Sometimes I feel like motherhood is the daily equivalent of getting your car stuck in the mud.
You know like when you’re camping and you get stuck in some rutt in a dirt road in the rain? The car is not going anywhere so someone gets out to push it while someone else sits behind the wheel. The driver guns it and the pusher pushes while mud and water spray up at them. The car doesn’t go anywhere. It’s just spinning its wheels. Over and over again the attempt is made but the car won’t budge. No ground is gained. You are stuck there. Spinning your wheels, rotation after rotation, going, working, pushing, incessantly, but you are stuck in the same place. The wheels make a muddy rotation to nowhere.
This is motherhood sometimes. Each day, you go, go, go. Working around the house or at your job, pushing your kids to do what they’re supposed to do. You repeat yourself over and over and over again, your words spinning around like a tire making a rotation in the same spot. Some days it feels like we do so much stuff, the same exact stuff we did the day before and the same stuff we will do tomorrow, but at the end of the day, we look around our house or at our kid’s behavior and it feels like we accomplished nothing. Spinning, pushing, but stuck in the same spot.
Only instead of mud being spewed back in our faces, it’s poop, pee, spit up, snot, mac n cheese, or, well, I guess sometimes mud too.
Our days run together with the activity of making a family and a home work. We don’t get a ton of sleep, our hair isn’t always the cutest, and it’s a miracle if we make it through the day with a clean shirt. It can sometimes feel like we spin our wheels, stuck in this rut of parenthood where our free time, ambitions, style, and sanity are being buried under the mud that’s spewing back at us from the constant revving of life.
“Look at these cuties!”
We spin our wheels doing the same tasks each day, constantly moving but staying put. But I want you to take this analogy and look at differently. Those tasks that we do, are not menial, they are Holy. They are a high calling, one that requires sacrifice and humility and love like we’ve never known. We run around all day, doing our best to get from day to night but when you step back and look, we are living out something so big. We share grace and faith and service with our kids. We are building a generation that will know what love is and even more so, will know how to act it out.
When you are serving your kids meal after meal that you prepared and that you will clean up, you’re not just feeding their bellies, you’re feeding their souls. You’re serving them.
One of the last acts Jesus chose to do on this earth with the people He loved most, His disciples, was to serve them. He washed their feet. Jesus, the greatest man to ever walk the earth, love and perfection incarnate, God himself, served. The Bible says,
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)
And at the very heart of motherhood, service beats.
You aren’t spinning your wheels in that kitchen, you are pointing their little hearts to the heart of God. You are serving.
What about all of those messes you clean up? Kids make a lot of them and parents clean them up. That’s life though, we all make messes out of all kinds of things; our friendships, our marriages, our jobs, or, if you’re three, your room.
When we make those messes though, who wipes our hearts clean like a kitchen table after a spaghetti dinner and who picks up all of the puzzle pieces of our lives that have just been scattered to the four corners of the play room? Jesus does.
Kids make a lot of messes and moms clean them up. People make a lot of messes. Jesus cleans us up.
With every swipe of your rag or push of your vacuum, you are saying to your child, “You made a mess of this. I’ve done it too. I forgive you! I’ll clean it up just as Jesus has done for me.” You are living out the idea of grace and second chances and the very picture of the Gospel.
What if instead of saying that we are home makers, we say that we are people makers, character shapers, world changers? What if we saw our everyday tasks, tedious as they may be as the very picture of the gospel? What if we owned our influence and harnessed our power with confidence?
Well, then it wouldn’t feel like we were a car stuck in the mud, spinning our wheels. We might see ourselves more as a windmill. Strong, powerful, and beautiful. Rooted to the place that we stand, spinning, but with each rotation of the same, we are providing power. We are harnessing winds of life, of motherhood and spinning it into something that can launch our kids into the people that they will become. So when life feels crazy and your dizzier than you ever imagined possible, just remember that spinning your wheels will take them places. Harness your power and spin away!