I can’t say that I have always loved motherhood. I am committed to motherhood because I know it is the most important job in the world, and I feel God’s encouragement and help, but there have been times when motherhood has been completely overwhelming, to the point of being devoid of joy. Maybe devoid is too strong a word, but sometimes in the thick of it, I lose sight of the joy.
I have found various solutions to this joylessness. And I seem to find more joy in motherhood as the years go on. But there are still those times that seem like too much: when the kids needs seem more like demands or when gratitude and appreciation seem to be in short supply or when the house explodes in chaos after a week of illness. Or when it is all overwhelming, my energy lags, and depressing thoughts creep in.
A few weeks ago I had a huge perspective shift, that has really helped me to put the joy in focus. Have you ever been pondering something, or listening to something, and made a connection and realized, this is going to change my life? It was one of those moments. And I hope this will help you find more joy in motherhood, too.
I was listening to this talk. And I thought, what if I apply this to motherhood? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this could be a game changer for me.
Joy Jones shares an experience she had trying to reach out to a family who was pretty closed off. She was discouraged until she discovered that when she focused on serving the Lord rather than on the family, she looked forward to serving, even if it seemed her efforts weren’t appreciated.
This is such a beautiful principle in motherhood, because most of what we do is routine, and we rarely receive thanks. At times I rely on my husband, my mom, or my friends, to tell me I’m doing a good job. But on the occasions I have asked the Lord if I am doing a good job, I have received overwhelming peace and joy. I’ve realized as I’ve worked to serve God, I don’t have to receive thanks. I am doing what God wants and if I focus on him, the joy comes, the patience comes,the compassion, wisdom, and determination comes to make the struggles of motherhood more joyful and less overwhelming.
Here’s what Sister Jones says:
“Rather than building resentment, we can build, through service, a more perfect relationship with our Heavenly Father. Our love for and devotion to Him preempts the need for recognition or appreciation and allows His love to flow to and through us.
“Sometimes we may initially serve from a sense of duty or obligation, but even that service can lead us to draw on something higher within us.”
The Lord has amazing gifts available to those who rely on him and use his power. I love that as we focus on our relationship with God, our capacity to serve increases. Hard days will always happen, but the way I view them has changed. As I focus on serving the Lord, I receive his help and the amazing capacities and gifts available to mothers.
It is beyond beautiful to experience joy in the actual doing of God’s work, nurturing his children.