Motherhood, Uncategorized

We Are Better Together!

C1EF3769-5536-4B6C-86A2-8589CCD4E325.png

Hi Mom-Sense followers!  I pray that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for.  My family enjoyed a day of serving the community, followed by a family celebration on Friday.  We topped it off with a camping trip to the desert which seems to be becoming a tradition as some of my children get into adulthood.

As I sit here around the fire with my babies gathered around me, my heart is thankful for family.  I am so grateful for the joy and privilege of being their mama!  There are so many joys to motherhood, and there are also times of fear, pain, and uncertainty.  That’s why I feel that Mom-Sense is so important.  We can all use a little encouragement at times, right?  We all have funny moments, scary moments, tense moments, joy-filled moments, and moments of uncertainty that we can share, right?

My hope has been to create a place where we can share, encourage, acknowledge, and pray for one another.  That is done on the blog and also in our Facebook group. If you haven’t joined our Facebook group or if you haven’t subscribed to my blog, I invite you to do so today.  The Facebook group is Mom-Sense and the blog is https://momsense.blog/.  I welcome your questions, your stories, your moments of triumph, and your requests for prayer.  Let’s join forces as mamas and keep each other encouraged and uplifted on what is the greatest of all journeys!

Many blessings to you all!

Betty Predmore

 

Motherhood

When “Motherhood is a Woman’s Highest Calling” Backfires

By:  Rebekah Hargravesrebekah hargraves

When I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mommy (well, and a “cooker”, as I apparently said one time!). I always dreamed of having little ones of my own, wanted to be a stay-at-home mom just as my own mom was, babysat all throughout my teen years, and even was a nanny up until the day before I went into labor with my first baby. I guess you could say I’ve always been passionate about motherhood. Now as a mama to my own two little ones ages 2 1/2 and 10 months and the author of a book on motherhood, I am still passionate about this calling of mom, but in a slightly different way.

What may come as a surprise to some is that I began Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them) with a chapter entitled “Lie #1: Motherhood is a Woman’s Highest Calling”. Considering my background, that doesn’t quite sound like something I would write, does it? Though I am just as passionate as I have ever been about  the beauty and importance of motherhood and the truth that it is a high and holy calling, I nevertheless no longer hold to the idea that motherhood is a woman’s *highest* calling. In fact, I believe there are actually some adverse ramifications which stem from this idea.

The passion of my heart is to draw women back to the Word of God, to help them see just how very relevant and applicable it truly is to each and every struggle, question, or lie they could ever face in life. We need to be looking solely to the Word of God for the basis of our every belief, the forming of every aspect of our worldview, and the truth we need for our daily lives. This is certainly true in the case of the idea that “motherhood is a woman’s highest calling”. What began with very good intentions (i.e. an effort to counter the culture’s lies that about mothering not being a worthwhile endeavor and motherhood being unimportant and not something to be pursued) has inadvertently produced some unfortunate results in the process.

At this point you may be wondering, “What’s the big deal?” In a culture which disdains children and motherhood, what’s so wrong with proclaiming motherhood to be a woman’s highest calling? Well besides that being a painful and unfair sentiment for a single or barren woman to hear, that idea also leads to problems for women who are mothers.

 

How “Motherhood is a Woman’s Highest Calling” Actually Harms Moms

At face value, there may appear to be nothing wrong with the concept of motherhood as being a woman’s highest calling. There are, however, several issues with this idea:

  • When we believe motherhood to be a woman’s highest calling, we begin to think mothering should crowd out everything else (and allow it to do so!).

We all know firsthand just how pervasive mommy guilt can be – we experience it whenever we attempt to have some “me-time”, we feel it anytime we pursue our own hobbies or interests, we get weighed down by it when we drop the kiddos off at their grandparents’ house so we can go out with our husbands. This is because we have bought into the mistaken idea that all our time and attention should always be focused on our children. Now, don’t get me wrong – if you are a mother, I firmly believe that apart from the Lord and your relationship with your husband which should come first, your children are to be your #1 priority. You should be putting intentional time and attention into mothering them well. It is wrong, however, to believe that you have only been given time for those things which strictly pertain to motherhood. This is what we begin to believe, however, when we believe motherhood to be a woman’s ultimate highest calling – our relationship with the Lord gets put on the back burner, our kids replace our husbands in our order of priorities, and everything suffers as a result.

 

  • When we believe motherhood is a woman’s highest calling, our identity gets wrapped up in motherhood.

When moms believe motherhood is to take up all their time and attention, they end up forgetting who they are and who God created them to be. We hear so many times moms say something to the effect of, “I can’t remember that girl I was in high school.” or “I feel like the woman I was before I had kids is gone.” or “I can’t even remember the interests or passions I had before the kids came.” This is what happens when we allow our identity to be wrapped up solely in who we are as moms. This does nothing but lead to our burning the candle at both ends and becoming chronically stressed out and depleted.

When we instead remember that our identity is to be found in the reality of our being image bearers of God and redeemed saints through Christ, everything changes. We begin to remember again the woman God originally created us to be, the woman with unique and specific passions, gifts, talents, and interests. The woman who has God-given permission to pursue those things, even in the midst of motherhood (see Proverbs 31:10-31 and 1 Corinthians 12). When we are careful to, yes, prioritize our children and to delight in the sacred calling of motherhood, but to also live life as the multi-faceted, whole woman we were designed to be, we flourish – and so do our families!

 

  • When we believe motherhood is a woman’s highest calling, motherhood actually loses its very importance and purpose.

 

The ironic thing is that, in a valiant effort to restore to motherhood its importance and worth, we have actually deprived it of both. We want the culture to understand that it is a beautiful thing (and a worthwhile endeavor!) to be a mother, but when we separate motherhood from its God-given role, instead placing it on a higher plane than God does, it becomes stripped of its high purpose. Here is what I mean: As I touched on above, our identity as Christian women is to be found in our being image-bearers of God and ambassadors of Christ. In reality, this is not only our identity, but our true highest calling, as well. A woman’s highest calling is to bear the image of God to the world and to represent Christ well. Motherhood, then, becomes an outworking of this, one important and impactful way in which a woman is able to spread God’s truth to future generations. Our Savior came to earth through the avenue of motherhood and childbearing (Genesis 3:15, 1 Timothy 2:15), and the spread of His truth today continues throughout the generations as women have children and more image-bearers are born.

Therefore, it is when we understand motherhood in its proper context, as one beautiful way in which the truth of God is able to be spread and our ambassadorship for Christ is able to be lived out, that motherhood then receives great importance and purpose. When we instead make the mistake of taking motherhood off by itself, raising it above the level of importance God gave it, and having it stand alone as the highest calling for women, then what is it all for? What then is the purpose of motherhood? Why is it believed to be the “highest” calling? There is no answer for this. It is only when we understand motherhood in light of the Gospel that the work of mothering becomes a vastly important work.

 

Look to Christ, Mama!

So, sweet mama, as you go about the daily work of mothering, working day in and day out to care for the needs of your children, to raise them up in the way that they should go, and to impart God’s truth to them, remember – what you are doing is important. It is beautiful. It is impacting countless future generations. It is not, however, your ultimate highest calling. The whole of your identity is not to be wrapped up in it. If you think it is, there will come a day in which your children are all grown and gone, and you will be left wondering what your purpose is in life. If you allow the sum total of your identity to be wrapped up in motherhood, you will feel like a failure when your children make mistakes, thinking yourself wholly responsible for how they turn out. If you place your identity in motherhood as your highest calling, it will lose some of its importance.

Instead, look to Christ. Daily look to Christ and find your mission, your identity, your calling, and your purpose in Him. When you do, your motherhood will be drastically changed for the better, and you will truly be working towards the advancement of the Lord’s Kingdom.

God bless you, mamas!

Bio: Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, home business owner, podcaster, and blogger residing in TN. Her passion is to bless fellow Christian women through her writings on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, which exists to “edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood”. Rebekah’s first book, “Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)”, releases in November.

Facebook: Hargraves Home and Hearth

Instagram: @rebekahhargraves

Twitter: @hhomeandhearth

Website: Hargraves Home and Hearth 

Motherhood

Fulfilling His Plan

image.png

By: Betty Predmore

Last night our two youngest, both adopted, thanked us for adopting them. Sweet little Lizbeth says, “Thanks for saving us.” Jovanney adds, “Thanks for giving us a home.”

There were moments yesterday, when their rooms looked like an F5 had landed there, that my frustration with them was high. There are moments on many days that I feel inadequate for this job. But then there are moments like last night, when two sweet little souls speak their heart to you in a way that touches you all the way to the tips of your toes. And then you realize…I am adequate for this job. God chose me just for these specific children. God doesn’t make mistakes. He knows far better than I do what these kids need…what I need.

This is the case for all of us mamas, biological, step, adoptive. There are times we doubt our abilities. There are moments when our frustration gets the better of us. There are instances of fear. It is in these moments that we seek our Father for direction. It is at these times that we trust in the One whose plans are far greater than ours.

Thank you Lord for bringing these children to me. Thank you for trusting me with their hearts and their lives. May I, each day, live up to the challenge and blessed opportunity you have given me. Help me, Father, each day to fulfill Your plan.

I can do all things brought Christ Jesus, who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Motherhood

The Aftermath

image.png

By: Betty Predmore

I sit here this morning, surveying the aftermath of a weekend with house guests and birthdays. On Friday, my home was something to be proud of. It was clean and sparkly, everything was in its place, and it was ever do serene. This morning there are shoes in the floor, toys strewn across the table, a pile of used towels in the bathroom, and a table full of birthday gifts I don’t have the energy to put away.

Does this upset me? Does this frustrate me? Does this make me weary? Absolutely not! When I look around this morning, I don’t see a mess. I smile and remember the laughter that was shared in my home this weekend. I remember the smiles of my little girl as she turned 8 years old. I remember the squeals of my granddaughter, and my little boys wrestling with their big brother. I remember the delicious meals my husband made so lovingly for his family, and I remember all the hugs and kisses.

I am proud of this mess. This mess means that this mama shared a beautiful weekend with her babies. This mess means that loved flowed through this place. This mess means that “mama’s” house is home.

“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27

Motherhood

I Didn’t Want Him

image.jpeg
By: Sherry Clair

The great thing about thoughts, is that no ones knows you’re having them. The fact that no one knows your thoughts can also leave you in a frightening and lonely place. Especially the thoughts that may shock those around you, the thoughts that leave you feeling guilty, the thoughts that you immediately feel shamed for thinking. Sometimes a situation arises and no matter how hard you try, you can’t prevent these thoughts from flitting through your brain faster than lightening. I’d like to share with you my scary secret thought, that to this day still haunts me.

It was March 21, 2012. It was rainy and dreary outside, I was alone in my car, pregnant with my second child. I had just found out that we were having a baby boy and I didn’t want him. Please, before you judge me, let me explain….

On February 14th, my husband, and I excitedly waited in a dimly lit room. We were expecting our second child and were eager to see him or her for the first time. A quick swipe of the ultrasound wand revealed a very small black and white wiggling baby. Various measurements were taken, pictures were printed, the technician quietly left the room and the doctor came in. He informed us that there had been some abnormal findings on the ultrasound; he explained that our baby had swelling everywhere. He went on to tell us that the chances of the pregnancy continuing another three weeks was slim, chances were very high that we would lose our baby. Utterly devastated, I clutched the photos and sobbed. We went home to wait.

God knew my heart and He knew my needs before I ever did. He placed a man in my life that did not have Thomas like faith; my husband. Josh’s faith swelled; he wrote out numerous healing scriptures for me to speak over the baby, fasted until our follow up ultrasound twenty one days later. We surrounded ourselves with Godly people and stood on faith that God would see us through. Our follow up appointment proved the power of prayer. Our baby was growing and thriving, showing no evidence of prior anomalies. We chose to move forward with an amniocentesis to confirm that there were no issues.

On March 21, 2012 I received a call from our doctor to call him back when I left work. Feeling confident that our prayers had been answered, I alerted josh that our results were in. I was confident that I could handle the good news on my own and quickly disconnected. I cheerfully answered and listed to what the perinatologist had to say; “The fetus has a chromosomal abnormality”. I couldn’t breathe, my heart pounded in my ears and my smile vanished. Sobs and tears consumed me, the word “abnormal” echoed through my head attempting to drown out everything else he was saying. “There is a third copy of the 21st chromosome, the fetus has Down syndrome. You will need to come in ASAP to make plans.” I murmured my goodbyes and hung up.

I was shattered; I clung to the steering wheel and sobbed uncontrollably. I thought back through the conversation; I knew that there had been a mistake. He had called the wrong patient, or had the wrong labs. Somehow, I managed to ask him if I was having a boy or a girl, “I believe it’s a male” was the detached response. It, fetus, abnormal, Down syndrome, I couldn’t understand how this was happening. We had prayed, fasted, believed; we had bigger than a mustard seed faith! I could barely bring myself to call Josh, I felt I failed him and my family. Guilt and anger overwhelmed me. In that moment, in the car by myself, I didn’t love the baby that was growing inside my belly, fighting so hard to be in our lives.

I slammed the car in reverse and backed out. I glared through my windshield, looking up into the grey sky, I imagined God looking back at me. “I cannot believe that you would do this to us. You have NO idea what you’re doing! You tell us to trust you, to have faith, and then you go and do something like this, you missed your chance God, how could you?” The blame wasn’t mine, this was Gods fault, and I was furious with Him. I’d love to say that the scripture “your sorrows may last for a night, but your joy comes in the morning”, was true for me, but it wasn’t. I was barely able look at Josh or our daughter the next day, feeling like somehow I hadn’t given them the son or brother I thought they needed. I broke down every time I felt the baby stretch reminding me that every single cell of his was “abnormal”. Every kick brought with it the fear of the unknown and guilt over the detachment I felt.