Dismantle the Lie of the “Smallness” of Motherhood

Susan Narjala   |   May 13, 2022 

Even as the Mother's Day celebrations wind down, spa coupons expire, and special discounts end, a weariness may begin to set in as mamas face the seeming sameness and smallness of every day.

Once the crumbs from breakfast-in-bed have been cleared up, there’s a tendency for moms to see their role as somewhat secondary to the more “important” things that others are called to do. Things where you can get performance reviews and bonuses and certificates and recognition. Things where you get to dress up in clothes that don’t have spit-up stains on them. Things where you have the privilege of completing entire sentences because you’re not interrupted by a screaming toddler.

But, even as Mother’s Day brunches and bonanzas come to an end, here's a reminder: Your investment is important, even if it doesn't measure up to the culture's yardstick of productive or successful. Your assignment as a mom is precious and significant because that is what God has called you to.

One of the most quoted and Instagrammed verses today is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4: 13) Often we equate that to mean we can tackle big tasks and handle mega projects and scale the highest mountains with the strength God gives us. But taken within its context, the apostle Paul in this verse is saying that, through Christ, he can do all things — including being content in every circumstance.

Unlike Paul, I have to admit, I have a hard time being content right where God has placed me. I’ve bought into the idea that I’m “just” a mom, and that being a mom is not enough. I even find myself being apologetic that I have nothing “momentous” to report when I introduce myself to someone new. I’ve let my mind dwell on the question, “God, what’s next?” and very quickly followed that up with, “When, God, when are you going to make that ‘next’ thing happen?” It’s as if that shiny “next” thing will be the answer to all my dreams and hopes.

This is not just true for moms. You can be in any sphere of life and feel "less than." You just have to spend a few minutes on social media to be trapped in this idea that everyone else is way ahead of you. They seem to have taken giant strides in their careers. They seem to have established a name for themselves. They seem to have all the connections and influence to make it through life. Your life just seems so small, so inadequate, so inconsequential.

But in this season God has been gently reminding me that I’m exactly where He has placed me, even if it may not be deemed “successful” or “important” in the eyes of the world. Friend, maybe you need that reminder too. God has not overlooked you or forgotten you. He sees you right where you are and He reminds us  that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” ( 1 Timothy 6:6)

Here’s how the Amplified Bible puts it: But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God].

Our contentment doesn’t come from striking the right work-life balance or having the perfect home or the best-behaved children who bring home stellar report cards. Our contentment doesn’t come from making that corporate deal or jet-setting in business class or taking that all-inclusive vacation. Those can likely be good things — but the happiness they bring can slip through our fingers. But you know what we can hold firmly to?  We can cling to the truth that Christ is our sufficiency in every circumstance. And because He is enough, you and I can do all things, including being content right where He has placed us right now.

If in this season, God has called you to be a mom of littles who have no clue about your investment in just keeping them alive, fed, and somewhat clean, you can still be content. If, in this season, God has called you to be present and available for your older kids who seem to prefer the company of their friends to you, you can still be content. Because your strength and your significance come from an all-sufficient God.

As the celebration wears out and the mundaneness sets in, may we do what we do with all our hearts because we do it for the glory of God. Know that God is not holding out on you. He has placed you exactly where you are for a purpose. And you and I can find our contentment in Him through every season of our lives.

 

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

 

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog, www.susannarjala.com

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