On Jesus and Motherhood

I open the dining room curtains to a pink dawn and crisp pre-fall morning. Espresso simmers on the stove top—admittedly the only thing that gets me out of bed some mornings. Laptop and coffee in hand, I slip away into the guest room hoping to eek out a few minutes of writing before my babies wake up.

I think about Jesus, His twelve disciples, motherhood, and social media—a mixed bag of old and new, of timeless truths, and human nature.

The world we live in today begs for attention and thrives on the affirmation of virtual likes, comments, and shares. Likely, people have always looked for this sort of approval in one medium or another regardless of the day in which they lived. But this need for notice and approval seems so very quantifiable today with actual numbers of “followers” and thumbs up to tell you just how popular (or unpopular) and noticed (or unnoticed) you really are. IMG_20170716_093307_819I follow a lot of moms on Instagram and read many a word written by moms of littles just like me. But they aren’t really like me at all, are they? Most of them run their own creative business on the side, are publishing books, homeschool half a dozen children or more, pull the weight of a public ministry, or simply rock life as a domestic diva with a perfectly curated home and gourmet meals on the table. That’s not exactly where I’m at, no not really.

These women challenge and encourage me with their lives and words—that’s why I follow them. But who am I kidding if I don’t admit how small I feel in comparison as I just keep my head above water and am thrilled if I post a few words here each week.

The numbers tell me I’m not like them, that I’m not seen or heard, that in a world screaming for attention, I am silent and invisible, unseen and unheard.IMG_20170808_222639_248 This is where Jesus comes in.

I get stuck in my own head sometimes. Stuck filling my heart with lies instead of truth. I go to social media and try to quantify my purpose and meaning with little thumbs up and numbers of followers. But then I’m reminded, Jesus only had twelve. Twelve “followers”—the small group of men he invested in deeply with his time and words and the few he would send out to further the story he had to tell. Just twelve men.

I look at my life, my home, my husband and two children. It doesn’t seem like much sometimes, my impact in this life and world. What difference can I make when all I can do is keep four people (including myself) alive each day? If I were just one of those women who does it all and is followed by many, then I could make an impact and do something lasting. Then the numbers would tell me I have purpose and influence. The numbers would tell me I matter.

But Jesus…

He invested for a short time in a few, not many. He had twelve followers and that was enough for him. Jesus saw the impact deep investment in a few could make on many. Those twelve men went on to turn the world upside down and spread the gospel message to numbers unquantifiable.IMG_20170829_063413_632 My world is small but my people matter immensely. I’m learning to look beyond numbers and to invest deeply and completely in the people and work before me. This isn’t easy, feeling small and unseen in a world shouting for attention. But who I am and what I’m worth is defined by Christ and not my sphere of influence on social media. Social media is fine. Having tons of followers is fine. But numbers are only helpful when they point us to Christ and his work rather than our own fame and glory.

So help me, God, to see you in the people and work before me however small and invisible my life may sometimes feel.

Soli Dio gloria.

6 thoughts on “On Jesus and Motherhood

  1. Jesus and motherhood. I am not a mother but a father. It matters not really my role. Nothing really matters to me unless it is written from the heart – When I read your blog I listened to the small clear voice of our father. Reading your words bring clarity and reality to many. So much of self is written these days- and nothing really hits the mark. I choose now to write for my self- I came off all of this because I just wanted reality not another word to impress. I wanted to take the time in telling you- that what you have- and written sets the fathers heart indeed.I am in a place of the Lord showing me that my will has to end. And his will placed deep within my heart. Thank you for your time today in writing. I know Americans normally write back two words in response to texts, emails, etc- lived in America long enough- so I expect no reply really. I am of Italian back ground and family is key. You are one of his chosen few- enjoy the journey all of you. With thought …. Bobby

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  2. I woke tired today and feeling so inadequate and unworthy. I really needed to read these words, to have them sink into my soul. You can include me in the sphere of influence. Your words steady me, straighten me up, point me back on the path I have walked. Even when your children are grown and your grandchildren are growing, you still need to reconsider that numbers and influence are not always equal. I have long struggled with the desire to have this large ministry to women, and find myself only ministering to those ladies in my church. I often sit and remind myself of what you wrote, so thank you, once more for putting words that pierce my soul and point me to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Lovely, as always. Cathi (DAF)

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