There is an ugly monster that lurks around our home from time to time. She has snarled teeth, a sharp tongue, hands stretched out in frustration, and sweat often lines her brow. She steals joy, stomps around in pride, and longs for the spotlight to be placed on her. She has a wall of defenses around her heart, and is quick to attack the second she feels unappreciated.
Yet, in her mind, this monster wears a cape. She thinks she is the only one in the world doing all the mundane tasks that must be done. She believes that things are only accomplished if she does them. Across her chest, the letters, "tired as a mother", are written so the world knows just how tired she actually is. Her dry shampoo, grumpy contenance, and harsh tone find their only solace in her 15th cup of coffee. And because she is so over feeling needed all.the.time. while her kids thirst for her attention, she sits, scrolling through other mom feeds, wondering why her life doesn't look the same.
Then, one day, while watching a video that would normally have made her laugh and proclaim a loud amen, she looked at her reflection and saw the monster. The monster, who over time had allowed feelings of resentment, isolation, and wandering to creep up and take over the joy she found in her calling, yet up to this moment she thought she had been the definition of supermom.
Last week, that was me. I sat there watching a video I'd normally agree with and my thoughts led me to the way I was raised. I thought back to my mom, who kept an immaculate home, graduated magna cum laude while still maintaining her position as home-room mom. A woman who cooked healthy, from scratch meals almost every night, and who still found time to work on projects with dad, and keep fit. I don't remember a single day growing up in which I saw my mom complain about the mess we had made, the meals she had to cook, or the work that still had to be done as we went on to bed. She didn't recount to us or to anyone else all she had to do, and never once, did she leave her duties to dad because she was too tired to finish them.
And I thought to myself, what aren't I more like that? Why do I feel like such a victim to my calling as a wife and mother? The mundane is inevitable, why do I resent it so much?
That's when the light-bulb went off. In this culture of over-sharing, look-at-me, praise-me, bless-me, ME culture, I have let videos, and parodies, and t-shirts, and perfectly curated Instagram posts telling me I'm super, creep into this season of life. I've given myself a pass for laziness for the sake of "self-care". I've justified the resentment I've had towards my husband because he "doesn't know" the hard work I put into every day, only to see it trashed in thirty seconds. I've rolled my eyes when others have said they are tired, and laughed in their face. I've detailed the horrors of motherhood- the spit-up, the poop, the boogers, the crumb covered ground, and potty training hell- to all my non-mom friends for them to sit back in amazement. I've gotten frustrated for an entire day because I didn't get the perfect photo for Instagram. I've sat in a puddle of defiant ungrateful tears because it never seems like enough. And I've lost sight of what I should be seeking to attain while feeling chained to my circumstances.
And that is when the Lord placed this in my heart:
In an effort to be the supermom the world looks at and appreciates, I've lost sight of the supermom God created me to be.
Frankly, to God, my worldly supermom status means nothing. He didn't call me to a life lived accomplishing every mundane task ever created. He didn't call me to a life of wiping, mopping, sweeping, folding, and re-telling of all the things. He didn't call me to try and do it all on my own, just to wear the badge of "Do It All" on my chest. He didn't call me to a life of complaining over all the things I have to do everyday. He didn't call me to a marriage of two individuals going about their separate lives and occupations, believing the other is ignorant to what they must do. He didn't call me to a season of motherhood wondering whether it is all enough.
Instead, my Creator created life inside of me to nurture, teach, encourage, discipline, forgive, inspire, impart, and love with ALL of my being. To Him, using all of those qualities to point back to Him make me a supermom, the mom He has called me to be.
He has no concern for how well I keep my house, but He does care how I teach the biblical principle of stewardship through the way I keep our home. He has no concern for how healthy my meals appear, but He does care how I nurture and feed the little temples of the Holy Spirit He has entrusted to my care. He doesn't care about the words I say or write coming out perfectly, but He does care about the words that describe the beautiful forgiveness and grace found at the cross. He doesn't care about the minutes spent actively playing with my children, but He does care about the Joy I bring to them as we laugh and dance. He doesn't care whether the notes are in tune and confident, but He does care that I show my girls I worship an audience of One. He doesn't care about the size I am or the weight I carry, but He does care about the way I display an attitude of discipline and gratitude for what my body can do in front of my girls.
The mundane tasks bring me no closer to a more intimate relationship with Him. The cleaning, cooking, working, nursing, and organizing are all by-products of the calling He has given me as a wife and mother. When walking in fellowship with Him the mundane become instruments for furthering the gospel in the greatest mission field I will encounter. When intimacy with my God is at the forefront of my mind and heart, the desire for acknowledgement of self and all I've done turns into, "how can I prepare the way for God's grace to capture their hearts?".
But the moment the focus is blurred, Satan turns the joy and lessons found in the mundane into resentment and frustration. And it is because of that, I believe I am among a generation of mothers who feel like monsters at home, and yet try to appear super everywhere else. We feel as though we have no identity, are isolated, and aren't enough because we keep trying to match the world's standard of super. We are intimidated by the women in God's Word because we elevate them to a place we cannot reach, failing to recognize the intimacy they must have had with Him.
Mama, wife, daughter, student- you are capable of fulfilling your calling and finding your identity the second you surrender your desires to be "super" and walk in fellowship with Him. The world wants you to complain, seek attention for all you do, and still feel like you're not enough, because it feeds off your self-expression and self-doubt. But all God asks for is a heart seeking Him.
The mundane, the to-dos, the constant need is a gift from God to aid in fulfilling the beautiful calling He has placed before you. Hold your head high as you sweep and cook. Pray a prayer of gratitude as you place food in the fridge and clothes in the dryer. Rejoice and dance as your husband walks through the door again. Sing and teach while the soup simmers. Speak wisdom and inspire dreams as you tuck those little souls to bed each night. And climb into bed each night, whether the sink is full or not, or the tasks checked off or not, knowing that because you walked in fellowship with Him your work was more than enough, and not done in vain.
I'm sure that ugly monster I've hidden away is bound to creep up from time to time. I'm not perfect, and I am reminded of that everyday. But I am enough, in His strength. I am equipped, with His tools. I am called, by Him alone. And I am capable, of doing all He has asked me to do. I became enough when He took my sins upon Himself and died upon the cross, and I surrendered my all to His Immeasurable Grace. I was already equipped to be the wife and mother I am and will continue to become the day I made my entrance into this world. And as long as I walk in intimacy and fellowship with Him, I am capable of being the supermom, wife, friend, student, daughter and woman He has called me to be.
Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men... Colossians 3:23