Would it surprise you to know that I never aspired to be a mother, much less a mother of six? In fact, I didn't give much thought to the art of homemaking as a young woman, as I was more than preoccupied with my notions of ambition and education, value and worth, none of which included the regular use of a mop or the continual employment of diapers for 11 years. I still chuckle when I think about how difficult it was for Troy to get me to go and register with him for wedding gifts. Picking out china, shower curtains, pots and pans...it just wasn't high on my priority list.
Domesticity and motherhood seemed far too docile and tame for a girl who dreamed of the front lines on the mission field, or perhaps owning my own business, or delving deep into an area of study...I didn't know, I just knew it'd be more exciting than being a mother and housewife. My twenty-something self would never have believed that my approaching-40 self would become a mother of six boys who teaches her children at home (and makes a mean dutch baby.:)) Little did I know what an adventure and marathon motherhood would be.
It's funny that I don't think I've ever shared this, in almost six years of blogging here. The love of motherhood, of teaching my children, of purposefully crafting a memorable meal, of creatively reflecting beauty in my home, of doing the same thing day after day after day...those things do not come to me naturally. They are the result of pruning and cultivation.
If you've ever wondered if you're cut out for this old-fashioned homemaker, loving wife, stay-at-home-mom thing, you are in good company. And, I might just add, that you are perhaps better off--wrestling insecurity and ability--than if you were a domestic goddess. Here's why...
I've only been alive 37 years, but I find this little observation to be true again and again: Those who are naturally gifted at something often know less of motivation, gratitude, and the wonder of overcoming obstacles. Whereas, those who feel less than adequate yet pursue a course nonetheless, experience motivation, gratitude, and the wonder of overcoming obstacles bountifully.
And for us, the redeemed in Christ, the motivation, gratitude, and wonder of overcoming obstacles only increases in the light of God's faithfulness to make his callings his enablings. Remember the testimony of the Apostle Paul? It was not his credentials, ability, or even appearance, that caused him to be used of God; it was simply his utter submission to Christ. In fact, it is Paul who encourages us with this: "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10) God doesn't call the able, but those incapable in their own strength! THIS is the paradox of the Gospel.
I've had a lot of time to think lately, as I gaze at my ever-changing almost 3-week old. I've marveled in amazement at how I've become a stay-at-home mom, as unlikely as it should have been...
It wasn't for a lack of career that I chose motherhood... Nor was it for a love of homemaking that I stayed at home full-time... I didn't grow up in a large family... I don't have terribly good organizational skills... and I'm habitually poor at sacrificing my own comforts in service to others... And yet, the Lord has faithfully woven my dearth of experience, ability, and natural desire into the story of sanctification, maturity, and calling in my life.
You see it again and again...our God delights in making the impossible possible.
So, to all the unlikely mothers, resistant homemakers, and unsure home-schoolers...you need not be discouraged. We are right where we need to be when we feel less than we want to be. Let your today-self anticipate the transforming work he will do to make the impossible possible in the woman you never knew you could become tomorrow.