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Weekly Devotion: To Do or To Be? That’s the Question of Motherhood

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To Do or To Be? That’s the Question of Motherhood

By Amy Kopecky

As a mom of school aged kids for about twelve years now, I’ve come to realize that parenting is the busiest extracurricular you can sign up for. Shocked? I know! Somehow I wake up surprised by this fact every single day. Jonathan and I are intentional about scheduling a manageable amount of activities so our family is not over-extended, but the feeding, dishes, laundry, cleaning, driving, appointments, reading, tucking in, praying, teaching, etc. is enough on its own to create a never ending to-do list.

I’ve experienced varying seasons of motherhood over the years. At times it’s wild and free and the purest experience of love and wonder, and other times it’s a slog through difficult decisions and discipline. If I’m being completely honest, one word has been weighing me down in this season I’m in now: weary. Plain and simple, I’m feeling very weary of doing it all.

Hang on—did you read that last phrase? That’s exactly the problem. I’m trying to do it all. As a mom I feel the burden to do everything myself—especially the pressure to do rather than be. You know what matters most to my kids? Being with them. You know what matters most to Jesus? Being with him. Just like what Jonathan reminded us so well in this past Sunday’s sermon: only one thing is needed.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

So what gets you through when you feel weary, like so many of us do? For me, it means starting out my day sitting at the feet of Jesus. Asking him to fill me with his Spirit, and with his love, strength, and joy for the day. And then I just listen. I try to spend at least five minutes not praying with words or with an agenda to accomplish something or be productive, but to just listen and let my Savior and Best Friend speak to me and give me what’s needed.

Is there a time in your day when this can happen for you? What does your time with Jesus look like? Whatever the time of day or routine, remember it’s not about doing something for him or for yourself or your kids: it’s about being the child of God you are and accepting the gifts he has for you that day.

Ten years ago at this time Jonathan and I were considering a move to Seattle, and this verse was God’s word of comfort for me: "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

Jesus is carrying our children. He is gentle with us, those of us who have young. He does not have unattainable expectations for us (those are yours!); he does not put burdens on us (“My yoke is easy and my burden is light”). Let him lead you, hold your children for you, and accept his strength for your weariness.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31