In honor of the fact that we hit the over 200 “like” mark on the blog, it’s time for a giveaway! 

Every new like (that includes you MOPS ladies last week) every share, tweet, etc. will be entered to win copy of Tony Evans’ Kingdom Man devotional AND Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst Kingdom Woman devotional (Tyndale/Focus on the Family, 2012). 


Am I the only one who finds herself dreaming of vacationing at the American Girl Winter Chalet? (Also known as #PF-F1713) 

Here’s me enjoying some cocoa in the AG ski chalet. 

I mean come on! The thing has a light-up fireplace (with a timer switch!), a chimney and window that opens, plus a decorative winter poster AND on top of all that, a red trestle bench and a cup of hot cocoa! Did I mention the faux holly wreath? 

Before you think I’ve been hired by AG to pump their products, I’m simply here to confess that sometimes as a mom, I need to escape…and sometimes in order to fulfill that need, I cut out a picture of my head and paste it in the American Girl catalog. What? Doesn’t everyone? 

I spoke at MOPS last Friday about Motherhood as Sanctification and thought I’d share the highlights with you:

Because my hubby is a pastor and has to be at church early on Sunday’s, I’m generally on my own getting the boys and myself ready for the morning. Last Sunday, I got everybody dressed, shoed, and coated in a miraculously short amount of time. 

However, I made the mistake of leaving the room to put on my makeup…

When I returned, all shoes and coats had been removed, someone had dumped an entire box of fishy crackers on the floor and stepped on it—so the crackers were smashed into the carpet, and someone else had dumped his sippy cup of milk all over the couch. Sweet. 

I began praying 2nd Corinthians 4 under my breath, in which Paul is talking about sharing in Christ’s sufferings: I am pressed on every side but not crushed. Confused, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. 

You know it’s a problem when you’re comparing life-threatening suffering to mothering. 

Before I had kids, I was on staff at a local church. Part of the nature of my job was to study the bible, take classes, go to conferences, teach and speak regularly, and mentor young people. At the time, I began to sense that God was calling me to do some of those things full-time. But, Kevin and I also wanted a family. 

When I got pregnant for the first time, the morning sickness was fast and furious, and in the case of all three of my pregnancies, it lasted all nine months. All that to say, those things that I was once passionate about and felt God calling me to, were put on the back burner for a time because I could barely get off the couch.

Then, when I had my first son, forget it.  As it goes for all moms—working outside or SAHM—those things which were once important priorities have to be set aside due to the demanding nature of small children.

Soon, I found myself becoming bitter. Kevin is a wonderful father and an awesome husband, but I noticed that he and his friends, who were also new dads, could continue to pursue their goals and passions, while I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without timing it perfectly around the needs of my kids. And, while I’m grateful to Kev for bringing home the bacon so I can stay at home, I was disillusioned. There was no separation between me as a mommy and me as any other version of myself.  

Entering into mothering, for me, although a blessing, was a process of grieving. 

I had to let go of the woman I thought I was on the way to becoming. 

About five years ago, in the midst of that emotional battle, I was pregnant with my second and preparing to speak at a church on Mother’s Day. Kevin was gone one evening, so with the hope of a quiet night to work, I put my oldest to bed. 

You guessed it…. 

After about 30 minutes, he woke up crying, “Mommy, I need you.” 

I ignored him for a bit, hoping he’d put himself back to sleep. About ten minutes later, he was frantic. “Mommy, I need you. Mommy, I need you. MOMMY, I NEED YOU!”

Angry that he was encroaching on my time, I began trudging up the stairs grumbling through gritted teeth, “Lord, Jesus help me. Lord, Jesus help me. Lord, Jesus help me.”

I am so thankful God hears even my most pathetic prayers.

I plastered on a smile. “Yes honey. What is it?”

“Mommy, I neeeeed you.”

“Yes, honey. I heard you say that you need me. What exactly is it that you need?” 
“Mommy, I need you to come lay with me and talk about us.” (#sigh)

Everything in me wanted to run the other direction, because I had other more important things to do. But, I felt the Lord saying, Aubrey, be with your son

I climbed into his little toddler bed (six months pregnant, by the way) and he was all sweetness and giggles. We sang songs and played games, and chatted about our day. After awhile, I said “Okay, buddy it’s time for bed.” 

“Okay mama.” 

We prayed together and he went to bed for the rest of the night. 
(Praise God. Coulda been real ugly if he didn’t.)

I’ve been married for 13 years and have served in ministry for eleven. I’ve even been on the mission field in Africa. Yet never before, have I come face to face with my own poverty, anger, and messiness at such regular intervals until motherhood. 

If God has used mothering to teach me how sinful I am (and He has), He has also used it to teach me how absolutely faithful He is to turn the difficult mothering seasons into some of the most redemptive and beautiful moments of my life.

After that night five years ago, I began to see for the very first time, that rather than being the thing that was getting in the way of the life I wanted to be living, Motherhood was actually the very tool God was using to transform me into the woman that He wanted me to become. 

My husband was preaching about the process of Sanctification recently. He said that God accepts you fully as you are, but that doesn’t mean He wants to keep you there.

I believe that mothering, in it of itself, is a process of sanctification. While we may not have hours a day for bible study, or weekends away for personal retreats, the unique training that only moms can get—in humility, in patience, in unconditional love—is something God uses to make us more and more like Jesus and help point our children to Him.

I read an article in Christianity Today several years ago, called Disorderly Disciplines  by Janell William Paris. She expressed exactly what I was feeling:

“I once believed that daily quiet times dialed the only number God answers…Becoming a mother, however, has ruined my ability to be disciplined about spirituality. As I write this, my twins are two months old and my initial sense of life with children is that everything is going to be rearranged, including the way I seek intimacy with God….

Mothering teaches me that spirituality is not only about folding hands and closing eyes. As my daily life has become more physical and immediate, so has my experience of God.  My favorite undiscipline, nursing, offers me a reason to sit in a glider rocker for hours a day and nurse. This sitting–a meditation of sorts–encourages generosity and patience that I hope will bless my sons and the others I encounter. Changing a hundred diapers each week cultivates endurance; crankiness can nurture quick forgiveness, exhaustion calls for humility and community. And, best of all, babies themselves provide unlimited chances to live in gratitude and joy…. 

As a married woman with children, my spirituality looks little like that that of a monk, but I seek the same grace. I do it with the help of two wee brothers…. And though the life of my spirit as I’ve known it is impoverished, I feel rich. I’ll see a spiritual director, read the Psalms, and enjoy solitude as soon as I get the chance. For now, I’m practicing the spiritual undisciplines.”

And yes, I blatantly ignored my children to do this. 

One of sons likes to pray this simple prayer, â€œJesus, come and be my Guest. Make my day blessed.” 

I’m praying it over you this week:

Jesus, come and be our guest. Make our acts of picking up fishy crackers be blessed. 

Jesus, come and be our guest. When our kitchens and bathrooms and toy rooms are disasters again, make our home blessed. 

Jesus, come and be our guest. As we make dinner and do bath time and change the sheets, and take care of sick ones, and never get enough sleep, and worry and wonder, and pour love out to our family in a million little ways, make our family blessed. 

Jesus, come and be our guest. Make our stress and anxiety and crazy mommy moments into something blessed. 

Jesus, come and be our guest. As we once again put our own needs on the back burner, make our mothering be blessed. 

Jesus, come and be our guest. May you be glorified, honored, and blessed by what you see in us as moms.  

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