“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a
great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the
will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
I have to laugh sometimes at God’s timing. The writing of
this chapter has fallen at such an interesting time for me; a time of flux and
turmoil, a time that can feel like one step forward, three steps back. I’ve
been a mama for two decades. There’s something about having lived through so
many years that makes one have fewer opinions than one had early on!
Let’s face it, mama: there are days when “do not throw away
your confidence” feels like an impossible command.
There have been days in my
own life where it felt like confidence was the very thing being torn from me,
as my formula for life with my children produced a way different result than I
was expecting. I’ll never forget my shock when the pediatrician announced that
my eighteen month old had an ear infection. Seriously? How could such a thing
happen? I nursed him, he wasn’t in day care, and we were never around smoke. When
another child was born after many extremely difficult hours of labor, I felt
the same wave of surprise—I’d exercised every day! Eaten all the right foods!
Prayed about it being easy! And the realities of life with teenagers … greater
joy and greater strain than this season are both equally difficult to imagine.
Finally, it dawned on me (about ten years into this journey,
I’d say) … children are not integers. 1+2 does not always equal 3 in
motherhood. And parenting for specific results can be a recipe for
What, then? Do we give up? Drop our ideals? Stop trying so
No. But we need to recognize a few things: the inherent brokenness
of our world, the humanity of our children, and the wonderful redemptive grace
of God. We must parent out of obedience, not out of a desire to reach a result
we’ve set for ourselves or with a belief that things will add up as we expect.
At the end of the day, my desire must be to please Jesus as
a mother. My greatest ambition is to parent without regret; asking Him for
guidance and strength every moment of every day, saying yes in every way I can,
and trusting that He will use my offering of a surrendered life as part of His
recipe to make my children into exactly the people He wants them to be.
As Sally shares here in Chapter Twelve:
“The truth is, parenting can be hard. We parents are to be
shepherds watching over our children’s lives—guiding, protecting, and
determining what is best for them. And sometimes it seems that wolves are
waiting at each turn in the path to woo our children into their clutches.
Diligent parents must confront these wolves again and again, and sometimes we
must do battle for our children’s souls. Establishing a godly heritage will
come at a great cost.
Those who are able to maintain this vigil and avoid the
strong clutches of ungodliness are those who have a clear vision—a well-defined
picture of what God has designed the family to be. The mission of motherhood
becomes clearer through each battle won as we walk with our Lord. Our vision
gives us the ideal we pursue. It defines the decisions we make, the priorities
I believe God has a beautiful plan for my family—and for
yours! Do not throw away your confidence; it has a great reward.
Something to Read:
Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please
Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder
of those who seek Him.”
What a wonderful verse! What kind of faith does God require
in order for us to make it resiliently through motherhood? For what do we have
to believe God, and for what reward are we waiting?
Something to Do:
Take some time for reflection, and make a plan for
refreshing yourself over the next six months. Try making three lists: One with
ten different things you could do in a fifteen minute period to refresh your
spirit (think stretching, having a cup of coffee, weeding a bit of your
garden). Another list is for ten
activities that require an hour or more (a movie, long walk, a browsing session
in an antique store). Finally, write down ten that would take an entire weekend
(a road trip to a nearby city, a contemplative retreat, a getaway with a group
of girlfriends.) Put these where you won’t lose them! And use them as a
resource to schedule a bit of refreshment time—at least fifteen minutes every
day, an hour or two every week, and a weekend refreshment at least once every
To Discuss in the Comments: