|One day, twelve years ago, after a few hours of labor, someone handed me a baby, and sent me on my merry way, home from the Family Birthing Center. I remember, in one of my first days as a mother, standing in the bedroom, looking in the mirror at myself holding this precious little bundle. This child belonged to me. That thought scared the daylights out of me. What do I know about raising babies? At that point in my life, there were many things I excelled at, and the practical stuff like raising children and keeping house were not on that list.
Growing as a wife and mother is not always as easy as people make it out to be. When I was in school, I was an honor student. I think that really means, “Book smart but common sense stupid.” Though I passed the calculus placement test for college and could to the higher math required for a college astronomy class, I did not know how to balance a checkbook. No one ever told me how. I was a chess-playing champ, but I couldn’t keep my room clean enough in college to keep a roommate longer than a month. In my first year of college I discovered credit cards. No one ever told me how to budget money, how to use credit wisely, how to maintain a checking account, or any of those other important life things. You would think someone who knew how to do calculus and who spoke three languages could handle something as simple as a budget, right?
After college I could not find a job in my field, so I went back to Austria for a sabbatical of sorts, working as an Au Pair. I am a smart woman. I have a college degree, and passed the Mensa Exam. You would think that with an IQ of 140, I could handle being a mother’s helper, right?
Well, they say it is the simple things in life that are the hardest for some of us. This has been the case in my life. Talking to other moms new to the “simple life”, I am realizing that I am not the only modern woman out there that finds it not so simple. In school, we are trained for college, and for future careers. Few of us received practical training for running a household and raising children. Home Economics, in our school, involved making the worst-tasting pizza I ever ate in my life, and goofing off for an hour.
Motherhood is a journey, and we can have joy in that journey.
The Bible says that God “…maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.” (Psalm 113:9). God usually gives us children at a time in our lives when we still don’t know nearly enough about raising them. Then, after giving us children, He teaches us one step at a time. He includes training in running a household, budgeting money, living frugally, loving our spouses unconditionally, slowing down, respecting our husbands, and any other area needing work. Our families are like being in God’s school. We can either listen to our Teacher and learn something, or we can goof off, do what we want to do, and flunk.
As our children grow, God teaches us through them. My own children have been an amazing source of encouragement and inspiration to me, especially as they have grown. We have a close bond that many parents don’t have with their children. I enjoy them, and they enjoy me. The other night as I worked some more on this website, I had my oldest daughter sitting on the edge of the bed reading poetry out loud to me. The most fun part of being a mom is getting to get back into things I laid down in the busyness of adulthood. Things like taking time to read poetry, make snow men and snow angels, going star gazing, and smelling the flowers along the way.
Joy in the journey? It’s ours for the taking. All that is required of us is to not rush forward or lag behind the leading of the Lord in our lives. As we rest in the knowledge that God is a good God, and He is the one in control, the sweet peace that passes all understanding will reside in our hearts and minds. We truly can have that “joy unspeakable and full of the glory” (1 Peter 1:8).