This is My Why

Photo Credit: Josh Applegate

Photo Credit: Josh Applegate

“But, I don’t really get what you’re ‘doing’.” My friend said casually.

We were having dinner with pals when the topic of the Mother’s Prayer Companion came up. And her question hit a pain point.

What am I doing?

Her question forced me to go back to my old MPC journals and remind myself of my why. Why the Mother’s Prayer Companion? Why a blog? Why share so much of myself?

I don’t think I’ve ever really shared this piece of my heart with you. Truth is, everything about what I’m doing” has everything to do with my loves - my children and my man.

Many years back, my hip, twenty-something self never imagined she’d become a mom. A few years later, I ate my words, like I ate my (frozen) one-year-old wedding cake to celebrate my first anniversary of marriage. And next to me slept Chris and my brand new (first born) baby boy.

Then, I kept having more babies - four of them - within my first seven years of marriage.

And while I don’t pretend to have all the answers, or that my life is worthy of motherly Instagram bliss - I do know that with each child, my heart has multiplied. My capacity to love has grown at the same rate as our family has.

And with each baby, my mission has solidified.

As I rocked each one of those wee babies in the middle of night, I just knew with every bit of myself, Oh, this is what I was meant to do.

I was given this child that I hold in my arms; not any other, this one. He wasn’t given any other mother, he was given me - including all my deficiencies, insecurities, and imperfections. We were called to be each other’s, and I will love and protect this child with every ounce of my human capacity.

I was made for this. I was made for this child.

Oh, but wait. While the mission was so clear to me - the means to accomplish it wasn’t so clear. My early mama years were filled with anxieties, fears, and doubts. I had no clue what I was doing.

Most days I was living on a (desperate) prayer.

While struggling to swim, the Mother’s Prayer Companion was tossed my way like a life-preserver. This journal, this tool, the invitation to pray this way - literally became a life saver for me.

The peace and presence of God I found through prayer held me and sustained me.

I was given a clear vision for how to accomplish my mission. The MPC journal helped me identify my anxieties and worries and I was able to surrender them over to the Lord. My will began to be aligned with His will. I was no longer living on a prayer of desperation. I was living on His Word.

I learned to pray specifically and scripturally. And prayer became a discipline I intentionally chose to adopt, in the same way that living on a budget, doing chores, or staying fit is a learned behavior.

Prayer was up to me to actually put it into practice. Praying with my journal didn’t start out easy, nor was it second nature to me. I had to plan, I had to choose, and I still have to carve time out in the nooks and crannies to pray this way.

But, guess what? It was worth it - my mission depended on my commitment to consistency.

Humbly, I have seen the boundless fruit of these prayers. I have experienced the undeserved outpouring of God’s faithfulness and grace into my vocation as mom. In my journal, throughout the years of prayer requests I have seen His handiwork in our family.

He hears and answers me - both in small and big unbelievable ways. I am affirmed over and over again in my commitment to prayer, and it has become essential to my mission as a mother.

Prayer is my soul’s oxygen. My mission will fail without it - without Him.

Recently, my children’s school emailed me information about a safety drill the students and faculty will perform regularly. It is an “active shooter drill.” (I get chills just typing that out.) If your child attends a traditional school he/she has probably experienced this drill. It’s not a fire drill. This is meant to teach the students and faculty how to find safety if someone were to enter the school shooting a gun.

Lord, be near.

And while my knee jerk response is to hide and raise our family in a bubble, my catastrophic thoughts are put to rest. Because I remember I am equipped. I have the power of prayer. I have Jesus. And when the worry over my children’s safety arises, I choose prayer instead of panic.

And truth is the Lord loves my children far more than I do, far more than my human heart can love. He will keep them safe, He will work for the good of those who love Him.

So, if I were to go back to that dinner with my friend, my short answer to her would be that what I’m “doing” is… just doing me. I’m living out my mission to be a mom who is crazy about the Lord and her four littles and one big (guy).

I am a mom living on a prayer; not out of desperation, but out of adoration!

And I will fear no evil, for He is with me. Psalm 23:4

And part of me “doing me” is that I am empowering other mamas to do the same!  I am praying, investing, sharing, learning and loving other moms in hopes that they too can live out their mission in their family.

“If you want to change the world… love your family.”
-Mother Teresa of Calcutta  

Ladies, if each one of us knows our why; if we know the answer to the question “what am I doing ‘this’ for?” If every mom were to rise up, to join (prayerful) forces standing shoulder to shoulder, we would be an unstoppable force! The darkness will scatter. Evil will cower and flee.

Because we are mothers who pray.


Stef Blackwell

Stef Blackwell and her husband are raising their four kids and living the dream deep in the heart of suburbia, Flower Mound, TX. She’s a raging choleric and high functioning introvert, which some have said is impossible. But alas, here she lives to tell her tale. Her greatest strength is bossing people around; her greatest weakness is she bosses people around - and Jesus loves her just the way she is - today. She looks for the one mama who is standing alone and strives to bring them into the fold. God has given her a passion for marriage, motherhood, and living missionally.