I spent the morning with a friend the other week and she was asking me all things that pertained to mothering and homeschooling. I knew that’s what she wanted to talk about so I was prepared… Well, not really, but I at least expected to be questioned.
The one question that she asked that I found interesting was about “self care”, she wanted to know what I thought about it because she had mixed feelings. Her question was, “Is that biblical?” As Christian’s we have to be careful not to fall into the worldly thinking of “I need this, I deserve this, it’s my right to have it” that is such normal thinking today in our culture of modern moms. But is it biblical?
Self care… I do believe we need to take care of ourselves as women, wives and mothers or else we’ll eventually end up overwhelmed, dry and on the brink of a nervous breakdown and only end up becoming what we never wanted to become, a burden to others.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6 & 7
I told this young mama, that I adopted the idea of “mother culture” which just sounds less selfish (and fancier for that matter!) than self care, to me. But the difference is, in mother culture I am doing something that brings JOY into my life so that I can pour that joy and excitement back out onto my children, onto my husband and bring that spirit of HOPE back into my home. That is what appeals to me. It is a refresh.
What does that look like in real life. I incorporate into our daily routines (especially school time) what I find lovely, what brings me joy, what lights that fire of wanting to know more, how and why. Oh the deep questions that reading scripture together brings, even if I don’t get the opportunity to read just by myself. The opportunity for all to take that chance to pray and to give them that opportunity to pray specifically for those in need. I have one that does not forget specific people and their need for prayer. This precious little soul prayed for this need every day for at least 6 months, never missing a chance to throw in that request at the end of a prayer no matter who was praying. Another precious one gets choked up while praying sometimes and after one of those moments confided in me that they almost cried, I told them I do that sometimes too. Oh to see how sensitive to the Holy Spirit our children are is such an honor and privilege! It truly is! To keep it real there’s always a decent amount of me reminding them, “if you’re talking you’re not listening.” throughout our reading/discussion times.
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
This mama job is not for the faint of heart. It is HARD work. It is HEART work. It is beautiful in the Lord’s eyes because you are being obedient to what God has called you to do, at this very moment. Because you woke up this morning and have answered the call of the Lord just as Samuel answered, Yes Lord, here I am.
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” – Psalm 34:18 & 19
I do want to say, don’t focus on the “job” of schooling. Focus on the relationships. What lights that passion within you? I’m sure you know your children well enough to know what lights their hearts on fire and if you are not sure, ask! About once a year I interview my children and they actually really love it (obviously some more than others) and I find out some interesting things about them and then of course they interview me. Sometimes to start our morning time I’ll ask my children to recite just 1 Bible verse they’ve memorized (since I know we’ve worked on so many throughout the years) with the question, “what verse has God put on your heart today?” and we just go down the row and they recite and sometimes help each other along, and it’s not always the older ones helping the younger ones just so you know. Then I go back over and point to each one as I say something that pertains to that verse. “God is patient”, “God will fight for us”, “A body works best when each part is healthy and working together toward the same goal”, “Do not fear”, etc.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
Don’t forget to give yourself GRACE. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. He does not condemn you, there is no guilt or shame. You are the perfect mom for your children. God knew what your children needed and He put that ability within you. Your compassion, your stubbornness, your creativity, your desire to want to help others succeed and your willingness to serve. Because this morning you said, Yes, Lord, here I am, speak, your servant is listening.
Don’t rush the heart work even when it is painful (or you’re just so over it, I hear you), it will produce a beautiful, flourishing garden if we are faithful because He is faithful.
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4
So I guess Mother Culture (to me), becomes more of a Family Culture. One that incorporates prayer, blessings, beauty, laughter, music, dancing, working out, experimenting in the kitchen, working through anger and frustration, lending a helping hand, being more observant, asking for forgiveness, building things, making mistakes, celebrating accomplishments, being humble, thankful and giving and always working towards honoring God in all that we say and do.
Looking forward to meeting you and telling your beautiful story!