I am always most inspired to blog on Sundays, right after church, but I never seem to make it to the computer then.
Our preacher is phenomenal at balance. He preaches the truth about sin, but balances with redemption. He preaches the severity of the condition of our culture, but balances with how to live within it.
This week, he was preaching from Genesis 3:14-16. Encouraging, considering my current state. Thanks, Eve. I told Sean that I think it would've been fair if God released kidney stones in men upon the onset of labor. Why should we women be cursed with the pain of childbirth and not men? Then again, the human race probably would've ended with Cain and Abel.
Dr. Fentress made the point that Eve even being allowed to have children had GRACE written all over it. God would've been perfectly just at that point to wipe Adam and Eve out and start over. But He let them live. They didn't die immediately for their sin.
While he spent a good bit of time talking about the severity of sin, the pain of childbirth, and the grace God showed the original couple, the thing that had me teary eyed was the encouragement.
In a society that downplays the importance of motherhood, he lifts us up. He asked, "Have you ever seen someone stare at a large family with disgust?" Uh, yaw. Especially in this city! Heck, I have a picture of a woman staring at my children with disgust on the metro. And I'm not under the assumption that our family is even that large. He said if you've ever looked down upon a mother based solely on her number of children, you should be ashamed. Convicted. "How she gonna feed all them kids?" GOD put those children there! He said if you've ever thought it, you need to repent for you have slapped God in the face. Convicted. Each and every being has a purpose. Despite the condition into which they are born. Don't think I didn't reiterate that when Sean said, "Hoooooly cow, look at that," when we pulled up behind an SUV with 9 stick figure humans and 2 stick figure dog decals.
He continued preaching on the subject of raising your kids. Best quote ever on the subject of reaping what you sow when it comes to child rearing, "You laid them eggs, they're gonna hatch on you!" He mentioned the current state of our society with passive men and overbearing women and how it's no surprise that the next generation is growing up so confused. If they haven't seen a healthy relationship, how are they to know what's normal and what isn't? Throw away marriages and absent parents, means for the kids involved?
The most encouraging part of his message was him pointing out that there is no higher calling than that of motherhood. Motherhood is the only "job" that affects future generations. There is so much more that he said, so many awesome points I could never do justice by reiterating them here. I just felt what he was saying. In the monotony of pony tails and hearing the chugging of the washing machine, it's easy to feel like it's all pointless. Society tells us our worth is in the car we drive or the neighborhood we live in. It's all about self. I saw a plastic woman with the biggest lips ever at a restaurant the other day. I was trying so hard not to judge. In all honesty, I wasn't judging so much as staring. Staring at the freakiness that is bad aging combined with lots of money. Her equally beautified man half cut in line and stole a table my friends and I (+ 6 hungry kids) were next in line for. They spent their entire meal taking pictures of each other.
There is no value in giving everything you have to another person, says society.
I find no greater value, though, than hearing a thought come out of my kids that I helped shape. When I see the relationships between my boys, I see my part in it. There are so many moments in the lives of these three fascinating beings that I find so much value in. The value of motherhood doesn't sit in a bank, it is eternal. And that is AWESOME! Our impact will last for generations. The time we're putting in isn't measured in loads of laundry and meals cooked, it's measured in souls saved, contributing members of society, and future husbands/fathers.
I'm telling you, I was pumped Sunday afternoon. I told Sean, "If I wasn't already pregnant, I'd want another baby after that sermon." This was a bit rambly as far as blog posts go, but I'm just excited to remember my excitement.
I have come to the conclusion that if there is no greater calling, nothing should come before our families. Behind our relationship with the Almighty, that is. Not work, not church, not bake sales and busy-ness. Not obligations that are meaningless in the end. I have a hard time saying no. Based on conversations with other women, it's something in our DNA. People pleasing, guilt induced obligation, weighing ourselves down with other people's problems. We take on task after task, letting the pressure build into a resentment that should never be. We displace anger. We take out our frustration on people completely removed from the situation(s).
I'm done with that. The boys God has entrusted me with need me more than ______ does. Fill in the blank with any thing, name or task. I've discovered that the more I put my family first, the more empowered I become. Saying NO is refreshing. I am all for having a servants heart, but not at the expense of my family. I have yet to find the happy balance. I'm a work in progress. I still overthink things and take things super personally.
But...I think I have my priorities in the correct order and that seems to be most of the battle.