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Hi, this is my blog for all sorts of pro-life news, statistics, stories, and personal ventings. I am a wife and mother, as well as a nursing student. I I truly believe that abortion has failed women, and will continue to do so as long as it is legal.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Being a Mommy in a Me-First! World" (Barbara Curtis)Part 3 in a Discussion on Biblical Womanhood

After establishing the world's view of Biblical Womanhood and looking at the actual biblical mandate for women, I believe we can now safely say that the discussion can move to how biblical principles are applied in the everyday lives of contemporary women. Discussion is still quite open in the preceding posts, but I fear my intention with this series might have been misunderstood.

My hope for this series is to explain Biblical Womanhood in such a way that those on the outside may glean a better understanding. I see a huge misunderstanding on what being a Godly woman actually means. This series is not about debating if such and such view is a "feminist" view, but rather to show what our view actually is. It is foolish to discuss the merits of an ideology without first understanding (and not by assumption) its basic tenants.

That said I am excited to see where this discussion will lead. This first article was posted originally in Mrs. Curtis' blog, Mommylife It is titled "Being a mommy in a Me- First! world" and is posted with permission of the author.

Motherhood is not easy - I think we're all agreed on that. From the get-go it involves sacrificing your own needs for another. Marriage should do that too, but because marriage involves another adult, it's far less intense and we can get by with just giving in a little.

But that sweet little baby they hand you in the hospital is a bundle of needs with no ability to take into consideration things like your need for sleep. That's where I believe the first chance for changing our attitudes begins, but since we're inexperienced when we go into this motherhood thing (all our learning is on the job); we immediately set a goal of getting the baby's cycle to conform to our own.

Now there's really nothing wrong with that - to a point. But how we go about it - and our attitudes - really matter. I know when I was starting out as a mom it took a long time for me to let go of my sense of entitlement - as though I were somehow entitled to sleep through the night. It took me a long time to surrender to the fact that my life was no longer my own.

But the fact is, my life is not my own and has not been for 36 years. And while I may have spent years resisting the idea that the world did not revolve around me, but - that my world would now revolve around my family - those were not the best years of my motherhood. The best came when I surrendered and realized it wasn't about me at all. This was something I had learned from experience and fully embraced years before Rick Warren made it the first line of The Purpose-Driven Life: "It's not about you."

I find a lot of reassurance in those four little words. They soothe and calm me when I momentarily forget that it's not about me. See, when I forget it's not about me, I'm miserable and unhappy because life is full of reminders that it's not about me. And being a mommy has to be the ultimate challenge in surrendering to the reality that life is nowhere near being about me at all.

Being a mommy is humbling. You are confronted with your mistakes constantly. They haunt you: What if I had known then what I know now? What if I had done this differently? What if my children never realize how much I loved them? And what if no one ever knows how hard things sometimes were?

You have the most challenging task in the universe, and yet the most unaffirmed. No pay raises, bonuses, performance reviews, trophies, medals, or even stickers for doing things well. Growing up in a society that routinely rewards success, it can be hard to make the transition to motherhood. It can be lonely. It can feel like no one cares.

But there is someone who cares - our Heavenly Father. And I don’t mean that as a platitude or in a you’re-not-supposed-to-feel-this-way-so-pull-yourself-together-and-get-over-it kind of way. I mean it in a real way. Because in motherhood sometimes God is absolutely the only thing you have to hold on to.

It involves surrender. Dying to self. Not too popular in this Have It Your Way! age. Nothing we’ve really been trained to do. And something we’ve been taught to resist. How often have you gotten advice like “You have to have time for yourself” or “Be good to yourself” “Think about your needs”?

Gosh, I just don’t know where to find that in the Bible. And though non-believers scoff at using the Bible for advice (I know because I was an unbeliever for 38 years), I have found that following the wisdom there gave my life a turn for the better. I tell my kids it’s like our Owners Manual.

Everything about motherhood is really just the opposite, nudging us to put others ahead of ourselves, and to sacrifice our needs to theirs. Is it really so bad? Not if you know that you choose it willingly. So the key to finding the joy in motherhood is in making that choice.

In Chariots of Fire Eric Liddell, the 1924 Olympic champion, was able to bring his best to each moment of the race because he ran to please the Lord: “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”

Well, that’s how mothering can be. When we are surrendered and thinking more of others than ourselves, we are at our best. We feel God’s pleasure.

Perhaps the most important thing we can grab hold of and hang on to is that motherhood isn't just about us molding our kids to be all we want them to be. It's also about allowing God to mold us into the mothers he wants us to be. So how we go about doing things - and especially our attitudes - is more important than we could have imagined before we found ourselves in the midst of sleepless nights, droopy diapers and markers on our walls.

As for the lack of affirmation – your motherhood is between you and God. When you think about it, the opportunity to raise children is an incredible privilege. I can’t think of another job where you would have the opportunity to sacrifice so much – thereby becoming more conformed to the image of Christ. I picture Mary breaking her alabaster jar to anoint her Savior, and I want my life to be broken like that alabaster jar, so that my days spill out like precious oil.

Do I do it perfectly? No I don’t. But I am constantly trying to do better, constantly learning to depend more on God’s grace and forgiveness. If you are the kind of person who struggles with guilt or the paralysis that comes when you feel you’ve blown it, time to let that go. Acknowledge your faults and move on

Motherhood is a journey and we who are on it are all individuals. All of our journeys are different, but each of us stands poised to take our own next step, whatever that may be. It’s just important that we be willing to grow and to change – rather than trying to mold our motherhood to fit our own desires, it’s more challenging – and ultimately more satisfying to allow God to mold us into the kind of mothers He would want us to be.


While this post is about parenting, I believe it transcends the maternal/child relationship. It is a wonderful example about what real women believe about being a Godly woman.

4 Comments:

  • I really enjoyed this article, Lauren! I must have missed seeing it on MommyLife!

    Anyway, now that I'm a mother I can relate to this! I've made many mistakes as a mother (in only ten months!) and find myself cntantly re-evaluating what I need to be as a mom (and wife). I've also found that motherhood (and fatherhood) has changed my relationship with my husband as well... sometimes in good ways and sometimes in not-so good ways.

    It's a balancing act, isn't it? maybe someday I'll be able to stop the wobbling!

    By Blogger Emma, at 1:59 PM  

  • My son's two, but I'm still wobbly!

    I love barbara's articles because she really seems to understand our struggles, yet reminds us that God is behind us as we raise our children.

    I'm so glad you stopped by because you have the exact same affect!

    I have definitely seen the changes in both my husband and I since our son was born. He has become far more responsible, and I..well let's just say that I've made one of the biggest transformations imaginable.

    It's so strange to see the change in how I saw my husband as a husband, and then as a father. I'm sure he'd say the same about me!

    By Blogger Lauren, at 2:06 PM  

  • Embracing momminess has a great post dealing with motherhood and feminism

    here-
    http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/681850/17257702

    By Blogger Lauren, at 3:59 PM  

  • Thanks for posting this. Somehow I missed it on MommyLife.

    What opportunities we have each day to die to self....do I always take them? Hmmm.

    By Blogger Shelley, at 11:32 AM  

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