Friday, August 12, 2011


In my last post, I said that I realized I have placed a higher value on serving and ministering to others than on serving and ministering to the little children God has put directly in my care.  But why have I done this?  Why have I so strongly resisted the idea that mothering is an actual long-term calling for me?  Here are four reasons that I’ve identified.

A Feeling of Inadequacy

For one thing, I feel terribly inadequate.  I’ve assumed that when God calls me to do something, everything will just fall into place.  The right doors will open, the wrong ones will close, and it will all come very naturally to me.  If mothering is truly what I am called to do for the foreseeable future, then I have to question these assumptions a little.  Certainly the right doors have opened and the wrong ones have closed– but most of the time, I don’t feel like mothering comes naturally to me.  I often lack patience and self-discipline, and I am definitely not the picture of the “stereotypical” stay-at-home mom.  But suppose God is using my role as a parent to help me grow into the person he wants me to be and to accept myself for the unique person he has created me to be?

It Doesn’t “Complete” Me

I’ve also assumed that when I am called to do something, then even on the challenging days, the joy and fulfillment I get from it will keep me going.  But I’ve found that I don’t feel as enamored with motherhood as I’ve assumed I “should” if it’s indeed my calling.  To be completely honest, generally mothering does not bring me the personal fulfillment or sense of completion that I thought it would.  That isn’t why I’m doing it.  I do it out of a self-sacrificing kind of love, a love that says, “This is incredibly difficult and exhausting sometimes, but it is worth it.“  And I ask myself, suppose self-sacrificing love is a better reason for me to do something than simply getting joy and fulfillment from it?

Identity Crisis

I have worried that accepting a role of full-time mothering will result in me becoming consumed by it.  And I do not want my identity to be wrapped up in parenting, partially because I fear becoming uninteresting and irrelevant to many of the people in my life.  But the truth is, I shouldn’t find my identity in parenting, a career, or any other role– my identity should be rooted in God alone.  I am reminded of Paul.  He did some pretty amazing things and reached so many people– yet he did not find his identity or sense of joy in anything but God.  So often I find myself looking to everything but God for a sense of identity, purpose, joy, and fulfillment.  The truth is, I know myself well enough to know that even if I achieved my wildest dreams, they still wouldn’t give me what I’ve been looking for; only God can do that.  If he is truly my source for those things, then I will not end up becoming defined by one particular aspect of my life.

It Isn’t Glamorous 

This article also helped me understand myself a little better.  I do tend to think that the more “normal” the task I’ve been given, the less “spiritual” it must be. And so I elevate other things that sound more radical or glamorous above the importance of what I have been called to do day in and day out– because let’s face it, sometimes the “mundane and ordinary” don’t feel “holy and beautiful.” But that doesn’t mean they aren’t.

Have you ever resisted something that you feel called to do?  Why?

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