Ever stumble on something that kinda changes your life? You don’t know that it’s going to- you start something because it’s the right thing to do- and before you know it’s happening you have a completely different perspective.
I’ve been reading through Psalms before bed and I kept coming across this phrase “sacrifices of thanksgiving.” Then last week I heard a sermon that also mentioned this phrase and I felt convicted about my level of gratitude. Especially when I read the part that said that the sacrifices of thanksgiving glorified God. Isn’t that my goal in life? And here, in black and white, is exactly what I need to do.
Motherhood has felt heavy lately. We’ve been working through some attitude problems (theirs and mine). I’m almost to the third trimester of this pregnancy and starting to recognize the reality of another child joining our family. Ball season is over and I’ve felt a little cooped up, especially since we were all sick for two weeks. Now in some ways motherhood should feel heavy because it’s a responsibility that I want to carry well. But seriousness is not grouchiness.
So I started thanking God. I thanked Him for everything. I thanked Him that I had a Bible in my own language and I could read and write. I thanked Him for my children and the gift of staying home with them. I thanked Him for the little life growing inside me. I thanked Him for our house and how perfect it was for our family, for our van that drove us where we needed to go, for modern medicine that helps so many of our problems. I thanked Him for sunshine that makes me so happy, new sketchbooks, plenty of water to drink.
Even when I was dealing with attitude problems from the kids or I was tired or I really wanted to be doing something else I was looking for the things in that situation to be thankful for. And you know what? I always found them. It only took me a few days of this to realize I was transforming my motherhood. And not just motherhood, but my life. My perspective completely shifted.
Nothing concrete changed. The kids didn’t fight less. Any problems we were dealing with didn’t go away. Life wasn’t suddenly more interesting or full of fewer messes. But something changed on the inside. Not only was I overflowing with thankfulness but I was also having this ongoing conversation with God all day long.
I was praying for people’s needs as they crossed my mind instead of only going through a list. I was discussing problems and concerns with God instead of just worrying over them in my mind. I was remembering that I wasn’t doing this life alone, that I was immensely blessed, that there was purpose in the work in front of me.
Isn’t that what we need? When we get buried in messes and attitudes and exhaustion, don’t we really just want to know that it’s making a difference? We can endure a lot with the right motivation and even have a good attitude during it. It’s only when we lose sight of our why, when we don’t see any point, that the little irritations of life make us grouchy and we want to quit. Sometimes motherhood isn’t very motivating. It’s hard to have eyes for eternity when someone is crying at your feet.
But that fight for thankfulness fills me with joy. It reminds me that when I was little this is what I always wanted to do. I wanted to have my own family and my own home. I wanted to write and make art. I wanted to thrive as a woman, and honestly, in this season of life I am more than I ever have before. (If you want the secret, it’s because I started to do the work God gave me and stopped worrying about everyone else.)
That continuing conversation with God fills my heart. We were made for fellowship with God. That’s not just thirty minutes in the morning and then forgetting He exists until our head hits the pillow at night.
I think this can transform your motherhood as well. (Or your job perspective or your attitude in class or wherever you are.) Start continually thanking God for everything you can think of- toilet paper, clean water, Instagram, a Voxer conversation with your best friend, the flowers outside your window, your planner, whatever it is. Then don’t stop.
So much of motherhood is our mindset and our attitude. When we transform our attitude toward what God wants, we transform our motherhood. Try it and let me know what happens.