By Cindi McMenamin, Crosswalk.com
Yes, there are days parenting can be frustrating. And yes, I’ve had those moments–during their teen years–when I’ve wanted to pull my hair out. But all in all, I am so thankful to be a mom. And here are the 10 reasons why.
1. It’s a divine appointment.
I don’t believe parenthood is random. God isn’t that careless. Psalm 18:30 says God’s way is “perfect” so He makes no mistakes. I also believe that God handpicked which children would be yours and mine, just as He handpicked you and I to be their moms. Even if you think you “planned” your pregnancy, God is still the giver of life. He’s the One who allows conception to happen. He’s the One who enables the adoption to go through. He is the One who divinely orchestrated how you got your particular child. And at the end of the day, He’s the One to thank for the precious voices that call us “Mom.” I’m so thankful for the privilege and divine appointment of being a mom.
2. It taught me how to rely on God.
I used to be pretty independent. Even after I married. But once I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, I knew I was in over my head. And that’s when God made it clear to me that He was there for me to partner with. We would do this together. And I have leaned on His strength and wisdom ever since. Even if you have a husband to partner with, no one can share your parenting burden as well as God. He’s the Only One who loves our children even more than we do. God didn’t make me a mom because He knew I’d be great at it. He made me a mom because He knew I would need to rely on Him to get through it. That is precious. And it’s something I wouldn’t have learned if I wasn’t a mom.
3. It grew my love for God’s Word.
I don’t know about you, but I blow it at times. And that’s why God’s Word, which tells me of God’s grace and unfailing love, is so precious to me. I have grown to love verses like James 1:5 which tells me “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” That verse assures me that God gives me what I need, generously, and without finding fault in all the things I’m doing wrong.
4. It helped me understand the depth of God’s sacrificial love.
I used to read of God’s love for us in sending His Son and think “that was such a nice thing to do.” Once I became a mom I realized what an impossible, unfathomable, and totally inconceivable thing that was to do. And yet God did it for me… and for you. I could not and would not give up my child for anyone. Yet God’s intense love for us did not hold him back from giving His Beloved Only Son for you and me.
5. It convinced me of miracles.
I’ve heard moms refer to certain children as “unplanned” or “an accident.” Others take for granted that they can have children. But I’m convinced my daughter is a miracle. Primarily because my husband and I learned, after my daughter was 2 years old, that medically speaking we shouldn’t have been able to have children at all. We’ve also never been able to have another one since. I’m thankful to be a mom because I could’ve so easily not been one. Whether you got pregnant “on your first try” or you used fertility help or you had an “unplanned’ child, or you went through the rigors of adoption, God still worked a miracle. And your child is one, too.
6. It made me less selfish.
I hate to admit this but prior to becoming a mom, (which happened when I was 27 years old) I was quite selfish. I didn’t realize it until after I gave birth and suddenly my life, my sleep, my time, and even my bathroom visits were not my own anymore. My life in many ways belonged to someone else. And despite those “take back your life” mottos and “you owe it to yourself” mantras, a mom ends up GIVING her life away many times over. Being a mom has taught me Christ-likeness, servanthood, and sacrificial love.
7. It taught me how to pray.
I used to think I had a close relationship with God. I used to think I knew what faith was. I used to think I knew how to pray. And then I became a mom. It’s natural for moms to worry. It’s natural for me to worry about anything I can’t control. But I learned when my only child was 18 months and awaiting a diagnosis of what we thought might be cancer or leukemia that I was never–and will never be–in control of my child’s life. God is. And that made me less of a panicked worrier and more of a prayer warrior. Philippians 4:6-7 tells me “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT). God taught me, through motherhood, how to pray and trust rather than worry and fret. And because of that, I now experience peace, not stress.
8. I laugh more as a mom.
Yes, motherhood can be frustrating and stressful and include tears, too. But it brings laughter as well. Children say the funniest and most precious things like “Why are we thanking God for Cheezits?” (“No, Honey, we are thanking Him for Jesus!”) And “Dear Dinosaur Jesus, thank You for dinosaurs and Thomas the Tank Engine and… a bird.” Children help us not take ourselves so seriously. Being a mom helps us see the lighter side of life.
9. I learned to slow down.
I’ll never forget the time I was stressed, driving to an appointment, and my six-year-old daughter exclaimed “Mom, look at the sunset. All the pretty colors. Isn’t God a great artist?” I had nearly missed it. There are many times my child has taught me to slow down, seize the day, cherish the moment. When she brought home her second-grade spelling sentences and I read that each one was about me and how “busy,” “rushed,” or “fast” I was, it literally changed my life. It caused me to call upon God to “Teach [me] to number [my] days” (Psalm 90:10) so that I didn’t miss what mattered most in life. Being a mom teaches me precious lessons I wouldn’t have otherwise learned.
10. It’s the best-paying job in the world.
No, motherhood doesn’t pay monetarily. In fact, many times it costs more, financially. I gave up a high-paying job 25 years ago to stay home and be an unpaid mom. But I’ve been paid many times over in kind words, kisses, bear hugs, crafts, and colorful drawings, hand-written “coupon” books, and the many times I hear the name “Mom”–a name that is called out in the middle of the night during a bad dream, or when someone is hurt, or when there’s a “huge” spider on the wall that I still can’t see without putting on my reading glasses. And as many times as I have heard that name called out through the years, it still amazes me that no one else can fill that role or respond to that name the way you and I can.
Whether you’re just starting on this journey, or you’re a veteran by now, think of the reasons you are thankful that you’re a mom. And never forget them.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author who helps women strengthen their walk with God and their relationships. She is the best-selling author of When Women Walk Alone, and 14 other books, including When a Woman Inspires Her Husband, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, When God Sees Your Tears, and 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom. For more on her ministry or for resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, or parenting, see www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
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Publication date: January 3, 2017