Monday, September 1, 2008

online meanderings: the high calling of motherhood

Sometimes the world of motherhood seems so small.

It doesn't help when Christians fail to see motherhood as ministry, or when society devalues motherhood and homemaking, so that stay-at-home mums are told "you're so lucky" as if they were footloose and fancy free.

Carolyn Mahaney reminds us that homemaking is not a holding pattern: "we are not simply circling the skies of life, waiting for God from His control tower to call us to real kingdom work. No, we’re doing that important work today".

(It's not only mothers who feel like they're waiting for real life to come along: the same attitude can affect childless and single women.)

Here's an encouraging quote from G.K.Chesterton, which reminds mothers of the wonder and enormity of our task:

Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. ... [Women are]generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren't....How can it be a large career to tell other people's children [arithmetic], and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? ... No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.
Piper also gives a global vision for motherhood in How can eternity influence a mother's daily tasks?, a post I reflected on in motherhood: a big vision. But be warned: raise your children like this, and they might declare their desire to go to Kenya when they grow up!

But how do we go about raising our children? Here's some fantastic posts on the Bible's parenting essentials: teaching children about God throughout the day; God's call to discipline your children; and encouraging and giving a good example to your children. (I'll be giving my own take on the Biblical essentials of parenting soon over at Sola Panel.)

Perhaps you'd like to read some books, or listen to some talks, to inspire you as a homemaker and mother. Here's a list of books on homemaking, and some talks and books on marriage, family life, motherhood, and more.

One helpful book for mothers and homemakers is Carolyn Mahaney's Feminine Appeal. You might want to read along as they discuss it at Equip Books this month. Nicole's thoughtful and challenging first post on this book came out today.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one sometimes bewildered by parenting. This mother of 9 speaks about how she knows less about parenting than 8 years ago. And a mother with many children writes about what not to say to a mother of 12.

While you're at home with your kids, here's 10 ways to enjoy your little ones. Here's an 11th: I can't think of an activity much more fun than making a lava lamp together!

Here's a lovely post about Honoria's mum, which reminds us of the high esteem a faithful mother can have in a daughter's heart.

And here, from her heart to my heart to your heart, is a cry for perfection from a mother: if only I were perfect.

image is from stock.xchng


Lucy said...

Thanks so much... I'm in a house full of sick people today and reading your post helped me refocus on why I need to bother with this whole motherhood business:) Loved the "motherhood is not a holding pattern" bit... so true, and yet so easy to forget!

Jean said...

So glad it helped, Lucy. :)