Before we decided we were done having babies. I mean really done, surgically done I had the following conversation with myself on a daily basis and a weekly basis with my husband. Are we done having kids? I had it when I was pregnant, I had it when I was in the hospital delivery a baby, I had it while I was nursing a baby, I had it daily.
Before I go any further I need to say that I believe wholehearteldy that each kiddo is a gift from God. The problem I’m going to address is not with the gift or the gift giver it’s with the receiver. I can turn wonderful gifts that Christ has given me into idols. Genuinely good things I turn into idols. My vocation of motherhood, my opportunity to speak the gospel to people in my position as women’s ministry chair at my church, and my God given marriage to my husband.
These gifts that God has given me are what I run to for my feel good justification. I run away from the gift giver. I run away from the arms of a Savior who died for me and into the arms of idols that will fail me each time. Not because they are bad things but because they are not and never intended to be something I used to work my way into the favor of God.
The exact opposite is true. Because of the life death and resurrection of Christ I have been gifted with these vocations and have been gifted with the ability to do them.
That’s why I continually had this conversation with myself ‘Can I be done having babies?’.
It would never be enough. I could never have enough babies, never hold enough events, and there would never be enough nights in my married life to make myself perfect. I make my self a little checklist. I compose it before I get out of bed in the morning. It differs from day to day but it always contains items that revolve around the places and positions that God has placed me in.
To give you an idea of what I mean about enough babies, enough events, and enough sex here is a little run down of what is usually on my check list of if I have done enough. This is not an exhaustive list and my list can change from day to day depending on how much I think I have to make up for. It really depends on how much past or present regret and sin Satan is throwing in my face.
No pre-packaged supper,
rock my husbands world in bed,
Read to the kids at night,
made sure I hugged each of them before they got on the bus,
read my bible,
put on actual clothes,
prayed about everything,
perfect my cleaning routine
mop my floors,
and I ask myself ‘Did I do enough to make each of my family members happily content’
Are any of these things on my list bad things? Nope. All of them are good things. They are all things I would say God wants me to do. All things he might use me to make happen.
But are they are going to get me on God’s good side, are they going to wash my sins away, if I balance enough good days with bad days according to my list. Will I be okay. No.
What is going to make me perfect? What makes me and you righteous? The imputed righteousness of Christ! There are so many verses especially from Romans that would speak about this but I will go with Romans 3:21-26
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he has passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow….
Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.
Maybe you can relate to this list or maybe you have your own things you use to justify yourself. Either way we both end up in the same place when we try to justify ourselves. Empty. Defeated.
When I corrupt these gifts from God and turn them into idols I can’t even enjoy them.
Everything becomes a ‘I have to ‘instead of a ‘I get to see how God will accomplish this in my life.’
Everything becomes a must instead of a because of.
Everything becomes a do this or else instead of a go ahead because you can and will fail but do it anyways.
On the days I check my boxes I become a conceited and judgmental butt head instead of glorifying Christ with what he has accomplished in my life. The other side of that coin, on the days I don’t check my boxes of enough mothering, enough gospel spreading, and enough love directed at my husband I am left in the despair of I never will accomplish it instead of it is finished so go and rest.
When our justification precedes our vocation we can rest and may even enjoy our vocations.
We won’t always love our vocations.
We won’t always think or feel its our dream job but God has placed you in this vocation that you are in right now.
We will find freedom in work and freedom in vocation.
We may even enjoy our work.
In my life, especially in my vocation of motherhood , when the desire for vocation comes after justification I can live in my freedom and I can wholeheartedly enjoy my vocation of mama (most days) because I do not have to fear failure (as much…I’m still a work in process).