“For He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.”
— 2 Timothy 1:8

“Hold my hand, Mommy!” my youngest daughter said as I was walking her to bed.  When I took her tiny hand into mine, she spun around and continued spinning until we reached her room.

“Look!  We are dancing, Mommy!” she laughed as she wiggled, still trying to dance while I was making an attempt to put on her pajamas.  I was laughing with her, but it was also well past my 9 pm bedtime.  I was exhausted and, honestly, didn’t have enough energy at the moment to dance.

I, too, wanted to be in my pajamas, with my head on my pillow . . .  eyes closing.

But in that moment, between the twirls and giggles, her tiny body flooded with sheer joy, and something moved inside of me.  So despite my physical external exhaustion, an internal power rose up and gave me enough energy to spin her around a few more times, plant a few extra kisses on her neck, and giggle a few more giggles with her as she tried to squirm away from my tickles.

One thing being a mama for 9 years has taught me is that daily raising children acutely brings out my own selfishness.  And in my selfishness, there are still so many worldly desires that I think that I need from this life and feel that I am entitled.  But each day I am with my kiddos, THEY are the ones teaching me how to die to myself . . . helping me understand that this life is not all about me!  By just being themselves, they are chiseling away the sharp edges of my self-centeredness and teaching me that this parenting gig is really about us, as a family, learning life . . . together.  Theoretically, I am supposed to be the one teaching them, when in fact, they have become my best instructors.

Most days I feel very ill-equipped for this task that God has entrusted to me, and if I listen to the overwhelming information the world has to offer, I can easily convince myself that everything I am doing is causing irrevocable damage and permanently messing up my kids!

I am so thankful that I serve a God that tells me that He “has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:8).  I know that in my own frailty I cannot do this well, but He has equipped me with the power of HIS spirit to supernaturally love my children, demonstrate self-control, and teach them to love Him.

The calling of motherhood is one of the highest callings on a woman . . . as well as one of the hardest!  Motherhood is living each day with all the joys that these little ones bring us, but also living each day with making their meals, washing their clothes, taking them to school (or homeschooling them), cleaning their messes, correcting their tantrums (and ours too!), changing their diapers, wiping their tears . . .  (and the list can go on infinitely) . . . ALL WHILE we have not received a full night’s sleep IN YEARS.  However, despite the mundane – and even stressful – parts of daily living with tiny humans, God has called us as mothers to invest into the hearts of our children. Teaching them about Jesus is our UTMOST calling.  Jesus’s final words to his followers were “go and make disciples of all the nations,” and for us as mothers, the best place to start ministering to the nations is by first making little disciples in our own homes.

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