Motherhood can seem like a rollercoaster. One minute you find yourself at the top of the hill enjoying the fruits of your hard work and the next you are careening down the hill of spilled milk and sibling rivalry. Each day can hold sweet memories and head-banging frustrations.
I've noticed a pattern of negativity among modern moms. We vent about those annoyances and even our humorous stories are tainted with sarcasm. Mothering is hard. Life is hard. Somehow we feel better by complaining about it.
I think that's where we have gone wrong. In an attempt to be authentic and real, we have lost our joy. We have adopted an attitude of martyrdom about the requirements of this God-given job.
Several years ago, I watched a skit of Bob Newhart as a psychologist. A patient comes into his office for counsel, and after some hilarious introductory comments, she begins to describe her paralyzing fear of being buried alive in a box. He listens to her struggles for only a few minutes before he gives her his advice summed up in two words. "Stop it!" Throughout the rest of the skit, he answers every argument with that same phrase! "Just stop it!" No matter the issue, she needed to just quit it!
It would be the same situation, if I wrote a blog post like this simply challenging you to stop focusing on the negatives of motherhood or life in general. Within ourselves, we have to power to just "stop it". The sin and failures of our heart cannot be changed with more law. It is only the power of the gospel that transforms!
Let's look at John 16:33....
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Jesus himself acknowledges that the Fall brought brokenness and trouble into every corner of our world. He doesn't encourage us to muster up some surfacey happiness that will never last. Instead He points eyes to His work. He has overcome. My joy in motherhood and in life is the joy of the Lord not my circumstances.
Because He is sovereign over even the most minute details of my day, I can be joyful.
Because He has given me grace that covers my moment by moment failures, I can can be joyful.
Because He loved me before I even acknowledged Him, I can be joyful.
I'm not hoping that Christian moms of the 21st century become happier or bubblier about the circumstances they find themselves in each day. I'm praying that moms become so enamored with the love of Jesus that the joy of the Lord oozes from their every word and deed.
The joy of the Lord is my strength.....Nehemiah 8:10