Our role as mothers is like a revolving door.
Every stage we go through requires us to pay attention, to shift and keep in step, to meet the needs of our kiddos as they grow and develop. Like a revolving door, if you don't take the step forward, it will push you with it, whether you like it or not - there is no going back.
My own entry into this revolving door of motherhood, was pregnancy in the bush of Africa, characterized by malaria prevention, bumpy drives to the city for prenatal care and difficult decisions about delivery. My role, as with all pregnant mamas, was to care for my body, as best as I could.
Then came our beloved first. We learned to navigate routines and schedules, all the quirks of a little personality. She learned to walk, she ate sand, she helped hand wash the laundry. It seemed a stage of instructing a lot of dos and don'ts.
The second, then maybe a third comes along. The kids get older and new issues arise in relationships with friends, respect, and teamwork. Caught in these new stages and themes, we may miss our exit out to explore these situations in their life, or we can be ready when the time comes, and side step out the revolving door and figure life out with them.
Each issue they face leads us into learning something new about these wonderful image bearers that God has given us, and new ways to interact, teach and grow them.
But in this revolving door, we may begin to find the pressure builds to find 'success' with everything new they face. We mount on ourselves a burden of managing homes and doing things "right" with our kids. The tension mounts and we may find ourselves at times when it all seems too much.
Have you been in a revolving door and felt that panic of not getting out at the right time?? Afraid you are going to trip and fall, or get squished?
During this season, like other times in our lives, when the load is heavy and everything about our daily routine is interrupted, Jesus' words stand out:
"You are anxious and troubled about many things but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:4-5).
So, what does this mean for us as moms?
"You are anxious and troubled about many things..."
I mean, it's not often a pandemic hits the globe.
All the changes that have hit our homes are somewhat extra ordinary, making our hearts an easy target for anxiety; teaching regrouping addition to your grade 3 child (we didn't learn it that way), more dents in the wall from mini-sticks, and lacking personal connection with 'our people'.
Then, there are the routine troubles - what to make for dinner, sibling squabbles and finding some form of childcare, for those of us who still go to work.
I find myself as Martha, more often than I want to admit, working hard when it feels like the pressure is on, and maybe these days I blame the pandemic more than I should. Then, I hear Jesus' words which boldly remind me, "you are anxious and troubled about many things."
Yes, yes I am.
But, shouldn't I be troubling over all these things? I'm a mom, it's my job, right?
"...But one thing is necessary"
Now, you may be thinking, 'Really? Only one thing?' Knowing the plethora of tasks that mount our plans for each day, what is the only thing necessary?
We find our answer 15 verses earlier in the chapter, when Jesus is asked what is needed to inherit eternal life.
"Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself" (Luke 10:27).
Beautiful, familiar words that point us back to one thing: Love.
A love that puts Jesus first in our day, over our thoughts, our plans and our priorities. A love that seeks the best for others, before ourselves. A love that fills every part of us, and emanates out of us.
Love is a tall order. It doesn't come naturally, our self does. His gentle guidance points us toward a life lived, not for ourselves, but for Him, prodding us to fill ourselves first with His food and drink, that we would have the sustenance we need in this daily endeavour of motherhood.
"Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
A life of love cannot be taken away from us. There is no loss, only the risk of living exclusively for ourselves. As mothers, there is sacrifice and hard-work in this pursuit of love, making choices to put Him first, and accepting His grace when we fail.
Living this mothering life, was first modelled by Jesus, the life He lived in obedience and surrender to God. As believing moms, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, chosen by Him, adopted as His children, and are waiting in the hope of His return.
During this time we have on earth, we will face anxieties and troubles - this is guaranteed. The grace of God over us leads us to the one thing that is necessary, and may He give us more grace as we live into a life of love.
In the midst of all the anxieties and troubles of today, what can you do to practice the one thing necessary?