As moms, we’re do-ers. We’ve got a job to do. A task to complete. A mission to fulfill. Whether it’s the actual daily raising of our children or checking items off our unending to-do list - we like knowing we’re doing our job well. And we like knowing our kids are doing a good job too.
As a young mom, so many of the struggles I encountered caught me surprisingly off-guard. One of those struggles was how much I measured my worth by what I did and accomplished throughout the day.
After my first child was born, I spent my days consumed with the never-ending needs of an infant. I gave myself a proud pat on the back when I managed to change out of my pajamas before dinner. Oh, and actually making dinner? That was an award-winning feat. The laundry? Complete, added bonus. To wash, dry, fold and put away one single load of laundry was a daunting task; and on the rare occasion I conquered it, I’d sing the Rocky’s Run song in my head like a boss.
This lie of productivity - that our worth lies in what we do - had me tangled in its maddening grip for years… I rode the victorious supermom high when I felt successful; and I plummeted into the loser-mom lows when I felt I hadn’t done enough; or even worse, had absolutely nothing to show for the day.
As my sweet babies grew into toddlers and children and early teens, that lie’s whisper grew into a taunting scream. Tragically, I began to project that lie onto them too. What they did and how they performed mattered to me. It mattered, because sadly I saw their worth in their accomplishments too. What they did well, gave me a sense of my own accomplishment.
My heart breaks for that younger me and what she believed defined her and gave her worth.
But my heart rejoices for who that younger me has become and daily strives to be - a mom who focuses not on her exterior doings; but her interior disposition - of surrender, openness, hope and expectation. A mom whose confidence lies not on what I can do; but what God can do - in and through me. A mom who has experienced the life-changing peace, freedom, and joy - that can only come through the power of prayer.
My life profoundly changed a few years ago, when I discovered how to do the single most important thing I could ever do - pray. I began to roll up my sleeves, get on my knees and pray - like I’d never prayed before.
I started praying intentionally for each person in my family - giving God all the details of their lives. I also started thanking Him for the unique beauty and gifts He had given to each one of them - and it changed me. I learned how to worry less and pray more; criticize less and praise more; complain less and give thanks more; control less and surrender more.
When I created the Mother’s Prayer Companion, it was about so much more than just creating a book; it was about embracing a new way of life. Through prayer, I’ve discovered a deep, abiding peace even in the craziness of family life. I’ve found freedom from burdens I’ve carried for years that were never meant for my shoulders. I’ve experienced God’s power working in ways far beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
I’m a new mom with a new way of life. And I love it.
A few years ago I stumbled across these words about the power of prayer, which have fueled my fire ever since:
“Prayer is, for the most part, an untapped resource, an unexplored continent where untold treasure remains to be unearthed. It is talked about more than anything else, and practiced less than anything else.” (Dr. Calvin Wittman)
As wives and moms, we’d do almost anything for the ones we love. Think about all the “resources” we’re so quick to tap into and invest our time and money in - (personal, parental, marital, educational, extracurricular, organizational, professional) - all in an effort to be more productive, successful, and accomplished. All so that we can do and be more.
We sure like that word, don’t we. More. We’re always grasping for something more.
But I have to ask you - what if by you doing less, you allow God to do more?
What if you discovered that there was a completely untapped resource out there - with untold treasure - that God, your loving Father, was just waiting to unearth in your life... and all you had to do was simply ask for it? Surrender to it? Open yourself up to it?
Building our marriages, raising our children and living out our mission each day - there’s no doubt these noble callings require some serious “doing” on our part. Yet ironically, it really isn’t about what we do at all - because ultimately we will never, and can never - do enough.
But what God can do - now that’s a different story. St. Paul reminds us that what God can do is not only enough; it’s immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power at work in us! (Ephesians 3:20)
So let me ask you something - do you want untold treasure to be unearthed in your life? Do you want immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine in your marriage and family?
Then it’s time to do the most important thing you will ever do; the greatest fight you will ever wage; the most lasting legacy you will ever leave.
So let’s do this, moms. The time is now. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get on our knees and pray - like we’ve never prayed before.
Welcome to a new way of life.
And get ready, because you can’t begin to imagine what God is going to do!