Y’all, I have a confession to make. We’re just four days into this 31 Days of Intentional Mothering series, and I’m already thinking I bit off more than I can chew. An entire month of writing on intentional mothering … what was I thinking? Not only is the topic heavy, but I’m a card-carrying member of Unintentional Moms Anonymous.
No really, I feel a heavy weight of conviction on my shoulders, because if I’m going to write these words, I want them to be worth your time to read! I want them to sink down into the depths of your spirit and take root. I want them to impact you, and I want them to impact me! But in order to do that, God is going to have to be really big here, and I’m going to have to be really small! Because I’m not an expert on this topic; I don’t have this all figured out. I show up for a date with my blinking cursor and a blank page, and I just hope that God gives me the words!
With that being said, I pray you’ll extend me some grace. I hope you realize that this little exercise in writing on this topic for 31 days is a process that the Lord is using to refine me and my own mothering. He’s bringing me face-to-face with my own shortcomings. When I come to write, I look in the mirror and I see an ill-equipped writer staring back. But slowly, slowly, as letters dance across the screen, I fade and I see Jesus.
So with that admission, please realize that this series isn’t necessarily going to be a pretty package tied up with bows. I’m going to falter and make mistakes. But that’s OK, because that just means that you and I … we get to walk this journey together, learning about intentional mothering from the very God who established the role of a mother.
With that being said, I’d like to try to define intentional mothering. Yesterday we said that intentional mothering is not a habit, a process or a philosophical approach. Neither is it perfect parenting. In fact, intentional mothering is about as far from perfect parenting as you can get. Because perfection stifles grace; it negates mercy.
So what exactly is intentional mothering? What sets it apart and distinguishes it? And how do we begin the act of mothering with intentionality?
Above all else and very simply put, I believe intentional mothering is a heart issue. Because we can’t walk this journey if we haven’t first examined our hearts. It all starts there … in the broken, the black, the battered places. Intentional mothering starts, ends and functions out of a humble acknowledgement that we can’t do this on our own; we can only do it by the grace of God working through us.
Once we’ve come to terms with that, once we’ve done the hard work of sorting that out, we can then see our role and our relationship with our children through this lens. Then with this heart issue serving as the overarching umbrella of intentional mothering, I believe there are three components that further define intentional mothering. They are:
Thus, all things considered, intentional mothering is a heart-attitude that lends a kingdom perspective to the task of parenting and results in actions that reinforce and emphasize that eternal truth.
The acknowledgement of our own brokenness and the willing receipt of God’s grace in place of that brokenness are paramount to intentional mothering. Because if you don’t understand those two factors, then any efforts pertaining to number three are done in vain.
Intentional mothering isn’t about you or me. It’s not about our own abilities to raise our children, our tenacity in discipline, our patience in frustration, our perseverance in the hard times. Intentional mothering is about having a heart surrendered to Jesus so we can be a conduit through which His grace flows in overwhelming measure to the little people He placed in our care.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the first part of intentional mothering and why it must start with brokenness. It could get a bit messy, because brokenness isn’t pretty. But the good news is that God hasn’t left us broken! He has redeemed us; He calls us by name. And it’s only by His grace that we can fulfill this incredible calling of motherhood.
Join me tomorrow? I sure hope so!
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