I don’t have enough quiet in my life, enough silence for meditation and drinking deep from the living water that is Christ. I get so caught up in the busy-ness of being a wife, mother, homeschooler, speaker, writer, daughter, discipler, endorser, etc and etc, so that I lose the desire to pursue intimacy with the Lord. There are seasons when my life feels very public and yet I grow hollow inside because the busyness drains me spiritually. Without intentional moments set aside for reflection, I operate on autopilot, in an almost robotic way. The doings, which are good things, replace the best things, namely the appetite to seek after God.
This morning, God ordained circumstances so that a meeting I thought I would have did not push through. And since I left the children at home with their “assignments,” I was alone, in Edric’s office when everyone (including Edric) was out. For someone who is used to children of different ages clamoring for her attention or moving about all around me, the stillness was wonderful!
Amidst all the Christmas hullabaloo that makes this favorite season one of the most stressful and crazy, I needed a pause like this one. I picked up Christopher Klicka’s book, “The Heart of Homeschooling,” and read the section his wife, Tracy, wrote on The Homeschooling Mother. She said, “I was and still am quite ordinary. I have no special talents that equip me to be a good mom, much less a supermom. All I have is God. But that is enough.”
All I have is God. All I need is God. This spoke to me loud and clear.
Being a wife and mother can be so complicated sometimes. When the checklist of things to do lengthens, I start peddling through each responsibility on my own power. And then I reach a point when I’m exhausted and physically sick. I need to remember that being a woman isn’t about what I can do and get done. The list of things to do will never end. And I will never reach that point of rested-ness if I keep chasing after that list…
On any given day, here are some of the thoughts assaulting me…
Have I prepared good, healthy meals for my husband and kids today? Did I make sure bills were paid and home repairs were completed? Did I manage the household well and check on their dynamic with one another? Did I get through at least 3 or 4 homeschooling books for each of my children? Did I spend time with my toddler and make sure she got enough attention from me? Did I write that blog entry I have been meaning to? Have I stocked the refrigerator and kitchen pantry? Did I read my Bible? Are my notes and presentation materials prepared for the speaking engagements I have this week? When am I going to Instagram that endorsement I’ve been asked to make? Did I exercise this morning? Do I have outfits for the multiple events I have to attend? When can I clean out my email account or archive photos? Whom do I need to meet with this week to counsel or minister to? Have I had one-on-one talk time with each of my kids? Who among them needs special attention this week? Am I giving Edric enough time? Have I completed the tasks he assigned to me?
These questions are maddening and they flood my head with all kinds of anxious thoughts. Very often, peace evades me until I can check off each of these items. (So this means my peace is very short-lived!) Realistically speaking, there is no REAL rest for a wife or a mom in terms of our duties. There are seasons when our duties pile up really high and other times when they are only inches deep. But they remain nonetheless.
1 Corinthians 7:34 puts it so well when it says, “The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”
So to my single readers…give the best years of your singlehood to the Lord. Marriage becomes a game-changer. The liberties you experience now are something you will never quite have again when you settled down and have kids. I’m not regretting being a married woman and mother, but my ministry has been elected for me – to serve my husband and my kids. There isn’t a day when I can say I resign. My decisions must always be filtered through the priorities of wife and mother.
To my married readers, might I encourage you to stop, look and listen. Set aside that anxiety, turn off the burners, and take a few moments right now to come to the feet of our loving, heavenly Father.
Today, I was reminded once again that there is nothing that should define me more than my relationship with God. He must be the reason I follow the Bible’s principles on marriage and parenting. He must be the reason why I homeschool and keep homeschooling my kids. He must be the reason why I speak, write, and minister to other women. He must be the source, the sustainer, and the end of everything I do.
Sometimes I mistakenly assume that to do more is to be more important, more special, more deserving of praise and attention. But Jesus corrected this perspective (which I am to prone to have as a woman) when He told Martha in Luke 10:41-42, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Mary was seated at the feet of the Lord, the God of this Universe, her Creator, listening intently to Him speak. As I fulfil my responsibilities may I never forget that what I really need is God’s presence and to receive what can never be taken away – the peace, the joy, the grace, and the rest that He gives to all who come to His feet.
7 thoughts on “Stop. Look and Listen.”
Hi Ms. Joy.
Just been blessed of this blog. How i wish i have the gift of managing my time like you do. I often justified my being “Martha” most of the time because I thought nothing is wrong with that. But yes, we need to slow down and spent quality time with our Lord.
You’ve just inspired me to do what I know I should – be still in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I’m a wife & classroom teacher here in Melbourne and can relate to the endless list of tasks. Thanks for being one more reminder to seek Him first! I’m also going to set aside a good chunk of time for my students to do the same – just read the Bible, pray, appreciate.
Much needed reminder
God bless you????
Hi Ms. Joy,
Where can i buy the book you mentioned above? I would like to give it to my mom as a gift since she is homeschooling my two other siblings.
So much blessed with this!
So timely, Thank you so much!
God bless you more and more!
what WE really need is God’s presence and to receive what can never be taken away –” the peace, the joy, the grace, and the rest that He gives to all who come to His feet.” —Ms. Joy T. M.
Thank you for sharing again Joy. What a timely article for me to digest today. Yes, God is the reason, He is the reason. It really made me think, reflect and question myself …”Am I doing more because I want to feel more important, more deserving of praise and attention?” I think I am so deceived of what the world defines that when I give more, I will be worthy to be called “The Good Wife and The Good Mom.” I need to reboot my heart, my mind and my spirit. And turn it on again with God’s power of love, wisdom and sufficient grace of humility and obedience…and rethink my motives.
thank you for your message! i feel so blessed to receive and read your messages. this is so timely actually and God used you to see where i’m at now spiritually because i can relate to other things that you do being a wife,mother, homeschooler, faith partner, sister and even a friend. I know He is a God and deserves more than our time and attention besides He is the source of our strength, without Him everything is meaningless.
thank you Ms Joy for your sincere thoughts and those stories that gives so much inspiration to the readers. Most of all for your generous heart to give insights out of the day to day family life stories.