Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.
Recently, I heard a discussion about change that put my vision for my blog community into sharp relief. Maybe it will inspire you too.
Have you ever given thought to what really motivates us to change? On the one hand, we can respond to a push. When we feel pushed to change, it is not very effective. Guilt or shame can be the driving forces that push us to change in a way that we are not really inclined to do. We might have good resolve for a while, but any long-term resolve is lacking. You know what I mean. We've all been there before. Think about the New Year's resolutions that last, say, one week.
Change is really possible through a pull, however. A pull is something that's really motivating. We are quite literally "pulled" toward a goal, and the closer we come to it, the more energized we become to stay the course. A pull often taps into our dreams, mind and heart.
We all have pulls, but we still need to identify and nurture them. I believe we can become better mothers when we identify ours. I certainly don't want to become a better mother because of a push - because of how someone else assesses me, because of how I compare myself to others, or because of shame or guilt for something I've done wrong. Instead, I want to become a better mother because I'm inspired by how God can use my work to touch my life, make a difference for my children, and use our family to bless others.
I am a woman who never wants to stop growing. I believe God is still able to do amazing things in our midst, and one of the most amazing things he could do is to strengthen our families. I want to be a channel of blessing from God to my family. I want my home to be a life raft for the stormy seas of life. And I want God to bestow his strength, compassion, and wisdom to make this happen for each of us.
I am a pastor whose whole world changed the moment she held her babies in her arms. For almost ten years, I have been ministering to mothers and families - from visiting high-risk mothers at the hospital to baptizing babies and doing youth ministry. I adore motherhood and have a passion for using my training to reflect upon our monumental work. That's why I respond to current events, relay poignant moments that encapsulate the blessing of motherhood, and reflect upon God's word and its theological implications for our parenting in this blog.
Ultimately, I am eager to grow a community of mothers who believe:
We will become the best parents we can be not because we are perfect, but because we are striving, because we look to a higher power as our guide, and because we know the unconditional love of Jesus. Grace begets grace as we allow God to mold us. Parenting, therefore, is not the art of mastery, but the art of surrender to God. For as we listen, he will inform. As we question, he will gently nudge. And as we look to show our family love, we will be able to do so with abandon because of his overflowing love for us.
I'm looking for fellow parents who love God and believe that our faith has something relevant to say about the choices we make everyday for our families. I am done with the tired debates about the value of motherhood. I am eager to elevate it to the holy calling - the vocation - that it is.
Is that your pull too?
If this post inspired you, you might also like Inspiring Quote: This Blog's Beginning.