I've been struggling with "dying to myself" as a wife, mother and most importantly a child of God. Time and time again I've heard, "Don't forget to take time for yourself" and that being a Mom makes us as women put our own needs on the back burner. I hear conflicting messages of "me time" and "martyrdom", both in the secular and Christian worlds. What is the way to go, where should we as mother's be pointing our compasses?
We as mothers are called to give of ourselves, completely and wholly to our families. I feel that God wants me as a mother to give all of myself, to not hold any of it back. Now do I do it? Nope, not even close. Much of it I reserve, for various reasons. Mostly because I struggle with, “But what about me?” Truth be told, it’s not about me. God wants my life to be all about everyone else but me.
I see parents who make the mistake of putting their children’s needs on a pedestal, every whim and want attended to. All decisions made with the child in mind. I don’t think that is the way to go. Kids absolutely need to understand that they are part of a family, not the only one in it.
I see parents who make the mistake of putting their children’s needs on the back burner. Parents who take the “me time” thing to the extreme, teaching their children that personal wants and desires come before others. Parents who have a hard time closing the chapter of the “life before kids”. Again, kids need to be “along for the ride” but not at the expense of selfish wants.
What I want for my family, what I truly struggle with is allowing GOD to be first. Not the kids, not hubby, not me, not others. Him. Allowing Him to speak to my heart, to guide my intentions and itinerary. Letting my children see what an intimate, dependant and co-existence looks like with God as center. I don’t do this, not even close. I let God look through the window, sometimes invite Him in for awhile, but to allow Him to be the leader of our family? Nope.
Raising small children brings amazing amounts of work. Tiredness, frustration, exhaustion, questions and more. I have three kids six and under, I get that. However I know that God wants me to give of myself completely each and everyday, to not hold any of it back, even for myself. He wants me to fill my well so I can pour it out completely each and every day. He wants me to fill my well with Him, not just “me time”.
I’m reminded of when Moses was leading the Israelites through the desert and God provided them Manna. He told them to take just what they needed each day, not more not less. To eat all they took, but just one day’s worth at a time. Then on the sixth day, He told them to take enough for two days so that they would have food for the Sabbath. Those that didn’t take it didn’t eat. Those that took more than two days worth saw their extra provisions rot. Those that followed His wishes and took enough for just two days and ate it all had no issues. God wants us to do it all, EVERY day. He wants us to depend on Him to give it all to us, each and every day. I try and store it up, knowing full well if I don’t use it all up it’s going to rot. It’s happened time and time again.
It’s so hard to wrap my mind around the concept of giving of myself completely, not worrying about the “me” of it. But I’ve seen so many times how God has filled the broken, desperate and lost with more than they thought they could hold. If that is possible, then I know that if I put God as the priority in all of my roles then I don’t need to even worry about whether or not I’ll have the reserves to do it or what the future will look like once the "Mothering" season has passed.