My mom called the other day because she had something special she wanted to share with me: she read me this passage from a book she is reading because she thought it might be encouraging to me as a mother and a Christian. I had her type it up and send it to me so I could share it with the rest of you.
From “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” By John Ortberg
“Wise training will take into account our season of life. There is more good news that our season of life is not a barrier to spiritual growth. A mother in our small group suggested that it was easier for her to ”work on her spiritual life” before she became a mom. As we talked it became clear what she meant. To her, reading the Bible and praying were the only two activities that counted spiritually. As a mother she felt that ”time alone” was an oxymoron. In this the church had failed her. She had never been taught to see that caring for two young boys, offered daily with expressions of gratitude and prayers for help, and patient acceptance of trials, might become a kind of school for transformation into powerful servanthood beyond anything she had ever known. Somehow having a ”quiet time” COUNTED toward spiritual devotion, and caring for two young boys did not. It took creative effort for this young mother to carve out time for solitude and stillness, and even then she could not free up the amount of time she had in college. But as a mother she had new opportunities for growth she did not have back then. OUR SEASON OF LIFE —- WHATEVER IT IS—– IS NO BARRIER TO HAVING CHRIST FORMED IN US. NOT IN THE LEAST ! ”
I was really encouraged by this. I have never thought of my time spent being a mother as spiritual training grounds for the future, let alone counting toward my spiritual growth. I am constantly beating myself up because I didn’t have the time to sit down and read my Bible, thinking I was falling that much more behind in my spiritual growth. I feel a renewed sense of freedom with this bit of knowledge that has been passed on to me. I will certainly keep trying to make time for reading my Bible, because that is always important, but I’m not going to feel guilty for missing. I know God is using my everyday experiences to teach me. I will look at motherhood with a bit of a different spiritual perspective, and each time I encounter a fussy child or an intensely smelly poopy diaper, I will know that somehow, through this, God is making me a better, more equipped person, so that when I am finished with the job of raising my kids, I will be fully trained and ready for the next calling God has on my life.