As a mama, it can feel like your babies are your entire reason for breathing, your reason for being, your reason for heart's beating.
The earth-shaking news that they aren't and can't be is hard to grasp sometimes. When your heart rejoices and aches so profoundly with the birth, growth, failures, and joys of these lovely creatures brought to you to nurture, the heart can get tangled and forgetful of the great Why behind it all.
Why? Why have these Gifts been given to us? Why do we keep getting up, making the hard choices to sacrifice, discipline, sorrow with and sorrow over? Why do we focus nearly every waking hour, consciously or at least unconsciously, thinking about and addressing their needs?
Is it their happiness we must secure? Is it their health? Is it their goodness? Their intelligence, their musicality, their athletic promise? Their assurance of a secure job and future?
It can't be. It can't be any of those things. While none of those things are bad and all are, indeed, good, they simply aren't the answer to Why. Because none of those things last, not one item on that list is sure or solid or unshakable.
The answer to Why is:
Jesus. All hail King Jesus. ALL! yes, our children especially!- to believe He is who He says He is and to trust that He has and will do all He has promised. Jesus is the reason for moms. And he's the reason for babies, and for teachers, bankers, pastors, bus drivers, dentists, senators, and the man on the corner holding a cardboard sign. He is the only answer for us all.
The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord
She is his new creation by water and the word
From Heavn' he came and sought her to be His holy bride
And with his blood He bought her and for her life He died.
For some of us it can creep in quiet and slow, this forgetting Who we seek and to Whom we belong. We forget to fight the good fight for our children's sakes, to be steady in our discipline not because we are right and they are wrong, they are weak and we are strong, but because we are called to be faithfully caring for the deep and eternal things of their heart by addressing the daily needs. It can be so tiring, I hear you, weary mother, and I am you. That blow up tantrum (theirs? or yours?) in the chaos of getting out that door to an appointment - or church. That sigh of frustration over the eighth potty accident of the day. That worry that maybe you aren't responding to the bickering or the backtalk or the mealtime fussing effectively. That exasperated cry of "Get back into bed!!" for the hundredth time this week. Wondering how to keep directing the eyes of the children off of themselves, onto Jesus and onto the hurting neighbors around us while finding a way to keep the joy of innocence as long as is fitting. Am I doing this right?
Cast your cares on Jesus, for He cares for you. Ask Him for wisdom and He promises to give generously to all without finding fault (James 1). All this work before you is Kingdom building, it is gospel living, it is disciple making. His light shines bright in the darkness, in your heart, from your being to your children and all around you and it will soon shine from them too. Be strong and courageous, dear mothers, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Mid toil and tribulation and tumult of her war
She waits the consummation of peace forevermore
Til with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blessed
And the great Church victorious shall be the church at rest.
(From The Church's One Foundation)