I'll admit that when I have a question about motherhood and homemaking, the first place I turn is to Pinterest. That's great for inspiration, but when you really need to soak up wisdom, nothing beats a great book. These are my top recommendations for moms who want depth, meaning, great stories, and great advice.
I believe that motherhood is a ministry as well. Don’t I? I believe that God called me out of teaching to be fully present to my husband and children, to attend to their needs and joys with the fullness of God’s tenderness. So why am I still asking myself if this is enough?
“In order for something greater to grow, something lesser has to die.” This is the first rule of the spiritual life, according to a dear friend and trusted advisor. A man who knows and loves Jesus like I one day hope to. This principle has certainly held true in motherhood.
The checklist is so tempting not because it is bad to accomplish the things the Lord has entrusted to us; that is its very allure. Even the most good and beautiful and holy work becomes idolatrous when it eclipses what is greater. My checklist is useful. And really, that is all. It is a reminder of what I'd like to do, not an indicator of how well I am doing.
The more I encounter the liminal space of waiting, the more I am able to accept that waiting has a purpose. God works in the waiting. Looking back, I can recognize God’s handiwork in many of the waiting periods of my life. At times, I’ve waited with the patient trust I had as I anticipated receiving the Eucharist (it helps when God gives you an end date). Others, such as the final trimester of my last pregnancy, have felt supernaturally long. Even in retrospect, I don’t always see God’s purpose in the waiting. But sometimes, God offers me glimpses of what he is doing. Just enough, I suppose, to encourage me to have faith for the next long wait.
God was offering me a glimpse of what he feels for us when we turn away from him in moments of fear, of shame, of self-loathing. The isolation of sin is self imposed. If only we would turn to God, we would see the face of love. Like the father in the story of the prodigal son, he waits and watches for us to come to home. Our capacity to receive his mercy is contingent only on our own willingness to turn and embrace it.