26 April 2014

Exasperated Expeditions {Guest Post}

I'm excited to have my Mother-in-Law guest post today! She has a blog called 'In the Potters Hand', a place where she shares her heart and encourages women (and men) of all ages to live life to the fullest and challenges you to deepen your relationship with God every day. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read the encouragement she is sharing with us for mommies with little ones!

Hello there, and thank you for allowing me the wondrous opportunity to be a guest on Housewife on a Mission’s blog. I am so honored to be able to reach out to you through the wonders of technology that was pretty much unheard of 25 years ago, when I was eh-hmm, a young mom myself. When Megan first asked me to be her guest blogger I thought to myself what in the world could I possibly say to these young savvy lady readers whether they be wives or moms that they haven’t already heard a zillion times ?

"hang in there" "love your life now" or how about the poem about the dusting that can wait, cuz I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep?

No, I want to encourage you to enjoy this season of your life. I want to remind you about self-care. Before there were babies, toddlers and young kids, what did you do? How much time did you spend quietly reading your Bible, and praying? I have met women that do not want to make time to lay aside their ambitions and give sacrificial love to have a child at all. They do not know what they are missing. I have such a gnawing hunger to see young mothers enjoy staying home and raising children. Not babysitting, but raising them. Teaching them daily lessons, chores, bed making, bath tub cleaning, and laundry sorting. Cuddle time to read and explore new stories. Gardening flowers and food.

 Unless you have a marriage where you are both surrendered to following a Christ-like life just staying married will be a challenge. Throw a couple of little miracles in and you will not only be challenged to stay married, but challenged to stay sane as well. When you have a child, and you choose to raise that child or children in the model of a biblical home, you have such a wonderful opportunity to be the example of happiness, unity and love. Moms teaching little girls about how to fold clothes, or braid their hair, and dads showing their sons how to separate the recycling, or shovel the walkway of snow. These are simple, but perfect examples to set of how to know their place in the world. Securely.

The young learn by the example of the older.
 As a young mother and wife I did not have a biblically sound marriage. It rarely felt like a privilege and honor to be a mom. More of a duty. I did not have any type of "teacher" in the area of becoming a wife or mother. Don't misunderstand, I loved my child. I was passionate about teaching him things that I was doing, and tried to remain patient as he pulled cookie dough of his baby fat fingers instead of rolling the dough to bake an actual cookie.
Yes, I was able to be a stay-at-home mom for the better part of my young motherhood. I decided to make sure I instilled prayer time, and scripture memorization along with simple Bible stories that are all but forgotten today. YES! There were numerous days I just wanted to talk to another adult, or go out with a friend and not worry about packing sippy cups, diapers, or a change of clothing. I was often the exasperated mommy. Full-time home maker is so under rated today, and yet it is such a very important career, when done biblically.

 Quiet time was my favorite time of the day.
Nap time was a great time and I stretched those out for as many years as possible. Even when my son no longer slept, he could choose as many books as he wanted, and climb on his bed to "read" them. The rule was he must stay on his bed and be quiet until the timer went off. Instilling quiet time in him recharged us both.
45 minutes of peace, quiet and “me” time. It wasn't always at the same time of day, it just happened every day possible.
In every place we lived I had a spot in the closet where I could disappear. Long ago, I had taken the verse about going into your closet (or room) and closing the door to pray literally. Often we lived in a one bedroom place, so I would go into the next best place to be alone…..you guessed it.The bathroom.
You are smiling or nodding because you know there are times you stay in there and just close your eyes! Flush the toilet, or turn the water on pretending you are busy. Of course you do, you are a mom!! You get exasperated! Kids are sponges soaking up everything you do, and when you realize that you are dried up and running on empty, you need to take a break.

It has been just a few years since I was a young mother. I had distractions, meals to make, dust bunnies to chase, cards to send. Today, you have emails to send, texts to reply too, Facebook to peer at, Instagram photos to post, and many other assorted technological ways to be busier than ever. But, if I can just challenge you, as one wife and mother to another, please set an alarm for quiet time. Every day make the time to just shut out everything except a moment with your Creator, and Father God. See, I am challenged when I read Paul’s letter to Titus where he advises him to tell the "older women to be teachers to the young women." "Teaching you to love your husbands, and to love your children". "Teaching you to be discreet & chaste." Words like that do not set well with modern women. I know that. Biblically modeled families are not encouraged today. You want your equality and independence. You deserve to be a productive citizen with a mortgage & "real" career. Check yourself if you feel a sting about being submissive and obedient to your godly husband.

If your kids are a burden and make you scream and show your ugliness, maybe you need to set a timer. Perhaps you have friends or relatives that think you are wasting time staying at home, and not "out there" working. I am sure you have heard that it is nearly impossible to have a one income, one car, one cell phone life in the twenty first century. I want to" teach" you, that this time is precious. Your children may be entertained at a daycare or with sports, dance and music classes, but when they are grown they may become insecure & needy. Not knowing how to relax, and be alone they will find amusement some where outside of the home. Instead of feeling intimidated or rushed when your small child wants to set the table, or help wash dinner plates, encourage her or him to help you.
YOU are the model that they will eventually become. How scary is that sentence?

Perhaps you can’t manage a 45 minute afternoon break, because you have more than one child, and their schedules don’t allow for that, but could you possibly find twice a day for even 15 minutes of meditation on a verse of the day, or a devotion? Reign your thoughts back to where nothing else matters except you. Set the smart phone down, and just hear yourself breathe. You need to recharge yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. Find a godly "teacher" or mentor that is older and can reassure you that what you are doing is worth so much more than it often feels or appears. Dig into Gods Word and see what He says about parenting, marriage and home making.
Losing your temper, yelling "NO" instead of instilling a choice of calmness, and a "Let's do this instead" attitude, may be a sign that a timer needs to be set. You could be exasperated.

More than once I have told women that becoming a wife is a tough, selfless job, and it most certainly is. Then I follow up when they announce that they are pregnant by telling them that parenting is the toughest job they will ever love. One day, you will look back and see all the expeditions you were on; the vacations, the trips to the park, story time, Sunday School attendance, crying while you combed hair and clipped barrettes, refolded the towels from the hands that wanted to help, and swept up the flour that is now all over the just mopped floor and not in the cookie dough, and you can smile. You were exasperated in your twenties and early thirties. You missed a lot of worldly fun because you wanted to finish a bedtime story, and get splashed with bath water. Going on a date with your husband, lover and best friend was the highlight of your life on the rare occasion it happened. You passed up the big corporate career, and left the life of  building a nest egg for the bigger house and better car. But you instilled peace and a contented spirit into another soul. Your expeditions are solid foundations that were laid for that miracle that is now grown and off to repeat history on their own exasperated expedition. 


  1. Great post! I really think you hit the nail on the head. You really described motherhood to a tee. As our children get older we become much wiser.

  2. Oh how I cannot wait to become a mother someday! But as for a college student studying to become an early childhood educator, this advice hits me in another way! As a teacher or a nanny I will become exasperated often and instead of allowing my students to see my stress we can work together as a class to find peace in our busy days! Luckily God has allowed us teachers to have "prep" periods, periods that can be used to prep our hearts, souls and minds to continue on the rest of the day. Prep time = prayer time <3

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful advice Jackie! Also, thank you Megan for allowing her to be a guest blogger on your lovely blog!