"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."-Rajneesh
Mother's Day is a time of year that always brings me to a point of reflection. I can remember 9 years ago celebrating my first Mother's Day just like it was yesterday. I was a new mom with our firstborn baby only a couple weeks old. Mother's Day changed from that moment forward for me. I believe each year the meaning of being a mother intensifies in ways. It's hard for me to put into words how much I love my three children and how much motherhood has changed me. God has taught me so much about myself, others, and His love and grace through motherhood.
This week one morning I was reading a daily devotion by Charles Stanley called The Service of Motherhood. It was so encouraging to me as a mother and I wanted to share it with other mothers.
Children are a gift from the Lord (Ps. 127:3-5). As a result, motherhood is a great honor and privilege. Yet it is also synonymous with servanthood. Every day women are called upon to selflessly meet the needs of their families. Whether they are nursing a baby late at night, spending their time and money on less-than-grateful teenagers, or preparing meals, moms continuously put others before themselves.
Sometimes this constant serving can be exhausting and even discouraging— particularly for a first-time mother. But you can take real encouragement from Jesus. One of the best examples of gracious servanthood is found in John 13:3-16. By kneeling to wash His disciples’ feet, the Lord showed that the key to genuine leadership is humility. And it is humility that leads to eternal reward.
Unless you are willing to stoop down and get your hands dirty, you will miss the real riches of motherhood. By dying to your own desires and pouring your life into someone else’s, you become like Christ and create a godly legacy that will carry on for generations to come. What greater blessing could one hope for? Of course, the motivation for serving others should not be to reap benefits, but when we follow God’s plan for our life, that’s what happens.
In giving us children, God places us in a position of both leadership and service. He calls us to give up our lives for the sake of others—to abandon our own desires and put our child’s interests first. Yet according to His perfect design, it is through this selflessness that we can become truly fulfilled."
-from The Service of Motherhood, Charles Stanley, www.intouch.org.
As I read this message I couldn't help but think of my own mother and all she sacrificed for my brother and sisters and myself. It was easy to take it for granted growing up and only knowing the life we had, but now as a mother myself; her service really stands out to me. I am so grateful for being brought up in home where I saw this example modeled daily.
"Unless you are willing to stoop down and get your hands dirty, you will miss the real riches of motherhood. By dying to your own desires and pouring your life into someone else’s, you become like Christ and create a godly legacy that will carry on for generations to come."
Wow, when you really look at the purpose and responsibility God has given us as mothers it surely puts the day to day life of caring for our children's needs into perspective. It's easy for us all to get frustrated in the moments of our daily tasks....meals to fix, diapers to change, clothes to clean, activities to attend....but when we look at these tasks in a Godly way, we see there is so much meaning to what we are doing as mothers.
I will admit that I had no idea what it meant to "die to my own desires and pour my life into someone else"..until the day my daughter was born. I was so used to being on the receiving end of this. As a mother to my own children now, I feel challenged to be the woman and mother God has called me to be. I also feel encouraged because He blessed me with three children to serve and lead and ultimately I know He believes in my abilities.
"In giving us children, God places us in a position of both leadership and service. He calls us to give up our lives for the sake of others—to abandon our own desires and put our child’s interests first. Yet according to His perfect design, it is through this selflessness that we can become truly fulfilled."
Finally, I feel so grateful to know this "fulfillment." Yes, His perfect design, is just that--perfect. The more I mother my children, putting them first, the more I see how complete my life truly is.
I hope this message can be one of encouragement to all mothers today. We have been given a special role and gift by God and for that we all need to be thankful. We are blessed.
Happy Mother's Day. Much love to you and your families.
I want to thank Rashmi Pappu, an amazing photographer with a heart of gold, for posting the first quote about motherhood by Rajneesh. It is beautiful and resonated with me immediately.