Motherhood seems to be made up of a million small things. We hold our tiny babies. We fold their little clothes. We lose their tiny shoes in our minivans and their teensy weensy socks in our dryers. We celebrate baby steps and small victories. And there are days when we can’t seem to think past the smallest increments of time—five more minutes of sleep, thirty-second showers, two-minute time outs. All of those small things have a tendency to narrow our focus, but in reality the big picture is much, well, bigger.
There’s nothing bigger than the Gospel. The message that Jesus Christ left heaven, came to earth, and died on the cross to rescue us from our sin and to make a way for us to live with Him for eternity is huge. It’s significant. It’s complex. It’s weighty. The good news of the Gospel is very, very big!
Does the big message of the Gospel have anything to teach us about the seemingly small tasks of mothering? Can we learn anything from the big story of Jesus and apply it to the little stories we are living out with our children?
The New Testament opens with these words, “The book of genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1).
From there, the Gospel story unfolds with a long list of birth announcements. For seventeen verses, the writer traces Jesus’ family through forty-two generations. The list includes mothers like Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Then suddenly we see her. She’s the new mom at the table.
At this point, Mary probably had more questions than answers about diapers, discipline, and sleeping through the night. She may not have been a seasoned veteran yet, but her mothering journey has much to teach us as we parent.
Before she got pregnant, Mary was just a simple Hebrew girl who wasn’t on anyone’s radar screen. Well, that’s not exactly true. God saw her. Gabriel spoke boldly of God’s favor on Mary. In fact, He chose her for a monumental mission. What job title did God give her? Not pastor. Not missionary. Not revolutionary. Nope. God’s assignment for His favored one . . . was to be a mom.
It’s true; Jesus had a spectacular birth. His birth announcements came in the form of a choir of glowing angels (Luke 2:8-21) and a moving star that lured wise men to travel from faraway lands (Matt. 2:1-12). But Mary’s role in those historic events was pretty ordinary.
Since it is the ordinary nature of motherhood that often causes us to question its significance, it is worth considering whether the ordinary or the extraordinary had a greater impact on Jesus’ story. The shepherds saw Jesus once and then went back to herding sheep. The wise men left their presents at the baby shower and then returned to their own land. But Mary . . . Mary is woven into every crevice of Jesus’ story. From His conception until His death and resurrection, Jesus’ mother is a constant player in God’s plan to redeem us through the life and death of His Son.
I wish I could take Mary out for sushi (is there kosher sushi?) and hear her perspective on motherhood now that her baby is raised and ascended. There are certainly many moments as a mother that I forget that the ordinary stuff I am doing as I mother is being used by God to do big things. But if we will let it, God’s Word has the power to remind us all that motherhood matters big time.
Momma, God has His eye on you to carry out His extraordinary purposes through your seemingly ordinary life as a mom. You may sometimes feel like you’re living life on a small scale, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you, like Mary, are uniquely positioned and called to be a constant player in both your child’s life and God’s Kingdom.
What small tasks of motherhood are wearing you out today? What would you ask Mary about motherhood if given the chance? What big vision has God given you for your family in the midst of all the small stuff?
Note: This blog is taken from my latest book, Beyond Bath Time.