Friday, May 10, 2013

Motherhood - The Highest Calling

"I am the Lord's servant, " Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said. (Luke 1: 38)

When the angel appeared and announced to Mary that the power of the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and she would conceive a child, Mary willingly accepted the high calling to be a mother. Mary certainly hadn't planned the pregnancy, and the timing surely seemed way off. Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph. In biblical times a woman who became pregnant before marriage could be stoned to death. 

Mary wasn't worried about having enough money to start a family. She wasn't concerned with how it might affect her career. She never complained that she wasn't ready to be a mom. She didn't argue that perhaps she was too young or too old to have a baby. She simply accepted the blessing of motherhood as a servant of the Lord. 

It saddens me today how differently some women view motherhood. They see it as a burden rather than a blessing. They don't want to be "tied down" with a baby. Some even head to the nearest abortion clinic to put an end to the life that God is knitting together in their womb. Mothers used to sacrifice their lives for their children. It was just accepted that when you became a mother, you put aside your own selfish pursuits and focused on raising your family. 

My mother and her best friend were the most devoted moms I ever knew. They never went anywhere without their little ones. I never once heard my mother say: "I need a break from these kids!" Mom was happy when we got out of school for the summer, and she was sad when we went back in the fall. She loved us and we knew it. There was never any doubt that she cherished the high calling of being a mother. 

Mom passed away 21 years ago, and I still treasure the memories of her and the wonderful childhood I had. There was never any doubt that she would be there when we needed her. She didn't go out shopping with her friends, go to the gym, or belong to clubs. On rare occasions, when she did go somewhere, she took us with her. Her days consisted of playing with us kids, going for walks, baking treats, and fixing us meals. Her evenings were spent curled up on the couch watching TV with us kids and then tucking us into bed. I was blessed to have her. She was one in a million. 

I share this not to inflict guilt upon anyone. No mother is perfect, and I certainly made enough of my own mistakes. At times I was the mother yelling: "I need a break! These kids are driving me crazy!" There's nothing wrong with taking a break from your children to go shopping, work on a hobby, etc. Life now is different than it was in my mother's generation, and each individual has unique challenges and circumstances to deal with.

I want to encourage every woman who has been given the high calling of motherhood to cherish it, embrace it, enjoy it, and to know that not one minute you spend with those precious babies will ever be regretted. Raising my four children was the greatest thing I ever did. No career will ever compare to the years I spent nurturing little ones. No future pursuit will be more important. 

When the years pass away and you leave this earth, what memories will your children have of you? Will they be sweet memories of time spent together? Will they remember you as a devoted mom who always sacrificed her own needs for their needs? 

We should all be inspired by Mary's response to learning she was about to be a mother. We need to accept it as a gift from God and rejoice that we were chosen to be entrusted with the high calling of motherhood. We are blessed!

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