Just the other day, after a restless night of sleep, cut short by my son Noah’s growing pains in the middle of the night, I crawled out of bed. I muttered a few unintelligible words to my husband and left our bedroom. Then staggered downstairs. After making a cup of coffee, I plopped on the couch. I was hemmed in by what felt like mountains of laundry – some on the couch and some on the floor next to my feet.
Within minutes of opening my computer, the alerts started to wake me up. Emails from blogs I subscribe to were popping up in my inbox. Social media notifications. My phone was chirping because of text messages I missed overnight. Then flashing across the T.V. screen I saw: Up Next… ”Five Habits for Cooking Healthy Family Meals.” I was ready to quickly run upstairs and go back to bed!
So I turned it off. All of it. Clicked off the T.V. Closed the computer. Put down the laundry. What I needed most, what my heart needed most, was to hear from God. I didn’t need the voice of another “expert”. Nor did I need to hear how to cook a healthy meal. The text messages could wait. The laundry wasn’t going to run off!
There is no shortage of voices speaking to us today when it comes to motherhood. But there is only one voice that makes all the difference and only one that matters most. The voice of our Father who speaks to us through his Son, by his Word, in the power of his Spirit.
God is still speaking to us today. Consider how God’s voice can guide us and ground us in this journey.
God’s voice reminds us that we are loved.
Motherhood is full of countless joys, but we get weary in the process. What grounds us is not that we always see the fruit of our labor, get thanked for it, are respected by it, or feel fulfilled because of it. What steadies our soul is that we are deeply loved by our Father because we are in Christ through faith. So the most important voice is the one that tells us we are perfectly loved and accepted in Christ.
We are the “Beloved,” fully accepted and cherished not because of our works as moms, but because of the work of Christ.
God’s voice leads us without driving us.
People’s voices drive us, telling us what a mom should be and do. Too often we get caught up in the whirlwind of voices and find ourselves being driven by fear, pride, or insecurity. We hear how a friend’s child is already saying his or her ABCs. They are counting to 20 while our child is still trying to get to ten! Or maybe we learn that another family is sending their son or daughter to an elite sports camp. The many voices of other people have a way of driving us to do what we do with the wrong motivation.
In contrast, Jesus is our great Shepherd. He leads us, protects us, sustains us, and speaks to us.
He leads us, protects us, sustains us, and speaks to us. He reminds us that motherhood is not a race or a competition. Just as he is leading us, he is leading our children. We don’t have to be anxious, fearful or envious. The voice of Jesus speaks over us the approval that can be found only in him.
God’s voice is perfecting us.
Many times the voices around us tell us what we’re not. The goodness and grace of God’s voice is that he is always telling us who we are and puts before us the hope of who we are becoming. Motherhood is not about perfection; motherhood is about being perfected. This process of being perfected is a lifelong process, one that will one day be perfect or complete when Christ returns.
We are not always going to measure up. As good as we may be at times, we are never going to be perfect. We need to remember that we are listening to the voice of Jesus.
He’s the only one with the spotless record. We are to tune our ears to him – the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He alone can help us when we are weak and humble us when we feel strong.
We serve the God who speaks, our loving Father whose voice calls us into friendship, enabling us to move forward and onward. Listening to his voice settles us. It cultivates a good heart that allows us to live the abundant life Jesus offers. So today when you are tempted to listen to all the outside voices, stop and listen to his voice of love and truth – the voice that matters the most.