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.
"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him" (Psalm 127:3, NIV).
I wanted to begin this blog with a quote that expresses the magnitude of what we are embarking upon as mothers. Of course, this is not to shortchange the importance of fathers, relatives, and other caregivers. But there is a unique gift in the ability to birth a child and shape the growth of that life in the world. We are creators, and in the humility of that great gift and task, we can seek guidance from and attempt to glorify our Creator.
If you are a stay at mother, which I am, you may not always feel affirmed in your choice in the world's eyes. In the working world I found my days rich with feedback, stimulating conversation and gratification for a job well done. One first time mom told me that she was so busy but felt she had nothing to show for it, so she started to catalogue the number of diaper changes and bottle washings she did in a day to try to garner that same sense of accomplishment.
But the choice to give to our children, especially in staying at home, is valuable. In his book What is Wrong With The World, G.K Chesterton asks, “How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the rule of three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute...”
Our task is ripe with meaning - and possibility. Approaching motherhood as a vocation means that you recognize the gravity of your blessing and responsibility as a mom. I want to leave no stone uncovered. Socrates once said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." I want to theologically examine my role in search of truth, in search of hope, and in search of fulfillment as I wade in the beauty and ambiguity of these sacred waters.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for the gift of children and the opportunity to care for them and shape them. Please accept my efforts as an offering to you, and grow me in your wisdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.