and enjoy Him Forever. Yes...that is a true goal. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. I love this post. and it's so true of our culture isn't it? I really struggled through circumcision. I always said I WILL circumcise my son, no matter what! Then when we found out we were having a boy, it really became a topic for us...and we decided in the end not to do it. My ONLY reason for wanting to do it was so that he wasn't "different"....

    ..even now I am thankful we prayed about it and stood our ground. My son is not a different person because he isn't circumcised. He's the same fun loving baby! We may have to have that conversation one day, but I'm thankful we can explain it to him.

    I think living in another country has really challenged many things I believed about being a mom when I lived in the states. It's not that women are doing it "wrong" but I think we as a culture, do things just because everyone else does...It's really made me stop and question why I want to do/be a certain way...and I'm truly finding my own way as a mom!

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  5. I literally laughed out LOUD at your wieners and motherhood comment!!! Great post and thank you for continuing the conversation.

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  6. Thank you for this...what a great reminder!

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  7. Bob Thune sr.was my pastor at Southwest Community in Inian Wells, CA. They are an amazing and wonderful family.

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  8. YES. I've been thinking about this a bunch lately...this how do we glorify God in our everyday. What does that look like? I am starting to realize that God really really wants us to enjoy Him and what better way to glorify in front of our children and neighbors and friends but to show them how much we enJOY God and His presence in our lives. That really speaks. Thank you for sharing this.

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  9. I'm not a mommy yet but I hope to be some day and I treasured this post. I saved it and sent it to all my close mommy friends to encourage them. Thank you for sharing. PS - Not to be stalkerish, as I am usually a silent fan of the blog (I'm working on that) but I just found out we have a mutual friend (or maybe moreso with your hubby - his name is Lee Wiglesworth!)

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