One Load of Laundry at a Time

by | Mar 11, 2024

And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:26-28

Is there any occupation more fraught with humility and sacrifice than motherhood? Surely there is, but it escapes me at present. A mother’s life is a sacrificial life, if it’s done right. On the job 24/7, 2 am feedings, diapers . . . oh so many diapers, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, oh my! And laundry. A moment of silence, please . . . 

The question is, however, does this self-sacrifice work humility in us? Yes, the act of cleaning another human’s excrement is humbling. Yes, not knowing how to fix a daughter’s broken heart or a son’s disappointed one is humbling. Yes, we mess up, don’t measure up, can’t live up to our expectations or the expectations of others, and in a thousand other ways feel like failures. But are we humble? Are we making these sacrifices for the right reasons? With the right attitudes?

Sometimes I feel unappreciated, overlooked, overwhelmed, and bitter. Not humble. Sometimes my focus is on what I’ve given or given up and for little appreciation. No matter how many humble acts of service I do, without the correct heart posture before the Lord, I cannot please Him, and pride turns me into an unhappy and bitter woman. Why? Because it tells me I deserve better. I don’t. The Lord does.

 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2

In our beginning verses, Hannah, a barren wife, wanted a child so much that she promised to give that child back to the Lord if He gave her one, and she did.

She said, “For this child I prayed . . .”

True humility as a mother begins when we recognize our, and our children’s, total reliance on God. That our lives . . . our very existence is in God’s control. Admit that no matter how hard we work, how much sleep we lose, how many lessons we teach, it will all be for naught if we have not placed our children in the hands of God Almighty.

Social media is filled with influencers talking about motherhood. They may give us valuable ideas, but they cannot transform us into the elusive Super Mom we long to be. Comparing ourselves to them and others who seem to have it all together is a mistake. Their carefully edited portrayals of their lives highlight our shortcomings, but the imperfections they hide from view are there.

However, to be a great mother, perfection isn’t necessary. What is? Dependence on the Lord Jesus.

Having faith that He loves our children and us. Enough to die for us. We need to be honest with ourselves and others. We can do nothing without Him. And He is the only one who can claim perfection.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3

 

Do you see motherhood as a calling? It is.

Not every woman is blessed with the opportunity to shape little hearts, minds, and lives. Our homes are mission fields, and we are missionaries. Our lives speak. Our attitudes speak.

What do our children hear? Begrudging self-sacrifice? Martyrdom? No one appreciates me? I get it. I do.

Being a mother who walks worthy (“. . . with all humility and gentleness, with patience . . .”) takes dying daily and recognizing whose we are, and why He deserves our all. Every sacrifice we make, whatever we give, He has given more. For us. His children. 

Our lives are busy. Far too busy. Slow down. Children grow up. Fast. They are gone before we know it. Stop wasting precious moments trying to be everything to everyone. Some things should be sacrificed, burned away like dross, so that we can get to the true gold of what our relationships with our sons and daughters ought to be. 

 

The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:4-6

 

Where do we start?

  • Teach our children what true humility is, a total reliance on a Merciful, Gracious, and Holy God.
  • Trust not in our own abilities, but in His Faithfulness.
  • Rely on Him to give us the strength to do those things necessary to create a loving, joyful, and peaceful home. 

 

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’

2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Humility? Sacrifice? It’s not about working ourselves to the bone doing jobs that nobody else wants to do with smiles on our faces. Day after day after day . . . It’s about serving the Lord with a grateful, joyful heart while trusting Him.

 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

 

Above, I mentioned that we must die daily. This is not a one-and-done deal. Today we may repent of our failure to be humble servants, and tomorrow when the dishes are piling up, the baby is crying, and the laundry has taken over the couch, we may not remember our decision to do better. Because let’s face it, the Lord isn’t going to fold our clothes, but He will give us peace and joy even in those mundane tasks. He may use a video, book, or podcast to show a more efficient way to stay afloat.

Trust Him. Ask Him for wisdom. Every single day. Because every day we are confronted with the same and new challenges. With His help, the sacrifices made today will not be in vain. Our children are watching. Our children are listening. Let’s point them to Jesus. One load of laundry at a time.

 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:3-8

 

We are busy and distracted in our culture. We hurry and worry just like Martha did in Luke 10:38-42. But, when she complained to him, He told her that only one thing is necessary. Julie Whitehurst, a MomQ teacher, talks about the importance of filling our cup with the source of life – Jesus, and choosing the one who is better just as Mary did. Listen to this Spotify episode below, “Am I a Mary or a Martha?” from our MomQ series, Building a Strong Family, to gain more insights on the sacrifices and joys of motherhood.

 

About MomQ

At MomQ we believe that motherhood is a calling from God. While it is both a privilege and an honor, it is by no means easy! Moms have a lot of questions/concerns and need caring support along their journey. Whether you are a brand new mom or a little more seasoned, MomQ is here to help you fulfill your God given role. Don’t see a group in your area? Contact us today about starting one in your community!

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