Spiritual Disciplines

Motherhood has become the single most productive spiritual discipline I’ve ever engaged in practice. 

Over the course of Christian history, it has been the martyrs, canonized Saints and Popes that garner the adoration of the faithful. And I wonder, if this is by Intelligent design. 

It makes sense to me that the very thing our religion and our culture tends to take for granted, the commonest of all human roles, is that which so prominently bears the image of an immanent yet transcendent Deity.

Motherhood can be blissful. It can send a woman into moments of transcendent joy.  But it can also be pain,  and can bring with it a grief unlike any other. 

The one charged with bringing human life into the world is sometimes the one called to accompany that life as it crosses over from this realm. Nothing, absolutely nothing is more difficult to endure.

Gain and loss. Joy and pain. The bittersweetness of Motherhood can teach us more about the nature of God than any traditional Seminary education. 

I am reminded. 

Convicted. 

In seeking to answer another call, I was trying to run from my first one. 

When loss started to wash over me in waves, I planned my own ‘holy’ escape. 

And, God let me. 

For a little while

When the storm started to rage around me, I found myself being thrown overboard.

 I should have drowned. But, I didn’t;)

Instead, I have been spit out onto the shores of my very own Ninevah. 

(Poor Jonah. I can relate so much better with him now.)

Being a mother forces me to deal with my own selfishness. Being a homeschooling, SAHM, even more so. It hurts my heart that I can still be quick to anger with the ones I love most in the world. It hurts my heart to see just how selfish and cruel the world is to the least of these. 

Being a mother that seeks after the heart of God, I cannot deny that my children do not belong to me. As with the vine and its shade enjoyed by Jonah, God can remove the object of our delight and call our children home without warning. They belong to Him. 

It would have been so much easier to be a Pastor. Fewer hours. Actual monetary compensation. Recognition. 

It was so much easier to cart my kids off to ‘professionals’ to be educated and supervised. Even though, it quickly became apparent that not one professional had the time and patience my kiddos needed in order to learn and grow. It was my duty. My responsibility. My calling to speak their hearts from potential to actual. 

God must chuckle at me. At how ridiculous I am as a human being. Here, in my family I created with God, is the most productive path to my own perfection. And in running towards the external attainment of the role of spiritual leader, I ran away from the very calling God intended to shape me for that role. 

Sure, some days it feels like dying… But if it is to my own selfish ambition that I am dying to, then surrendering to Motherhood is the only discipline that will yield to me the spiritual perfection I long for. 

Motherhood will not always require all of my heart, body, and mind. But right now it does. I can accept that God’s idea of spiritual growth is not the same as mine. I can accept that what the world values is an abomination to God. I can accept it now, because I see. 


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12 thoughts on “Spiritual Disciplines

  1. Wonderful post! Great tribute to the work of being a mom. Yes, we learn about ourselves even in motherhood. God will show us that there is yet room to grow, sin to die to, and new ways to show love. Thanks for sharing this! I thought that I was already following you, but just noticed that I wasn’t. So you’ve gained a new follower.

    On another subject, how did you arrive at the name of your blog?

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      1. I just read it. Yes, Christ did die for the ungodly but to make us godly, to live godly in Christ Jesus. Will we fail? Yes we will, until he returns, but our pursuit is always to please him by walking worthy of the call. I agree we are sinners, but we are saved by grace and achieved a new status as saints, though we still have remaining sin.

        I did see where to comment directly on your post page.

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      2. The living Christ, the One perfected, was called a son of Satan. I am not ashamed of my weakness, or that living in His righteousness may earn me the title of sinner or ungodly. I want to die to all of my own ideas of godliness, so that I may partake in His. That starts by fully acknowledging the depths of our own ungodliness. Something I always keep in the back of my mind, to keep me from exalting myself.
        The moment I start thinking that I myself am godly, is one where my eyes are taken off of Him. My righteousness is hidden in Him, and even from myself. I’m content with that in this life;)

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      3. You are absolutely right. Our righteousness are as filthy rags. It is only in him that we stand righteous. It is not our works that save, it is Christ alone. There is nothing in us, nothing about us that makes us worthy, only Christ. Anyway, I just wanted to know what was behind your blog name. Sorry if I offended you in any way in my response.

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  2. One of the reasons why (though I strongly disagree) I understand Marian doctrine is due to the importance of motherhood, especially in European society. It’s very powerful to see the creative and nurturing aspects of motherhood connected so tangibly to the Godhead. Motherhood is a high calling indeed.

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      1. Yeah, that’s the part that sticks in my craw…to me, Mary is an intermediary, and I don’t believe that concept is Scriptural or useful to Christian theology. Certainly the idea of communion of the saints is consistent with asking others to pray for you, and I don’t even have a problem with that extending beyond the grave, though that starts to get a bit sketchy. But I draw the line at co-redemptrix. That’s messed up. Apologies to any Catholics out there! I consider you my brothers and sisters in Christ.

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    1. And, Mary was a Virgin… That her virginity exalts her over against every other mother, before and after, has caused much turmoil in Christendom. And has blinded many to the beautiful sacramental truth hidden within human sexuality…

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