"Increasingly, I find that women are unsure about what it means to be a good mother. They are confused by a culture that send them drastically mixed messages about the importance of a mother's influence and whet her priorities should be. As a result, so many mothers I meet are baffled and frustrated. They don't know how to reconcile these conflicting messages with the calling of God on their hearts and lives.
What's the cure for this confusion? I believe it lies with a rediscovery of the traditional mission of motherhood, a rediscovery of what God had in mind when he designed families. And the fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and His purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully. It's up to us to embrace that mission as our own, trusting God to walk us through the details and to use our willing mothers' hands as instruments of his blessings."
~Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood
I've been deeply pondering mission lately. I look around (click around) and there are so many good ideas, so many ways to go, so many rabbit trails enticing me to hop along down a different path. I am impassioned by the needs in my community and the needs in worlds far away from my home. I want to travel, to serve, to do big things to make a difference for God.
And then there is my written mission. Long have words been my instruments. What is God saying? What does He want me to tell? How best to convey the message?The internet has made those questions dizzying. There is so much out there and to publish now is to have a firm grasp on all of it. No one wants a writer without a social network platform. No more curling up on the porch in your jeans with a Bible and pecking out a few words. Now, authors must build dynasties. It's impossible to scroll through my Twitter feed without countless people telling me what new "must do" is on the social network scene. Today, it was "Why Bloggers Must Adapt or Die." Every day, it's something. And it's never something that gives me more time and attention for my children. Honestly, it makes me wonder if it wouldn't really be wiser just to let the blogger in me die.
It used to be that writing about marriage and motherhood just grew out living marriage and motherhood, praying about marriage and motherhood, and some very intentional (limited) reading about marriage and motherhood. Now, it's gotten really complicated to be a mom.
I am bombarded (are you, too?). Pinterest and a million good ideas a day, but no time or energy left to bring them all to life. Facebook and dozens of connections and thoughts and inspirations (and arguments) but no one with a kitchen table where we can just sit and have tea. And Twitter. Relationships built on sand 140 characters at a time.
It's so easy to be distracted from the mission.
So, what to do when I think that really it might be better not to spend so much time investing online? Why, sign up to write something on a topic every single day for the next 31 days, of course! I am nothing if not a contradiction.
My idea is that I must wrestle this one to the ground. I'm going to take one solid biblically based book, written by a woman who has walked this path before me and whose children have grown into Godly young people and I am going to be still long enough to steep in the wisdom. I'm not going to flit from one shiny idea to an other. I'm not going to blog bounce. I'm not going to tweet or update statuses. I'm going to spend 31 days reading, praying, and reminding myself of vocation.
A call from God to a distinctive state of life, in which the person can reach holiness. The Second Vatican Council made it plain that there is a "Universal call [vocatio] to holiness in the Church" (Lumen Gentium, 39). (Etym. Latin vocatio, a calling, summoning; from vocare, to call.)
Here's the thing: I am never certain what God is calling me to do outside my home. I wonder about being a missionary abroad. I wonder about apostolates in my community. I look at what other women are doing for God online and I'm blown away by their energy, efficiency, and productivity and I wonder if I'm not squandering something at the computer.
But I have always been certain that God calls me to serve Him in my home, with my family. I am certain that He calls me to holiness here.
So, 31 days to remind myself of the mission. He's calling my heart home. Still.
Fair warning: I have no idea what this is going to look like. I'm going to read and to pray, to journal here. I'm going to be committed to home and to family and to listening to my Creator. The rest? We shall see. My blog is not my "brand." It's my scrapbook of thoughts and photographs.
Are you thinking about the mission of motherhood, too? I'm going to join The Nester for 31 Days. I'm going to host a 31 day "retreat"here to remind myself (and anyone who wants to come along) of the mission of motherhood and matrimony. If you want to do your own 31 Days on anything you choose, head here and join! If you want to retreat from the noise of the 'net for a month and focus your own sweet home and family, grab a “Remind Myself of the Mission” button and curl up with a candle, your Bible, and this good book! Let me know your thoughts below. We can help each other hear His mission. You can add a Remind Myself button by cutting and pasting the code below.
Day 3 Interrupted
Day 6 I Live for This
Day 8 God's Bountiful Blessing
Day 9 Homecoming
Day 10 The Undivided Heart
Day 11 The Undivided Heart Take 2
Day 12 A Servant Mother