CONTENTMENT IN MOTHERHOOD
Sometimes motherhood can make you feel like you are missing out.
It is a season that I have always desired and looked forward to.
Yet as I rapidly approached it, I couldn't deny that a part of me started to feel a little nervous. Not at the prospect of becoming a mum, but at the thought of losing something.
I suppose losing myself.
My world was about to change, for the better- and yet I didn't quite know how to feel about it.
I wasn't sure if I was ready for the disruption that becoming a parent was going to bring to my life. It may sound selfish, but this was the true echo of my heart.
How was I going to cope with waking up each day with my own plans prepared, knowing that my efforts would be dismantled way before I had time to even have a shower.
I felt a little disheartened, to say the least.
I regularly asked my husband how I was going to have the energy to juggle it all- wife, mother, business owner and still have the time and resources to do the things that I love.
Before baby had arrived I was already feeling a little discontent with the season that I was moving into. What of all the things that I was going to miss out on? So many well-meaning mamas had warned me of what was to come, and in their bid to encourage with the truth advised me to enjoy my money now, enjoy my sleep now, enjoy my time now, enjoy my husband now, and do all the things that I want to do now.
Because a baby changes everything.
Understandably then, as I grew further along in my pregnancy, I also grew increasingly fearful of what the next chapter of my life was going to look like!
Shifting my perspective on contentment
Without intending to sound as though personal development is not important because I believe that it is, we do live in an environment that is all about the now.The fact that we have so much access to other people's lives nowadays, can also increase our feeling of discontentment as we watch people travel, buy beautiful things and live their best lives now.
I even had a few people express their sympathy for the new season of hardship that I was about to enter!
With so many impending ups and downs, and delayed or cancelled plans, I wasn't sure how I was going to learn the secret of contentment in the season of motherhood? Was it even possible?
I had to check whether I was guarding my heart well as God began to show and remind me for the millionth time that contentment is not an outward thing, but an inward reality.
It is good to plan, to work towards, desire and build; but to do so with a content heart. In life, there will always be shifting seasons, and as Christian women, our aim should be to move into each season with a content heart because each one is different
and that's OK.
A woman who is content is stunningly captivating.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
I love this passage.
It is a powerful reminder that Christian contentment is an inward assurance in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness to us, which is not dependent on our shifting circumstances. Being confident and content in this produces the wonderful fruit of overwhelming joy, peace and gratitude for whatever situation we find ourselves in.
Contentment is something that we must learn, and hold on tightly to.
What I love about this passage is that Paul was highlighting the fact that shifting seasons didn't affect his outlook on life. They were just what they were- shifting seasons which didn't change the fact that God was with him, working things out ultimately for His good.
And so it is with us.
Particularly in motherhood. What an incredible honour and privilege to be able to mother and steward a child's life. Needless to say, I have had to repent of some of my self-centred ways and allow God to help me to see this new season afresh- with His eyes.
I have had to learn how to be content, because in so many ways it is not natural for me to be so. Sure, it would not be easy, but it would most certainly be worth it and for that it would be my job to see and cultivate the beauty in it.
Contentment- not in our own strength
From the passage above, we can see that it was Christ’s strength that worked contentment in Paul and not his own grit and determination. We can't force ourselves to become content. Contentment only comes when we lay hold of scripture, and bury it deep within our hearts so that it can begin to permeate our very being.
John 15:5 shows us how we too can lay hold of Christ's strength as we shift from season to season.
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
We need time with Jesus each day because, without him, we grow spiritually weak. Contentment comes when we are reminded of who we are in His word.
No matter what season we find ourselves in, we must reach for the infusion of His Word as our source of strength. It helps to refocus and remind us to search for the treasure that is waiting to be found in each new chapter of our lives.
God is at work in our lives.
In every season.
No season is better than the other. It is just different, and as we aim to keep our focus on Him, we'll be surprised at how freeing life can feel. With this renewed insight, I entered into motherhood with such excitement, knowing that there would always be a time for the holidays, the nice things etc- and even if they did not come. I would be content with my portion.
Because God is there. It is always well.
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