Every mother needs reminding of the greatness of her calling, the joy in her sacrifice, the purpose of her mission, and the reward of her investment.
I am one of those mothers.
During this season of life that is often overwhelming and deficient on time, I can at times, feel as though I am a drill sargeant, rather than a shepherd--commanding discipline instead of training lost sheep.
Encouragement this week came through the voice of Sally Clarkson, in her book, The Mission of Motherhood, who in her chapter on Building Loving Relationships with Our Children, helped me to remember what kind of mom I want to be:
It's important to realize that spending time with kids means so much more than just getting the parenting job done. Sometimes it's easy for busy parents to forget this. We become so focused on training our children, correcting them, teaching them responsibility, and providing them with enriching activities that we forget how important it is just to be around them...Simply being with them, enjoying their company, playing whatever game they choose for us to play (even another round of Candyland!) matters most to our children and best fosters a loving relationship with them.
Relational time is the glue that will make all our efforts in disciple-making, shepherding, disciplining, educating, and molding caught and not taught.
(And for those of us who school at home, Sally Clarkson's book, Educating the Wholehearted Child, offers wonderfully practical help on teaching children in the home.)
When we are in the throes of mothering, it is encouraging to have those that have traversed this well-worn path, come alongside to spur us on towards the finish line. And, my friends, the finish line is where we will not find our victory met with impeccably trained children, but grace in Christ himself, who lends our children to us in the first place...for their formation and ours.