For the Mamas.....

Looking up,
Jesus saw the rich people
putting their gifts into the treasury.
And he saw also a poor widow
putting in two mites.
And he said, "Truly I say to you,
this poor widow has put in more than all of them:
For they all gave out of their abundance
(their surplus);
but she has contributed out of her lack
and her want,
putting in all that she had on which to live.

Luke 21: 1-4


When I am weak, then I am strong, for my strength is perfected in weakness. Do you see? It is not what we do, our great accomplishments for the Kingdom of Heaven, that bring the most glory to God. It is our total lack, our complete need.

Being a mother empties me. I run on empty most days, constantly pouring myself into my children. This emptiness has brought me to my knees many times. I relate to the widow putting in all that she lacked. This is what I continually bring to the Lord, my not enough.

Have you ever thought about the time when Jesus wanted to feed all of the people that had gathered in the wilderness to hear him speak? He tasked his disciples to see what food they could find. They came back with five loaves of bread and two fish, from a young boy. (John 6:8)

Jesus took that meager amount for such a huge crowd and fed more than 5,000 people.

Sometimes I think about this when I am tempted to feel overwhelmed with the immense responsibility of motherhood. I think about that little boy and his faithful mother who most likely is the one who baked that bread and packed her son that basket.

Jesus, by his grace, takes my meager loaves and fishes and creates a feast. It is a miracle. One I can experience everyday as a mother.

We manage the home and keep watch at the door.
We wash the laundry constantly.
We wash the dishes constantly.
We prepare food everyday.
We answer to our name too many times to count, everyday.
We shop for food every week.
We keep our children clothed.
We spend many nights wishing we were asleep.
We teach our children to read and write and count.
We referee and mediate and adjudicate and council.
We read stories and cuddle and kiss away lots and lots of owies.
We pray for and with our little ones and our bigger ones.
We try to point our children to Christ every opportunity we can.
And so so much more.
We are busy all of the time.

Jesus is taking note. He is engaged in our day to day. It is daily an opportunity for him to pour out his blessing upon us, and to create a miracle in us.

We must do our part though. We must give ourselves to him. We must contribute out of our lack and want, all that we have to live on. We have to go to him. We have to be vigilant to maintain our heart attitude. We have to be willing to die daily to what we think we need, so that he can supply what we truly need.

The loaves and fish repeated everyday. Jesus taking our not enough and making it more than enough. As we go to him, giving him all that we lack, like the widow, he takes note.

God is gracious, slow to anger and full of loving kindness. His desire is to bless us. To shower us with his love, to rain righteousness down into our hearts and upon our heads. To fill our lives with good things.

God has written the way of motherhood into our beings. We must trust that. We falter, we fail, we get discouraged, we fall down, and we get back up and keep trying. It is exhausting.

And it is all sacrifice and it is all serving and it is all laying down to die.

I can't tell you that I love being a mother. I can tell you that I love my children. I love them with a wild abandonment that is totally undignified. I would give my life for each one of my children,

I do give my life, everyday.

But still, do I love being a mother? No. It is hard.

I often tell people that it was a lot harder to be a mom to one child than nine.

As a mama of one and even two I often fought for what I knew before.

Freedom, time, sleep, identity, space. I cannot say I transitioned into motherhood easily. I remember some emotionally explosive moments in the early days. Always this nagging to carve out some time for myself.

It was sometime after baby number three came along that I finally began to look in the mirror and accept who I was.

I surrendered to the sacrifice of motherhood.

As mothers, we are entrusted with an eternal soul, and the only instruction manual we are given is a mother's instinct We have to learn to trust it.  I remember the way I felt when I left the hospital with my first baby. I was 20 years old and I remember thinking, if these people really knew me, they wouldn't let me leave with this helpless baby. I felt wholly inadequate to be responsible for the life I held in my arms. I was terrified, and I wanted to change my mind.

In the same instant I felt a fierceness rising up within me. A complete devotion to this child I felt as if I had known for eternity. The strength of a mother's love runs deep and strong. Standing in the parking lot in the drizzle of an overcast sky on a cool September morning I had my first taste of a mother's instinct. Something inside of me happened and I was forever changed. I was a mother.

Looking back , I was a mother from the moment my first baby was conceived. My body doing what my mind and heart eventually caught up to, sacrificing itself for the good of another.

Just as my body instinctively knew what to do, as mothers we just know. We must trust that. It is God's equipping. He did not leave us without an instruction manual. He wrote the manual on our hearts and into our souls.

When I finally surrendered to the sacrifice, I began to understand what Jesus meant when he said, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it cannot produce fruit. Motherhood is our opportunity to die daily. To take up our cross and follow Jesus. Motherhood brings salvation to my life everyday. Everyday as mothers we can experience the miracle of being strengthened through our weaknesses as we bring our cares to the Lord. I still loathe getting out of bed at 2am, but I can smile now. Jesus does that. He gives us this joy that makes absolutely no sense. He is there with me in the middle of the night.

Motherhood is a continual act of surrender and sacrifice.

It is in the surrender to the sacrifice that we touch the hem of Jesus' garment.

Let me say that again. When we surrender to the sacrifice, we touch the hem of Jesus' garment.

and grace flows down......

all my love,


p.s. I'm sharing this today with Emily at Imperfect Prose.


Delvalina said…
Oh wow how wonderful is this post, you speak rightouesness with honest. This post reminded of my Mama. I think all moms need to read this :)
Jesus put center of His glory through you in your family as Mother.

Mommy Emily said…
oh Renee. I cannot tell you how this ministered to me tonight. And I can't believe you have NINE children and still, the time to write this inspiring post... you really spoke to my tired mother heart. It's been one of those months. The sickness not seeming to end. And I've never read this verse like this before, but oh, how it makes sense, and comforts me... God sees me giving out of my lack, and he blesses me for that. Thank you sweet friend. I'm so glad you linked with Imperfect Prose. e.
Aritha said…
This is such a nice pos! And yes, I recognize it. My husband an me have six children. ( could have had eight). The history/story of the two fish and five loaves meant a lot to/for me. Often, in prayer, I say to God: Lord, I have almost nothing. I'm not super talented and You know my weaknesses. I have here only five loaves, and two fishes. And ... He always says: "Bring them hither to me."

Do you know what He does with our two fish and five loaves? He blesses them. We have little power but with His blessing He multiply what we give to our family and environment.

Thank you for this beautiful blog.
Anonymous said…
hey renee your cousin james dont know how enlightening it feels for me to see one of my family members so full of the holy spirit!my family and i found the lord about 7 years is so awesome living for the lord!your post is awesome!the verse that popped into my head first was philip 4.13 i can do ALL things through CHRIST who strenghtens ME!change the i to a we and change the me to an us.reread many people are missing what the lord has to offer them!people will stand in a line for hours and hours waiting to get something for free.but they dont want the biggest and best gift in the whole universe he wants to give us ALL for FREE--SALVATION!!!.love ya renee.and GOD bless your whole family--james

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