So today, I started a quiet time for my 3 boys and I. Insert smile here. During that time I started a new book by Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood. I finished the one by her called The Ministry of Motherhood sometime last summer. It was so good and full of wisdom. I started reading some others on my Kindle and then decided to start this one. I finished the first chapter today and it was so refreshing. I love Sally's heart and that she shares it with us through her books, videos, and conferences. It spurred some thoughts of my own that I wanted to jot down.
Sally talks about the God given mission of Motherhood and her first experience with being a Mother in the first chapter. She mentioned once that our children shouldn't be the center of our lives. I learned this after my first and second son. I was thrown into Motherhood just a year after marriage. We were married only 4 months before I got pregnant with our first son. I was like every Mother, once Daniel got here, in awe of this little being and in such fright. I had no clue how to be a Mother, really. I had a wonderful Mother,but I had no desire for children before getting pregnant. I really never thought we would have kids. So I was thrown into a world I hadn't desired, yet the desire grew. Once Daniel turned one, I was pregnant again with our second son. I was a stay at home Mom so all my time was spent with my babies unless my husband was home. I rarely left home and family didn't visit that much. We were attending church at the time, though we were believers. So all my time was devoted to them. Aaron was an easy baby and I had chances to go out alone or on a date with my husband. I felt so bad. I felt as if I was missing parts of what my boys were doing. I couldn't help but think of them and talk about them constantly when away (which was not often). By the time Aaron turned 1, we were pregnant with our third son. I was one overwhelmed Mama some days. I had been pondering the thought that it wasn't bad for my children not to be the center of my life. God was to be and I knew that. I was making them subconsciously though. Once Johnathan made his arrival 18 months ago, I finally did not feel bad when I left by myself. I realized it was/is okay to put them in their room to play if I need a few minutes to gather myself. I realized it was/is okay if I tell my husband I just need to go grab a frappe and sit for a little bit. It didn't make me a bad Mother, just a normal one. If I don't refresh myself with time alone, my children will have a tired, miserable, weary, and grumpy Mama. That isn't what they need at all. After Daniel was born, I realized my children and husband were my ministry. So I don't do women conferences or that sort of thing and I don't teach or lead anything at church. My extent of ministering for now, is blogging and Facebook. I'm fine with that and feel at peace with it. We may look like the average Christian family, but our close friends and family know we are nothing other than the opposite. We are very strict and protective of these precious souls God has given us.
Not only will I be grumpy, miserable, and exhausted if I put the children at the center of my life, but my love life would die. That is something I see too much in society today. Husbands and wives divorce a lot of times after all the kids have moved out. The Mother puts all of her energy into the children and lets the relationship with her husband dwindle. It's sad and it's not what I want. I loved my husband first and once my children grow up and go their own ways, my husband will still be there with me. We try to do dates at least once a month. With us living away from family and friends it makes it hard. We don't hire a babysitter If you aren't a designated family member you do not stay with our kids. We try to watch movies at home, talk when the kids are in bed, and pray/read together. Our schedules conflict a lot, but I feel we are doing good at it. We both realize that we have to work at it and keep the love alive. He still makes me weak in the knees. I love that man so much and I know he loves me. He adores me and isn't afraid to show it. We aren't perfect and there are times I could knock him out with a frying pan! BUT if I didn't have him, I couldn't be who I am today. He completes me in the earthly sense. I want to keep it that way, so our boys have a relationship to look at and know what a marriage should look like.
I hope to be able to read at least a chapter a week and reflect on it and write some of my thoughts. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Here is my photo blog I started. Check it out!
Also, Sally and her dear friend, Sarah Mae, have written a new book. Desperate: Hope for the Mom who needs to breathe is the name and it's launching this week. They are having lots of great giveaways!!! I will be buying the book soon and cannot wait to read it. Sarah Mae is a precious woman also and so witty. Go to Sally's blog or Sarah Mae's blog to see more info.