ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

I was held captive for hours on end, chained to the rocking chair.

Forgive the drama, but that is exactly how I felt when my newborn daughter developed colic.  I spent much of my day in the rocking chair nursing her.

I nursed her, rocked her, walked her, burped her, patted her and propped her…and still she screamed. Occasionally she would sleep a three hour stretch, but she seemed to prefer fifteen minute “baby naps.” I was sleep deprived and struggling with “baby blues”

Before my baby was born, I considered myself a fairly able-minded and efficient wife, homemaker, and employee. I left my social worker job to be a stay-at-home mom. However, my dream job of motherhood was nothing like I envisioned. There where times I thought, “No one told me it would be like this.”

One day, while feeling sorry for myself, I thought, “I used to be able to do such great things for God. Now I’m lucky if I can take a shower and make dinner on the same day.”

Before my baby was born I had a regular “quiet time” established of Scripture reading and prayer. That went out the window when we came home from the hospital. I enjoyed being active in our church’s Youth Ministry. I spent hours listening to friends pour out their heartaches. I was always willing to bring a meal, provide transportation, or give comfort to someone in need. Now, here I sat.

A Northern Michigan winter confined me to our apartment and only added to my isolation. The unrealistic expectations of maternal bliss I imposed on myself kept me from picking up the phone and asking for the help I needed.  To make matters worse, I felt ashamed that I wasn’t enjoying my baby more.

I am grateful to words of wisdom from Edith Schaeffer in her book What is a Family? She described a family as a spiritual relay race where the baton of faith is handed off from one generation to the next.  Unfortunately, that baton was dropped somewhere in my husband’s and my families. We both came to Christ in our early 20’s. We were determined to pass our faith to our children.

Schaeffer helped me to catch the vision for God’s purpose in entrusting us with this new life…a soul. I realized that my children would be my greatest mission field, and raising them to know and love God would probably be my highest calling in life.

I accepted the challenge found in Colossians 3:17. I determined to do everything in the name of Jesus – including emptying the diaper bucket – even when I wasn’t in the limelight, getting praise for all my good deeds. I learned humility and servant-hood doing the most mundane tasks of parenting, even when I didn’t feel like it. (What parent “feels like it” at 3 AM?)

I memorized Colossians 3:23, 24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

My daughters are now grown. They both know and love God. They, in turn, are running the race, passing the baton to the next generation. Mission accomplished!

If you are a young mom or are soon to be one, know that motherhood is a high calling. Cover it with prayer. Do it with all of your heart and in the name of Jesus. Whether you work outside the home or not, know that nothing else you do in life will have as much of an impact or leave a greater legacy than your job as a mom.

If your children are grown, look for ways to encourage moms – and dads – of small children. Pray for them. Volunteer in your church’s nursery so they can sit in the service and receive the spiritual food they so desperately need.

The race is on. Let’s do all we can to pass the spiritual baton to the next generation.

God bless moms!

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Deana Campeau
    Oct 12, 2011

    WOW 🙂 Do I hear you loud and clear on this one. Renee and Craig are only 13 months apart, and we were so very happy with Renee that we felt we should have another one right away. Little did I know what the colic would do to us. One day, I called the doctor’s office and said, “he won’t stop crying, no matter what I do….what am I doing wrong?” The doctor said, “you are probably spoiling him, put him in the crib in his room and shut the door so you don’t have to listen to him cry…it will stop, he will cry himself to sleep.” Well, I put him in the crib, and went into Renee’s bedroom and sat rocking her, and he didn’t stop. Meanwhile my heart felt like it was shattering into a million pieces as he cried. I couldn’t stand it. Doctor or no doctor, I was going to pick him up and hold him and rock him. So Renee and I sat in the rocker with Craig and rocked and cuddled, and he did eventually fall asleep for a while. I was not a Christian at the time, but I know God was at work in my life, and I am so grateful I didn’t follow the doctor’s advise. Craig turned into a bubbly toddler, and Renee loved helping with her baby brother. She wanted to give him his bottle and feed him, (I think she thought he was all hers, too cute). Anyway, Kathy, thanks for reminding me that even though God was not the center of my life, He was still working to bring me to the center of His.
    I remember you used to have a saying in your “baby room” , “quiet down cobwebs, dust, go to slelep, I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.” You never know how a saying like that in a Christian like yourself can open the eyes of a friend to want to know Christ. Thank you for always being faithful, and teaching, when you don’t even know you are teaching. (I bought that same saying for Caitlyn’s room when she was born, and explained it to Craig and Emily. 🙂 )
    Love you, my friend.

  2. Jane
    May 6, 2013

    Kathy, what a lovely, honest post! Your message of hope in the midst of the trials of motherhood is one that any mama can relate to. Your words painted a clear picture of those nights with a crying baby — and yet, to view it all as an honor and as a mission field of its own keeps even the worst of times in perspective. Thank you so much for linking up today! I so appreciate it! Thank you for the encouragement to keep going and to pass the baton. I will!

  3. Mia
    May 7, 2013

    Hi Kathy
    Funny how we both write about the days of being a mother. Both my boys have also left home for university and I am so proud about my two God-loving young men. It was some of my best years bringing them up.
    Blessings from Jane’s
    Mia

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