"God holds us accountable for our stewardship of His blessings. And that means I am responsible for the ways in which I choose to care for the children He has given me. At the Judgment, I know I will give an account to Him for these precious lives He entrusted into my hands.
As a woman who has enjoyed a career of teaching, speaking, counseling, and writing, I have had to make many difficult decisions to cut my career opportunities in order to focus on my family priorities. However, I have come to realize that embracing God's call to the duties of motherhood doesn't diminish my abilities to use my gifts, strength, and training, but fulfills a part of God's design.
Loving my children, protecting them, and building them into a godly heritage is a life's work worth far more than any money or status I might find in a career. If the mother who gave her children life is not willing to do what it takes to provide security, love, protection, instruction, and stability for her own cildren, then who will be willing to do so? Many will be orphans in a crowded world, longing for the security they were supposed to find in their own family.
If we want to experience the blessing of God and have a sense of wholeness to our lives, we must seek to understand His original design as clearly as possible. We will then have a map by which to travel toward God's destination. But we need to do more than understand. We also need to commit to living as mothers with undivided hearts--dedicating ourselves fully to the task of building a home and nurturing our children." ~The Mission of Motherhood
One thing I think many moms find difficult is the fact that every yes is by definition also a no. A "yes" to time watching somersaults in the backyard is a "no" to a phone call, a glance through a magazine, or a bit of alone time. A "yes" to asking friends over for a time of encouragement is a "no" to the free time you might have spent on yourself, rather than cleaning the bathroom, organizing your notes for the evening, or baking cookies to share. "Yes" to the carpool means "no" to sleeping in; "yes" to playing during bath time means "no" to your favorite television show ... and on and on it goes.
As a mom, what we really need is long-range vision! While the decision to draw your circle of direct influence a little smaller than many around you choose to draw theirs might appear to minimize who you are, the truth lies elsewhere. Think about a drop of food coloring splashed into a cup of water. The more water, the more diluted the color. And so it is with each one of us. When we spread ourselves thin, leaving no time for snuggles and backrubs, Bible study and reading deeply, family vacations and Saturday afternoons at the park, our influence becomes diluted.
So may I suggest something, mama? Feel free to say lots of "yes"-es to your littles, and lots of "no"-s to others. Limit yourself in this season of mothering young ones, and watch your influence grow where it's most important.
I have never heard a woman say, "I wish I would have worked more hours while my children were young" or, "I wish I would have read more magazines and watched fewer somersaults." Rather, the longing is for time long slipped away, somersaults tumbled and blown away like so many autumn leaves.