Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The seasons of motherhood

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2

When my husband was in seminary, I worked full time.  Except for his year of vicarage, I worked in daycare.  Every day, I saw parents drop off their children, leaving them with me for the day for their care.  During the time that I was a toddler teacher, I had many children call me "Mommy," including one time in front of a little boy's own mother.  After that day, I went home and made my husband promise that when we were blessed with children, I would be able to stay home and take care of them.  I didn't want any other woman but me called "Mommy" by my children.

For eight years, I stayed home with my children.  I shuttled to and from preschool.  I changed diapers and potty trained toddlers.  I fed lunches, put down babies and toddlers for naps.  I did laundry, I cleaned.  As the kids got older, I took on a few part time jobs, mostly playing organ in churches or teaching piano.  Late this summer, this changed.  I was offered the opportunity to go back to work in daycare, full time after January.

For the first time a couple weeks ago, I dropped all three of my children off at daycare.  Something that would have given me hives from nerves six or seven years ago was actually a good thing.  It was a new season for me.

Motherhood is full of seasons.  There's the season of caring for newborns and toddlers.  There's the season of having preschoolers, and getting adjusted to having children in school.  There's the season when your children are suddenly older, and you're finding a new footing for yourself in the world, as I am doing now.  In every season, however, we need to stay connected with Christ.  As Paul says above, we need to be prepared in every season.  Staying in God's Word, attending worship, receiving communion--all of these things help us stay connected with our Lord during whatever season or mothering lives are in at the moment.  

Staying connected to Christ ourselves helps us keep our own families connected with Christ.  It helps us, as Paul says above, to give careful instruction with great patience.  Teaching our children about the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross will last forever.

No matter what season it is.

We pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, we find ourselves in many seasons while we mother our children. Guide us during those seasons.  Help us to have patience, and to stay connected to you.  Help us to be prepared to give instruction to our own children, during the seasons in their own lives.  Thank you for sending Your Son to give us eternal life.  In Your name we pray,  Amen.

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