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Mother’s Day Message: The Beauty in Laying Down our Lives

Please meet our daughter in law, Caleigh Farrel, a budding writer, seasoned Christian leader, and dedicated mom of three our our grandchildren. . We asked her to share some Mother’s Day encouragement. May her heart encourage yours:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”  1 John 3:16

If I am being vulnerable, the pity party I’ve thrown has lasted way too long and is wasting valuable time. The phrase, “I don’t have capacity for that,” has left my lips weekly since my role switched to stay home chaos coordinator. I was listening to a podcast where the guest said, “What does 50-year-old me think of what 33-year-old me is doing now?” How are we stewarding the time we are living right now? I had this vision/dream in my head that one day I would work for a big company at a higher level. I knew I wanted a family but finding a job I loved was the dream. I joked with a childhood friend because I always dreamed of a husband and career while she always dreamed about being a mom. What I couldn’t see, was God was going to get a hold of my heart–changing it from my worldly desire to climb this corporate ladder to laying my desires down to raise my children, seeking after his kingdom.

You see, since a young age I was an achiever. I worked for good grades in school and successfully competed on a highly competitive high school dance team while maintaining a job. Upon graduation, I continued all three (school, dance, and work), in college. I had drive, passion, commitment, achievements, friends, coworkers, and family. And in writing this I realize the missing piece would eventually be what provides my peace, but not without its struggles. God was not integrated into that life. When I look at my life now, I have given up the achievement lifestyle for the messy call of motherhood. Lonely at times, no payment at the end of the week, no achievements to check off at the end of a long month. But my step toward obedience gives me a front row seat to daily watch my babies blossom!

Motherhood can be mentally and physically exhausting. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way. I was pouring from an empty cup– I was not in the word or taking care of myself. As mothers, we often put our needs at the bottom of the checklist. It’s no wonder we can feel less than. In any given week, we would accomplish what felt like the world and now we are lucky to even wash our hair. We can feel inadequate and not like ourselves. So, as we step into our calling in Motherhood, we need to learn that our capacity limits have changed. Where we once were able to juggle school, work, athletics, multiple friends and family members, volunteer projects, pets, and a social life, we now balance our home- our life with our spouse and children. In this call, we cannot be pouring from an empty cup. We have to shift this mindset that taking care of ourselves is selfish. It is not. So, I encourage you moms to meditate on his word daily. Listen to worship music throughout your homes and cars. Plan playdates with other moms. Eat, do not forget to eat! Be active, create a routine of walking or working out. Find moments to step away. We cannot possibly be all things to everyone every single day. It is just not possible.

“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30

And when we are weary, that is where Jesus is so gracious to us. He fills us up, reminds us of what and who we are created to be. When our capacity feels low, like we cannot handle much more, I am reminded that a life of obedience is a full life. Our call must be Spirit led.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”  Romans 8:5-6

And he gave us the Holy Spirit to intercede when our weakness is getting the best of us.:

“In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.” Romans 8:26

Then we can move forward in obedience to the Spirit with confidence because Paul tells us in verse 28

 “all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

This season of motherhood has slowed the pace of my life down and while I feel like my capacity significantly shrunk, the things that fill my time are stretching and challenging myself more than ever before. In my care is molding the future and minds of three little ones. I have the privilege to raise His sons and daughter as my own earthside. Where this life as a stay-at-home mom felt like a burden, I now know is His call for me.  This calling cannot be done in my own strength. His power is made perfect in our weakness. Claim His promises rather than sulking in our exhaustion. He did not create us to do this alone. Meditate on His word, let it be the core of you that overflows to your children.

Motherhood is beautiful and messy. Let it be both. So, mothers, consider this a challenge to lean into your calling of motherhood. Whether you work full time, part-time, or are a homemaker, fight to be present!  For the mother is the heartbeat of the home. We need to get our hearts right with God. Get outside to explore the beauty of our creation through your child’s eyes. Watch their child-like faith and replicate it. Smile and laugh at the simplicity. Rid yourself of distractions.

The world says I should be crushing goals, attain “girl boss” status but my Father has called me to slow down, simplify, and lead his children to love and follow Him.

Be encouraged, sisters! We have a God who loves us unconditionally, gives grace and mercy when we do not deserve. Our mercies are new every single morning. Wake up in that confidence. He chose YOU to raise these babies. Smile. Have fun. And do it in a way to bring honor and glorify our Father.

“Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength… Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5,7

For more resources on parenting, pick up  10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make written by Pam and Bill Farrel 

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