|Cadgwith, England--April 2005|
On the long drive back from Texas, I began to read a book that has long been on my "Someday..." bookshelf. Just a few chapters in, I can already tell that Passionate Housewives Desperate for God is perfect preparation for me because hopefully we're within just weeks of adding three more children to our tribe through adoption.
I've already read the following paragraphs several times. The words resonate with what I have learned about motherhood, about serving my King, and about joy since we adopted our first trio of older children almost nine years ago. Despite having learned the truth below through many hard real-life lessons (encountered repeatedly because of my stubborn self-will), authors' Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald reminder will help me to get through today. And I will need their reminder again and again and again as I learn to parent 12 children. Their words give me hope and encourage me:
"The truth is that biblical motherhood doesn't mean we're promised postcard perfect days where we lounge together with our little ones on the porch swing in white starched dresses sipping lemonade and singing in harmony. Homegrown children take a lot of hard work--and sometimes 'it ain't pretty.' Other times, it's breathtaking.Pleading with God to help me die to self minute-by-minute,
"Biblical motherhood means sacrifice, selfless love, and faithful dedication. It means we're there with our families--body, mind, and spirit. To recognize our purpose in motherhood, we must see the godly generations beyond our own children (Genesis 24:60, Deuteronomy 4:9, 7:9). This means denying ourselves (Matthew 16:25) and being consumed with God and His love for us. It means starting each morning on our face in repentance and thanksgiving, pleading for His grace and for the strength to glorify Him in our daily endeavors. It means loving God more than our children--and consequently, He will equip us to truly love them and prepare us to serve them through Christ our Lord. It means impacting future generations by our faithfulness now.
"We must die to self on a minute-by-minute basis. "Die to self?" you may ask. What can that mean? Jesus said that anyone who desired to come after Him must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Him (Matthew 16:25-26). He didn't say, "Of those who desire to come after Me, some will need to take up their cross..." He said anyone. Do you feel like you've been "losing your life" lately? Perhaps you've been trying to save it...
"Since Scripture tells us 'it's not all about us'--it is all about Him (Matthew 10:38-39)--we can be assured that He will help us to continually persevere in steadfast service to Him. We must reject the vain philosophies of this world that distract us with selfish pursuits and instead embrace the magnificent paradox of the Gospel. If you feel desperate, are you willing to die--to self? If your answer is yes, then hang on! Because you are finally ready to live!" (pgs. 21,22)