My children are easily distracted.
It’s not unusual for me to catch them grabbing a snack or “checking in” on a sibling in the middle of digital learning. When I tell my boys to clean their room, I often find them playing with Legos instead. As their mom, I gently lead them back onto the right path, reminding them of what they are to be doing.
I am easily distracted too.
It’s not unusual for me to find myself on social media, staring at someone else’s latest #goals, project, or parenting hack. One moment I know exactly who I am and why I’m here… the next I’m careening down the rabbit trail of all the things I “should” be doing. (This most often happens in my marriage, motherhood, and ministry.)
Here are just a few “shoulds” I told myself this week:
You should take the kids on more walks.
You should make a chore chart.
You should post more pictures on social media.
While all of these are very good things, in the end my well-intended “shoulds” become exhausting.
Keeping up with the Joneses has always been a struggle, hasn’t it? The F.O.M.O. is real. But if we are to make our lives count during our short time here on earth, we must learn to stay on mission.
When I think about a man on a mission, I think about Jesus. He knew why He was here, and that vision propelled Him. No one could deter Him from His path. Carrying out God’s will for His life was food for His Spirit— life-giving and satisfying. His life was powerful because it was focused. (Think for a few seconds about all Jesus did in just a few short years of ministry!)
No, Jesus didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, but if we look closely, we can see multiple opportunities where He could have easily been distracted…
Satan tried to distract Him. (Matthew 4)
Even Peter tried to get Him off track. (Matthew 16:21-23)
The Pharisees and Sadducees constantly opposed Him.
Through it all, though, He never once swayed from His mission. And thank God He didn’t! Our very salvation depended on it.
So, then, what can we learn from Jesus’ example? I love what my friend, Anne, says: “God’s ways are always simple.” (Hint: simple doesn’t mean easy.)
When it comes to being moms on mission, there are only two things we need to do:
Easier said than done, right?
What is your mission as a mom? Is this something you’ve considered? Knowing your mission helps you to define what matters most, so you can let everything else take a back seat.
I’m convinced many of us don’t enjoy motherhood the way God intended because we’ve taken on a bunch of unnecessary expectations (here’s looking at you, Pinterest). Like Jesus, carrying out God’s mission should be satisfying and life-giving to us as well. That doesn’t mean it will be “sunshine and rainbows” all of the time, but it certainly shouldn’t feel like a burden.
Friend, what is God calling you to? I challenge you to spend some time in prayer, sit down, and write out your mission.
Next, acknowledge anything you’ve taken on that is heavy or ill-fitting. Just because fourteen friends have backyard gardens doesn’t mean you should too. Just because your sister’s kids are thriving at homeschool doesn’t mean it would be best for you. Just because your neighbor loves her side hustle doesn’t mean you will. Learn to set boundaries with both others AND yourself.
Once you acknowledge and get about your mission, you can expect a visit from the enemy called “Distraction.” It’s impractical to think you’ll never get off track. You will. I will. We all do.
Here’s the key: allow Jesus to firmly and lovingly re-center you. Ask Him to remind you who you are, and why you are here. Learn to “keep in step with the spirit” (Galatians 5:25). He guides and directs us, helps us in our weaknesses.
As moms, God has entrusted us with the next generation. This mission is too great to miss! Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, and run with focus.
As a mom, I live on a steady diet of my own words. Just when I think I have a problem or phase figured out, I’m confronted with another… then another… then another. Over time my mental list of “problems to tackle” seems a little too much like my never-ending pile of laundry. Do you ever feel the same?
Unlike my Mount Rushmore of stinky socks wrought with abomidable pre-teen stinch, I’ve learned I’m not alone in my quest to tackle all of life’s problems. Neither are you, my friend.
As Believers, God has placed within each of us the gift of the Holy Spirit, His very person and presence. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is a seal that serves as proof that we are His (Eph. 1:13). The Holy Spirit also convicts us of our sin (John 16:7-8), and intercedes for us according to God’s will (Rom. 8:26-27). I love the story of Mary and Elizabeth, found in Luke 1, because it points to another function of the Holy Spirit...
When Elizabeth became “filled with the Holy Spirit” she gained insight that she didn’t have before. In case you’ve never read the story, Mary never told Elizabeth about the angel’s visitation, or that she was carrying the Son of God. The Holy Spirit gave her that knowledge. Isn’t that awesome?
What’s even more mind-blowing is the Holy Spirit wants to do the same for you and me. Now, I’m not saying he’ll set off an inner-radar that tells you when your BFF is pregnant (that would be cool though, am I right?). However, when we find ourselves in difficult situations where the answers aren’t so clear, the Holy Spirit can reveal wisdom to us we wouldn’t have inside our own limited understanding. This is often called revelation or discernment.
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit searches “the depths of God” (1 Cor. 2:10), and gives us access to His knowledge and perspective. This is not a special gift reserved for the “ultra-spiritual” among us. It’s for you, for me, and for ALL followers of Christ!! The Holy Spirit can pull back the dark curtain of confusion from our minds, and allow the light of hope inside. He can help us recognize Jesus in every situation we face.
In what area do you need revelation today? Maybe it’s your marriage, a wayward child, finances, your career, or even your health. We were never made to have all the answers. We were made to look to the One who does.
You don’t have to figure out your next step alone. The Holy Spirit was given for this purpose. It doesn’t take an elaborate prayer, and it’s certainly not magic. Simply admit your need, ask Him for revelation, and keep your eyes and ears open.
“He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals the deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells within him.” Daniel 2:21-22 (CSB)