Please take the time to read this post from Katrina Workman, a beautiful mother and wonderful encourager.– Blessings, Rita
There never seems to be enough time in the day for mothers. Even if the day was twice as long, we would still find a way to fill all the hours, primarily for the ones we love. As a new mom (my son is 7 months old), I am still adjusting to this change in my schedule and my outlook. It is so rewarding but so draining at the same time.
There have been days when I can’t remember if I showered. I have brewed coffee multiple times without putting the K-Cup into the machine and ended up with a mug of hot water. I have let the dogs outside and almost forgot to let them back in until getting a call from our neighbors (my in-laws, thankfully) that they had run down to their house.
Things got more complicated when I went back to work when my son was 8 weeks old. I had to remember a whole slew of other things – Did I wash the bottles, chill the ice packs for day care, have any clean clothes to wear the next day (for him and for me)? After a few frazzled weeks, I finally figured out the solution was “to-do” lists. Lots and lots of “to-do” lists. Very specific ones with checkboxes next to “Let the dogs outside” and “Let the dogs back in and feed them”. A checkbox for “Take a shower”. One for “Put your purse in the car”. I added a nighttime checklist – “Set up the coffee maker”, “Pack your lunch bag”, “Put your laptop case by the front door”, and so on.
Even as I started to feel like I was getting myself on track, it was still much easier on a Sunday morning to soak up the rare pleasure of staying in bed instead of rushing out the door like every weekday. The treat of being able to feed the baby at 5 a.m. and then fall back asleep again until 8 and to take my time making coffee and cooking a hot breakfast made me feel like a human being again. And I treasured those quiet moments at home (especially the ability to shelter the baby from well-meaning folks during prime cold & flu season), but by losing the ritual of the weekly church service, I also lost a part of myself, and could feel myself, little by little, losing that closeness to God that I had once treasured. Now, some days, I am lucky if I can remember to say my prayers at night before passing out in a heap of exhaustion.
I know He is still there, waiting for me – I am the one who left, and made the relationship a bit one-sided. And when I realized this, it occurred to me: Why isn’t God making it onto my “to do” checklist? If there is room for “Wash your face”, then certainly there should be room for quiet time to pray & meditate and fellowship with my Christian friends.
Since mothers are often pulled in so many directions, the temptation is to prioritize the needs of our families over ourselves, and to let ourselves get drained in the process. An important part of being mothers, though, is to take care of ourselves, and one of the most vital aspects of that is nurturing our spiritual relationship with God.
Think of it like a houseplant: As it is establishing its roots, you tend to it and nourish it. You talk to it, coax it into flourishing. And it rewards you with bright green leaves and colorful flowers. When your life gets busy, maybe you don’t have as much time to take care of it, and you miss a few waterings. You probably won’t notice at first. Maybe the leaves aren’t quite as perky, or a few of the petals fall off the flowers, but it bounces back as soon as you remember to water it again. But what about the next time, or the time after that? As you neglect it more and more, and go longer and longer between feedings, you might not see any obvious, outward signs, but underneath the soil, the plant is fading away. The roots are seeking that nourishment and coming up empty. And then one day, you wake up and the formerly-luscious leaves are brown and cracked. The flower pods have completely fallen off. And no amount of re-watering is going to save it.
Unlike the house plant, which isn’t salvageable past a certain point, there is no such thing as “too late” with God. Once you decide to regain that closeness to Him – or even to seek it for the first time – He will be there like you never left. After all, He has been there the whole time waiting for you.
In the busy life of motherhood, we can make “to do” lists all day long, but if we don’t prioritize our personal relationship with Jesus, we might not see the impact right away, but the deterioration is happening below the surface nonetheless. And we might fulfill those needs short-term by squeezing God in here and there, but that’s not what He wants from us. He wants a committed, long-term, substantive relationship. At the top of every mother’s to-do list should be “Water my spiritual roots”. Making time for that benefits your family far more than doing the dishes or making a meal or earning an income, yet it often ends up as an afterthought at the bottom of the heap of things we promise to do tomorrow instead.
When we include nurturing our relationship with God in our daily routine, we are building that moral bedrock for our household and setting a good example for our children. We are being that wife of noble character that our husbands can rely on as their spiritual partner. Most importantly, though, we are filling that gap within ourselves that only a relationship with our Maker can satisfy. He created us to have that special relationship with Him, and we are more complete, more capable, and more energetic when we have that part of our soul fulfilled.
“So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God.” (Isaiah 30:18, NLT)
After reuniting with and marrying my former teenage sweetheart, Brad, I became a stepmother to my wonderful daughter, Alexis. My first pregnancy resulted in a stillbirth in 2012, and after a period of grieving, our family was blessed by the birth of our healthy son, Dale, in 2014. I am also a working professional and am juggling career and marriage and motherhood to an infant & a pre-teen as best I can and learning a lot along the way! I have a passion for educating and encouraging other women, especially new mothers and anyone who has been touched by the pain of pregnancy loss.