Nothing seemed to be intuitive. Those early weeks with a newborn challenged me in every way, causing me to question everything I thought I knew about motherhood and what it would entail. While there were certainly moments of beauty and incomparable love, this journey to and through motherhood has been one of my greatest challenges in life, but more importantly, it's been one of my greatest conduits to God.
For today's blog post, I'm sharing how motherhood, with all of its unique trials and moments of intricate beauty, ultimately points us to God. There's so much to learn about Jesus through caring for our little ones, and I hope this message encourages you to share your story, too, as well as consider how He's been with you every step of the way.
Without further ado, here are the 10 things I've learned about God through being a mom.
1. Jesus' Commitment to a Life of Service
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’" ~ Acts 20:35
Nothing is more beautiful than washing the feet of your neighbors, of your enemies. Why? It's a moment of complete humility and submission. It's a moment where we yield our comfort and time for the benefit of another. We've seen this in John 13:1-5, as Jesus washes the feet of His disciples, including Judas, who would later betray Him.
I think motherhood, or parenthood in general, is a lot like this, too. It's a lot of giving. Of your time, your body, your finances, your love. Everything you have is laid out for the sake of your child.
Motherhood put the idea of service into a whole new perspective for me.
I'm no saint, but it forced me to take a hard look at my life and see that I am actually a very selfish person, and it's not in my nature to radically love and serve my family. Through months of sleep deprivation, a teething baby, and sickness, I can say that I am learning to serve, I am learning to love like Jesus more and more with each passing day.
2. Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone
"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." ~ Matthew 16:24-25
Discomfort is often a signal towards growth, whether we like it or not. As Christians, we've never been assured an easy life. Consider this passage from the Gospel of Matthew, a message from Jesus Himself. To follow Him, we must sacrifice our comfort and safety. Like Jesus, we will suffer in this life, try as we might to avoid it.
I bring this up because motherhood, for me, was an exercise in discomfort—both physically and spiritually.
As our bodies stretch and ache in preparation for labor, we're reminded of its limitations (as well as its miraculous, God-given abilities, too!). There is beauty in pain, purpose in suffering.
At the end of this long, sleep-deprived journey, we get to hold a tiny, wiggling baby in our arms, and all of it becomes worth it. We see what Jesus has known all along—suffering produces endurance, character, and hope (Romans 5:3-5).
3. Time Is a Gift
"Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." ~ Ecclesiastes 5:16
Our time is one of the greatest gift God has given us, and as such, we should treat it wisely, just as this verse says. As I grew up I constantly heard my parents chat about how time just seemed tot fly by faster and faster as us kids aged. I really didn't realize the significance of this until I had a daughter of my own.
While she was born at the beginning of last year, I feel as if I just welcomed her into the world yesterday. I often turn to my husband, "Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital? How can she be 9 months old already?!"
Time is a funny thing, isn't it? And it's true, it does seem to speed up as we grow and witness our children learn and explore. With each passing month and milestone, I'm motivated to cherish every second with her—in the here and now. She won't be a baby forever.
4. He Empowers Us to Do Great Things
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~ Philippians 4:13
The truth is, I never felt ready to be a mom. I went back and forth between feeling pretty confident about welcoming my baby to being utterly terrified at what would follow. What if I'm not enough? What if this is too hard for me? My life would change forever.
As only God does, He showed up in an incredible way and revealed to me that I am capable of great things through His love and power. When we lean on God and not on our own understanding, the world opens up to us and we see ourselves as God does—fully loved, empowered, and strong.
5. There is Magic in Rising Early
"I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words." ~ Psalm 119:147
I intend to become a morning person this past year, but lo and behold, I now get up at 6:30 sharp each morning. Ask any parent and I'm sure you'll receive a similar answer. I used to be so slow and sluggish in the mornings, barely able to crawl out of bed and face the day. Now, there's a steady rhythm to my day that begins and ends with caring for my daughter.
I've always wanted to be a morning person, but it never seemed possible for me. I'd read accounts of people in the Bible rising early to meet with God and I longed for the same kind of faithfulness. Once I had my daughter and was on her schedule, I felt a sort of magic in the early morning. I'd get up early to feed her, rocking in my family heirloom chair, watching the rays of first light rise through the trees.
I felt God's presence so distinctly in the morning, unlike anything I'd ever experienced.
It was as if God crafted this moment in time just for me and my daughter, His creativity on full display in the sherbet sky. This was one unforeseen perk of my new role.
6. His Vision for Marriage
"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." ~ Ephesians 5:33
Marriage will test you, just as having a child will test you, but most importantly, it will test your relationship. None of it is easy, but the journey is beyond worth it. I've seen my husband love and care for our daughter with such joy and devotion. This shared mission we have, to raise our little one, has brought us together and strengthened our marriage.
As I flip through verses in the Bible depicting God's vision for marriage, I'm in awe. Some of these things have become more clear to me since giving birth. I love seeing my husband as a father, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for him in the coming years.
7. An Invitation to Focus on God, Not the World
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." ~ Philippians 4:9
Despite what's happening in the world, it's been an immense blessing to be able to focus on my little family, on what God has for us. Before having my daughter, much of my day consisted of mindless scrolling on social media. I often felt bogged down by the darkness of the world as well as the crippling feeling that I didn't measure up.
Once I had my daughter, the unreasonable comparison let up. The distractions slowed down a bit. I still face those things occasionally, but they don't have the hold on me they once did.
If I can learn to lessen the voices of the world in my day, then my daughter will grow up doing the same. It's been humbling to consider that my life is not my own anymore. What I do ultimately affects her.
8. Strength in Numbers
"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." ~ Proverbs 27:9
There have been many times over the past year where I've come to the end of myself, recognizing my own fallibility. Thankfully, God has introduced the most amazing friends and neighbors to come help us on this adventure.
There's no use in trying to live the Christian life alone.
By definition, to serve our Lord is to further His kingdom—a community of people living alongside each other. I've seen our friends deliver groceries, watch our baby, cook meals, and send countless waves of encouragement. This is how God wants us to live, for each other, lifting one another up in the Word.
9. The Power of Forgiveness
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." ~ Matthew 6:14
On our own, it's too easy to beat ourselves up, to be ashamed of our sin. It's when we bring all of it to light and open up that we finally experience some relief. In the past, there have been things I'm too scared to share with my family, too afraid they won't love me.
However, since I've become a mom I've felt this incredible unconditional love toward her. I love her with everything I have, and I would do anything to help her. Through this, I see glimpses of God's deep love for us, His own children. He desperately wants to connect with us, for us to thrive.
When grace and forgiveness are the foundation of a relationship, true beauty follows.
10. His Plan Is Greater
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Have you experienced some doubt in your life? I know I have. Through any life-changing experience, it doesn't have to just be motherhood, you'll see that God has been there all along, and what's especially amazing is that He's been guiding you to this precise chapter in your life story.
Your heart has been prepared for this moment. Take that in for a moment. God has always been there, and His plan is always greater than ours.
No Greater Love Than His
Mamas, this one's for you! Wear your love for Jesus on your sleeve with our selection of Christian apparel. We've got super cute t-shirts to encourage you in the Word as you embark on your journey through motherhood. Remember, LiF sister, you are dearly loved and you're never alone.