23 July 2009

The Secret to Freedom Mothering!

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2Tim 3:1)

During the past week, someone made a comment to a friend that my BLOG isn’t ‘real life’. The comment went further saying my BLOG is not real because its not possible for someone to do so much and that it is time I BLOG about the good, the bad and the ugly too, not just the good. This started me thinking – why would someone think that?

Why is it so difficult for some mothers to understand that Motherhood can be life, and living it to the full? Why do mothers feel so much bondage in Motherhood, almost like motherhood is slavery? Why is it so hard to believe a mother can be happy, satisfied, and successful and even doing things she loves and enjoys, while home schooling her children and having more babies? Why do ladies cry out to be FREE from the ‘slavery’ of motherhood?

I’m observing that mothers, and since I’m in home schooling circles, I especially speak to home schooling mothers, have “issues” that enslaves them and keep them from the free life God intended for them as “joyful mothers of children.” Ps 113:9:

Let’s throw off the stuff that enslaves us and learn the truth about motherhood, so we don’t become gullible women. It is time we as mothers get to know who we are in Jesus! It is time we get freedom to be a Mother!!

So what is Freedom Mothering?

Freedom mother is not getting out of mothering, it is getting into it!

Mothers believe they need meetings with their lady friends, to be free. They believe they need ‘time for themselves’, time alone. Not all mothers have made peace with 'twenty four hours a day' Motherhood. So often we think we can expect to be comfortable in today’s life. Life mustn’t be too hard for too long for whatever reason. As Christians we know Christ laid down His life for us and He asks the same from us, but do we really understand what that sacrifice means – the sacrifice of being a mother?
Do mothers understand that sacrificing their time, energy and resources for God, will lead to an abundant life? Love your children, love your husbands, love your houses, keeping your house - being nurturers – that is who we are.

Freedom mothering is to follow God’s design for mothers as described in Titus 2: “admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed”

The other day I was with a group of lady friends at a coffee shop to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I was so discouraged and disappointed in the conversations around the table, between these Christian mothers. They were talking about how to get OUT of mothering. We must be so careful when we as women get together that we start to envisage freedom from our calling. Here mothers encouraged each other to make sure they make time to get out, time to be alone, time for themselves.

In Job 38 we read: “Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?”

Ladies, God has given us counsel in His word, but so often we encourage each other away from His counsel.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop telling your friends how hard it is to be a mother and having self pity parties.

There is more stuff that ensnares mothers to slavery:

1. Doubt about what they are doing as a mother. Mothers need to be free from fear of man that tries to impose stereotype mothering on them, trying to compare them to somebody else. Get free from keeping up with the Jones's. God has set you apart as a mother, He does not want you to mother like other mothers. Climb out of the mould of how other mothers are mothering and home schooling. You will be happier, and God will be happier too. He wants you to be the Mother He created you to be, with your unique personality.

2. Discouragement, negativity and worry. So easily when mothers feel discouraged, they run to the phone or the pastor, to a new parenting book, anything, anywhere except to God Himself. And why? Because it is so much easier to run to someone else than to God and take the time to hear from God what He has to say about their children and them.
"6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened (encouraged) himself in the Lord his God. "(1 Sam 30:6)

Countless times this is my way of dealing with hardship and discouragement – running to the Lord for encouragement and counsel. The other day someone said things to me, that made me feel so inadequate as a mother. I immediately started a conversation with the Lord: “Lord, you know me better than any one on earth. You see me mother my children, you know my personality, you know my weak points – Do you think I am a terrible mother?” That evening I got an SMS from my friend who blessed me the previous day with her domestic worker. Her SMS read: “I just want to thank you for being so good to …., she is so inspired as a mother by seeing you mothering you children.” I could not believe it! It was like God answering me directly from heaven. God is so great!! Let the Lord Himself encourage you!

3. Trying to get away from their children. Just take away the children – that can be to Sunday school, day care, extra murals, other people, giving them extra schooling or putting them in front of the TV. Anything other than dealing with the Blessings in front of them. It is all about their own lives. But these mothers do not know that when they die to their own selfish lives they will become free and joyful.
The lives of mothers, so often, become filled with wishing their children away, filled with bitterness that turns into hatred towards their own lives, calling friends that are in the same situations weekly and having pity parties together.
Replace your pity parties with a hunger towards God, seeking His freedom. We were created to nurture and mother our children NOW! And it doesn’t look like the picture books, or the ‘super’ Mom next door.

What does she look like? I love Evangeline Johnson’s description of a mother after God’s heart, in her teaching CD, Adventure Mothering:
She looks like an individual woman, impregnated since conception to bear and nurture individual destinies. Children of promise in all sorts of circumstances.

We read in Isaiah 38:17 "But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption."
Did you hear? God delivered his soul, not his circumstances? So often we are looking to God to deliver us from what He has called us to do and to be. In freedom mothering He delivers our soul, in our calling of Motherhood.

Dear Mother it is not about us. It is about being a Mother to the next generation, making princes and princesses for the King of the universe, who will overcome the principalities of darkness.

God wants us to focus on Him, to ask Him to show us how to teach our children and how to be free. He doesn't want you to run from one extramural activity to the other, attending every home school event available, because you're afraid your children won't learn social skills. He doesn’t want you to visit a lady friend once a week for an afternoon or sometimes a whole day, to have some ‘adult’ conversation. So often, in pursuit of the above, mothers are rarely at their own homes. They are afraid to be ‘home alone’ with their children, and even if there are no activities they will arrange one, just to get out.

Stop at Jesus' feet and ask Him to free you, to be a Mother. Focus on your children and bring them back to your home. Let God Himself be your motivation and encouragement in life. Let Jesus carry your burdens. And listen to what God wants you to change in your life.

Years ago when God brought me back to my children and my home, He taught us about discipline, pruning and abiding in Him as in John 15 (Secrets of the Vine by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson):

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

    In this passage we learn three secrets.

    First Secret: If your life consistently bears no fruit, God will intervene to discipline you. (No fruit to some fruit)

    What is it that prevents you from bearing fruit with your children, in your home and as a wife and mother?
    Is it some of the above ‘stuff’ that keeps you from bearing any fruit, that calls God to act with discipline? Is it being doubtful, worried, negative, trying to run away from your children and the responsibilities of keeping your home?

    Second Secret: If your life bears some fruit, God will intervene to prune you. (Fruit to more fruit)

    Maybe you are bearing fruit, but He wants you to bear MORE fruit, and He needs to prune some unnecessary 'things'. Did you know: Good is the enemy of Best? You can be so busy with a lot of good things; you don't have time for the best. Maybe God is pruning you by taking all these extras away, and you are fighting Him. You do everything in your power to keep these extra activities going, in the midst of total chaos when you arrive back at home. Dinner is not prepared, the baby is out of routine, the children are too tired to do their chores, they get to bed too late and cannot get out of bed on time in the morning. It becomes one viscious circle.

    Third Secret: If your life bears a lot of fruit, God will invite you to abide more deeply with Him. (More fruit to much fruit)

    When you listen to God's discipline or you allow Him to prune all the extras and stop at His feet, to ask Him what He wants you to do today, this week, this month, you will experience how easy it will become, how much less conflict your life and home will have.
    It is then that you can move from MORE fruit to MUCH fruit. Then the MUCH fruit comes through God, not through you! Abide in the Source of life.

    Is it easy to make these shifts? No way! But when you are free in Motherhood, you will have a big enough motivation to bear ALL the fruit God wants you to bear, you will be able to make the necessary changes and you will have peace to stay at home, without all the stuff that enslaves you as a Mother.

    Will life then be smooth and easy? No way! Jesus told us: in this life you will have trouble, but take courage...

    Yes, our family has challenges, we have hardships, we have attitude problems depending on the age, our children do have times when they don't want to do their chores, and they do have sibling rivalry. But when mother is focused, by sitting at Jesus' feet, getting her freedom from the Master Teacher and doesn't allow the outside world to influence her, she will have the time to attend to these challenges, hardships and attitude problems. And there will be time for extras in the house and around the house for you and your children.

    This BLOG is my way of encouraging myself and it is my prayer that it will encourage you. This is my writing pad for wisdom and revelations God gives me during my hardships and challenges of being a home schooling mother and a submissive wife. This is not the place where I want to cry on your shoulders because life is hard and motherhood is a challenge. God is my shoulder to cry on and I share with you how I climb onto His lap, cry my heart out and receive peace, comfort and encouragement from my Dad.

    So next time you think my BLOG isn’t real, this is the secret to my life, and I’m still learning.


    Petra said...

    I think the BLOG is spot-on! Yes Linnie, you are right about Motherhood. Satan will do anything to rob mothers of this great blessing. He is sneaky and have over only a few generations made huge progress in turning mothers away from their calling. Linnie is right, be very aware of where you receive your teaching from!

    And about being very busy: once I was told this saying and I must agree - if you want something done, ask a busy person! It seems they will always make a way to get it done (or have enough wisdom to decline as busy moms sometimes have to do). It is all about LIFESTYLE, planning, organisation, etc. Most of all WISDOM to know what to do and what to let go! I have personally witnessed that the problem seems to be that people with smaller households (maybe 2 or 3 children) cannot imagine how a bigger household (4+ children) can get everything done. It's about LIFESTYLE! Why can't others manage what they have? Linnie said it, are they ever home?

    Spend time with Jesus and find the LIFESTYLE that's right for your family from Him, not from the world, or another mom, or great spiritual guru!

    Linnie, thanks for this blog! You are right, we need encouragement, not a pity party (we do that well enough on our own!!). And yes, being a mother does not just happen, it is hard work, and one day we will reap the rewards!

    Linnie said...

    Thank you for you Amen, Sister!

    Charmaine T said...

    Ag Linnie....

    Jy weet nie hoe nodig ek dit nou gehad het nie.... Die Here is wonderlik!!!!!

    Jy is die Ma na wie ek die meeste opkyk, en ek strewe om so gemaklik te wees met wie ek is.

    Charmaine T

    Linnie said...

    Liewe Charmaine
    'n Ma het maar 'n rowwe op en af lewe met uitdagings, emosies, verwagtings, teleurstellings en sukses. Elkeen van ons stap 'n pad wat NET vir ons uitgewys is en is net Jesus wat die rigting en berusting kan gee.
    Hoop jy het 'n heerlike naweek.

    JanetK said...

    Beste Linnie,
    Dankie vir hierdie belangrikke teaching!As 'n jong mamma van een kindjie, dank ek die Here dat jy 'n mentor kan wees in my lewe, sodat ek van vroeg in my moederskap leer wat is vir God belangrik.
    Ek moet se dat ek daardie rustige en vreugde in moederskap ondek het. Dis meskien nou maklik met net een kind, maar ons gaan uit en doen lekker goed saam, maar bly ook baie by die huis en speel en werk saam. Ek hoop dat ek hierdie genot sal saam neem in die toekoms in.
    Liefde-groete, Janet

    Linnie said...

    Liewe Janet
    Dit is my gebed dat jy nog meer rustigheid en vreugde deur die Here in jou moederskap sal ervaar. Ek sou so graag soos jy dit al as 'n jong mamma wou ontdek. Jy is 'n bevoorregte jong vrou!
    Liefde en seën daar by jou.

    Linnie said...

    Sonja, ek het jou per e-mail geantwoord.

    AutumnVine said...

    Dankie Linnie. Uiteindelik water vir my siel. Dis die soort blogs waarna ek soek om my op te lig en LIG in my lewe te help bring. Ek mis so goeie Titus 2:3-5 vroue en vra al 'n rukkie daarna. Ek weet jy's nog jonk maar jou blogs help. Verwag jy jul 8ste kind? Mag God julle seen.

    Linnie said...

    Welkom op my blog! Mag jy net soveel seën kry uit ons Vader se openbarings aan my deur hierdie blog. Ja ons verwag ons 8ste Blessing!

    Claudette said...

    This is some of the strongest words I've heard in a while. I needed this SO MUCH at this time. So many other ladies out there need to hear these words. Thanks Linnie for bringing me back to the basics

    Linnie said...

    Hi Claudette
    Thank you for stopping by. Praise the Lord, for encouraging you through my blog!
    Have a blessed week!

    Anonymous said...

    Such an encouraging blog.

    As I write this comment, my 11 week old baby boy Ruben is asleep next to me.

    I'm currently on Maternity Leave from work and have really struggled to come to terms with this new season. So many dreams, goals and desires which I've been challenged to put aside so I can simplify my life to be a Godly wife and mother.

    That's it!

    We try so hard to complicate our lives by setting high goals and unrealistic standards.

    Being a Wife and Mum is seriously the best blessing ever. I'm glad I read this blog so I could be reminded of it.

    Praise God for this liberty.

    xx E

    Linnie said...

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, E! Enjoy your precious new baby!

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