“God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be.” (lyrics from a song called, The Family is of God.)
What better workshop for becoming like Him than living in a family, especially as the Mother of that family. What better place to develop love, forgiveness, patience, strength, and faith than in the lab of family life?
I have thought sometimes, ‘I could be so much more spiritual if I didn’t have all these kids waking me up all night, interrupting my prayers and scripture study, and arguing with each other!’ What was really happening, though, was that my weaknesses were being revealed to me and my great need for God, to help me meet so many needs, and I was being given constant opportunities to practice love and service. Motherhood gives us that chance every day, every hour. We have great opportunities for growth, just like the athlete who works out with resistance each day grows stronger muscles. Often the things that seem to be obstacles to our being what we want to be are actually the very things that help us to develop into that person.
In being presented with sibling rivalry and conflicts, I get to look at whether I have a heart at peace. In responding to interruptions, I get to look at whether I am willing to be as patient and loving with my children as God is with me, and whether I am really interested in serving in the way He wills or in the way that lets me have what I want when I want it. In striving to develop myself while caring for my family, I get to look at how much I trust the Lord to provide a way for me when I put forth the effort and take the time. I get to see how much I believe He values me and how much I value (or don’t value) myself. In trying to keep the right balance and priorities and making mistakes and course corrections, I get to see my need for constant connection with the spirit to guide me. in my weakness I get to cry out and receive help from angels seen and unseen and experience the power that is available to those who seek to fulfill the divine calling of motherhood. And in the tender, sweet moments of motherhood, I get a glimpse of the kind of love God has for all of his children and how it feels to be a channel for that deep, amazing, powerful love.
It may be a far cry from a monastery in the mountains with peace and quiet and reverence all around. But a home with a family is the best place I know for intense, spiritual cross training and finding what we are really made of, for bringing us to the feet of God and becoming all we are meant to be. It is truly a sacred environment.
Here’s a video of my family from a few years ago, singing, ‘The Family is of God.’ We aren’t professionals, as you will see, but we enjoyed learning this song and sharing it in church. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGGRUMds0a8