And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. ~2 Corinthians 5:15
What a challenge it is to daily lay down my own desires and agenda and exchange them for His! I often I hear things like, “How do you manage with so many kids?” or “I could never do what you do!” Well, let me just set the record straight in case there is any confusion! Those of you who know me well (like my kids and husband) already know that it is not always a pretty sight!! We all know those mothers who just have such grace and dignity in the way they manage their children and household. They are always calm and sweet and everything is always in order, their kids always clean, well-kept and polite. I could even name some names but I don’t want to embarrass any of you beautiful mothers. That, however, is NOT a picture of me or of my household! My constant prayers are “Lord, please make me a good mother before I ruin these kids you’ve given me!” and “Please cover our household with your abundant grace to make up for my failures.” Another constant cry of my heart has always been, “Draw me closer, Lord.” I didn’t necessarily connect the two but He sure has.
God has a funny way of answering prayers sometimes doesn’t He? I didn’t cry for help when my kids were babies, or when we were fostering newborns. I love the baby stage. For me it is easy- no need to pray because in my mind, when they are babies I am already a good mother. Yep, perfectly confident in my own abilities at that stage! (Not saying that is ever a right attitude, just being honest) I began praying those prayers of desperation when the kids moved beyond baby and toddlerhood. Then we came here to Namibia and I was ready in my heart to take in babies. I figured I’d get my baby (babies) soon enough with the orphan statistics here. Nope. Because God heard my cries and answered in a way I would never have thought- by giving me older children who had never had any real mothering at all! For one, they don’t have anyone to compare my mothering skills to, and two, I get lots of practice and three I need Him even more! Perfect answer, right?
The more the heat gets turned up in my life the more time I spend on my knees because I do not have it in me to do all that He has put before me. The ONLY way I can succeed is by surrendering my own will to His perfect will. And that IS the only true success- accomplishing His will for my life. Everything outside of that will be meaningless in the end. It is not about me. I am not aspiring to be a good mother for me or even for my children but ultimately it is for Him and His glory. If what I deposit into them does not direct them to their eternal Father, who has entrusted me with them in the first place, then I have failed. No matter how “successful” they may appear in the world, ultimately what will matter is whether or not they have learned to live for Him who died for them. As I learn to live for Him and die to me, my hope is that I will be transformed more and more into His image and into a “better” mother- one who brings glory to Him each day and that I will be an example to the children entrusted to me of what dying to self and living for the one who died for us looks like.