I shared on my Instagram story today that I had a revelation recently in therapy. The more I learn about my Enneagram type (2) the more I realize that my desire to help and serve others is really a desire for purpose. I want to do something with meaning, and know that I’ve impacted people. What I didn’t realize, until my therapist pointed it out, is how much I’m already doing that.
Motherhood is monotonous, exhausting, and tedious. It’s 10,000 small sacrifices a day strung together by coffee and cartoons. It’s equally suffocating and rewarding. And, it is full of meaning. But like all forms of sacrifice and servitude, it can feel meaningless when we don’t zoom out and see the big picture.
Whether you’re a working mom, an “at home” mom, or a combo of the two, I want you to read this poem and remember that being just a mother is something you can be proud of and find meaning in. And if you’re not a mom, read this poem and remember that small things are the big things. Whether you’re trudging through grad school, waiting tables to pay for your next big trip, or wiping another runny nose while feeding your kids Kraft Dinner (me 🙋🏻♀️) your life has impact and meaning when you remember that small acts of love are what make up big, purposeful lives.
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Just A Mother
I am just a mother,
in vocation and in name.
I do not loathe the title,
the smallness or lack of fame.
I give my talent and ambition,
to serve my family;
for I know it’s in these people,
I will leave a legacy.
I am blessed to be a mother,
to give my life and give my all;
I gladly pour myself out,
for there is glory in the small;
in the routine and the mundane,
the late nights, and early start.
I choose to see the bigger picture,
I hold it closely to my heart.
I give myself for others,
and for my Savior up above;
He says the lowest is the greatest,
And greatness is found in love.
I am just a mother.
It’s who I am and choose to be.
I give myself completely,
to live to love my family.
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“What the majority of us spend the bulk of our time worrying about – our 9-5 jobs, what houses we live in, how we’re going to spend the weekend, how physically fit we look, what vehicle we drive – ultimately amounts to nothing and gets completely forgotten. And what we often ignore on our pursuit of the above – that is, our children and our families – are the only things we truly leave behind. . . I wonder how we might simplify our own lives by recognizing that eighty perfect or more of what we spend our time on will ultimately be forgotten. Perhaps we might pay a little more attention to the remaining twenty perfect. Indeed, the effort we put into creating a lasting legacy through children and grandma might increase significantly.”
-Gary Thomas, Sacred Parenting
I wrote this poem for myself; it’s about embracing my role as a mom, a role that I love and dreamt about for so long. A big part of my faith, in Christ, is trusting that small deeds are not unseen, and that being great in eternity means embracing humility and servanthood now. I read the excerpt above from Sacred Parenting this morning and it really challenged me to focus less on the ’80’ (money, fitness, hobbies, lifestyle, status), and focus more on the ’20’, which is my real legacy anyways. I want to give myself 200% to this role and this season, because I believe in living for LOVE. And I hope you can be confident that your small day to day duties do matter too.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, at someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
“Do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa