Motherhood is not a Stop on the way to Doing Great Things for God- This is Where Great Things get Done Everyday

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Small girl, up way too early, shattering the quiet I expected before dawn. I remind myself that you are not the intrusion; you are the reason that I’ve carved this time to fill my tank with Jesus.

Some people can jump out of bed in the morning, swallow a handful of vitamins with a cup of coffee, scrape the ice off their windshields, commute in crazy traffic, and take on the world.

Not me.

I’m weak-kneed at the prospect of spending the day with six children. I jump when the phone rings and I recognize the ringtone as one belonging to a “child” living away. I am overwhelmed by mundane things like laundry mountains and soccer schedules and how to roast a chicken.

I spend my early morning drinking deep of Him because I’m going to need it.

This work at home–this holy,  holy work? It’s not something we do to pass the time while we wait for Him to call us to something more, something greater. This is the more. These children in our midst, the ones that sleep horizontally in the middle of our beds, the ones that sit in the minivan as we drive to dance class, the ones who really need to tell us all about it at 10 PM, they are the holy calling.

They are the “neighbors,” living right here among us.

We are called to go and make believers of all nations. We are called to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. We are called to holiness. Holiness. Even in our own homes. Even when no one is watching, but our children. Especially when no one is watching but our children. 

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C. S. Lewis offers this. I have taken the liberty to substitute “child” where he wrote “neighbour.” I suppose we could substitute “husband” as well.

It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his [child]. The load, or weight, or burden of my [child's] glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the back of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

It is in the light of the overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn.

We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have from the outset, taken each other seriously–no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your child is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian [child], he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ ver latitat–the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden. ~from The Weight of Glory

This is not a stop on the way to doing great things for God. This is the place where great things get done every day.

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Comments

  1. Anna says

    Thank you for this!! I had never read that Lewis quote before…what a beautiful description of this calling and of those we serve. And, yes, WHERE do we get those letters? :)

  2. says

    Thank you for this timely reminder Ms. Sally. As women God as call us to train and bring up children to live for Him. So the first step to doing that stays in the home. No teacher or outside influence should I could do that better then us–mothers.

    “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.

    Peace to you.

  3. Jill says

    Thank you, Elizabeth! I love this. I have felt this so long and so deep inside. Thank you for sharing it. I love this message.

  4. says

    Amen, Elizabeth! I have been taunted in my heart lately with the feeling I should be “doing more.” That always makes me less focused on the “more” that is right under my nose and feet(!) in my home. :) Thanks for the encouragement to love our nearest neighbors.

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