I love myself a new planner! I always have, ever since high school when I first started using one every day. Those blank pages invite me to fill them right up; check marks just beg to be placed next to those endless rows of bulleted and color-coded “to-do’s”, measuring my days by the tangible tasks I have completed. I am absolutely a sucker for a good list, and the sense of accomplishment — and yes, worth, even — that comes from things getting done and being crossed off the list! Because of that, as a stay at home mom of two little ones, I have fallen yet again into the trap of believing that my day was meaningless because nothing “got done”. The joy has been sucked right out of my days because I have allowed myself to feel that re-enacting a princess ball, giving cuddles to sick babies, making up silly games, and reading Bible stories are keeping me from my real work — things that can be seen.
Ephesians 6:12 says “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” In other words, the unseen things are the things that matter the most and deserve our attention!
I’ve often had in my mind this picture of an extraordinary mom, and revisit it often to measure myself against it. Every time, I come up short. But, I’ve come to recognize where I am failing; to be an extraordinary mother, we have to first set aside everything that is ordinary, worldly and holding us back in our lives. We focus less on tasks, to-dos, appearances and expectations, and instead turn our eyes, hearts and minds to the things of God.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.Romans 12:2
We reach for the things of God, through the power of God given to us through the Holy Spirit, and that is how we become extraordinary mothers.
Day by day, I need to close the pages of my planner and re-define my measurement for a productive day. God has called me, in this season of life, to maintain a life-giving and God-honoring home, to disciple my children as they learn to love their Abba Father and walk in His ways, and to love those around me.
Now, that all doesn’t fit into one little line on my planner page, or get “done” in one afternoon! But they are surely the most important ways for me to spend these precious days. So, I think I will embrace God’s gift of “mom-brain” in my life and allow a few more of my forgotten to-dos to stay forgotten, remember that busyness does NOT equal abundance, that productivity does NOT equal joy, and that I need to pray daily for my perspective to be the one that truly matters — an eternal one. That alone is where God’s joy is and I know that is what I have been missing in these days as a mama.
Lord, please open my eyes again to the wonder of motherhood and the privilege it is that You have allowed me to care for Your babies here on earth for a little while. Forgive me for placing them on a list of things to be done, and for a spirit of frustration when they’ve gotten in the way of my idea of productivity! Fill me with Your joy, Father, today and every day, as I serve this family and care for this home through Your power alone. Keep my eyes on you, and my days set aside for your work. Amen!