Would it surprise you to know that I never aspired to be a mother, much less a mother of six? In fact, I didn't give much thought to the art of homemaking as a young woman, as I was more preoccupied with notions of ambition and education, value and worth, none of which included the regular use of a mop or the continual employment of diapers for eleven years. I still chuckle when I think about how difficult it was for Troy to get me to go and register with him for wedding gifts. Picking out china, shower curtains, pots, and pans... they just weren’t high on my priority list.
Domesticity and motherhood seemed far too docile and tame for a girl who dreamed of the front lines on the mission field, or perhaps owning my own business, or delving deep into an area of study. I just knew any of those things would be more exciting than being a mother and housewife. My twenty-something self would never have believed that my 40-something self would become a mother of six boys who teaches her children at home and makes a mean Dutch baby. Little did I know what an adventure and marathon motherhood would be.
Loving motherhood, teaching my children, purposefully crafting a memorable meal, creatively reflecting beauty in my home, and doing the same thing day after day after day... those things do not come to me naturally. They are the result of pruning and cultivation.
If you've ever wondered if you're cut out for the life of an old-fashioned homemaker, loving wife, stay-at-home-mom, you’re in good company. And, I might just add, you’re perhaps better off wrestling with insecurity and your abilities than if you were a domestic goddess. Wonder why?
I've only been alive 44 years, but I find one little observation to be true again and again: Those who are naturally gifted at something often know less of motivation, gratitude, and the wonder of overcoming obstacles. But, those who feel less than adequate learn to pursue a course nonetheless, experience motivation, gratitude, and the wonder of overcoming obstacles bountifully.
And for us, the redeemed in Christ, the motivation, gratitude, and wonder of overcoming obstacles only increases in the light of God's faithfulness as He makes His callings His enablings. Remember the testimony of the Apostle Paul? It wasn’t his credentials, ability, or even appearance, that caused him to be used of God; it was simply his utter submission to Christ. In fact, it is Paul who encourages us with this: "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10) God doesn't call the able, but those incapable in their own strength! THIS is the paradox of the Gospel.
Spending time worrying about what we can or can’t do on our own will never serve us well—we’re made to depend on Him. In fact, worry causes us to doubt God’s faithfulness. It smothers our faith and robs us of the peace and joy that God promises His children.
That means even when you’re unsure and feeling unable, you can, along with Paul, not be anxious for anything but to take all your concerns to God in prayer. And the very next verse promises that God will give us peace:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
So, though I felt ill-prepared for staying at home full-time, didn't grow up in a large family, don't have terribly great organizational skills and am habitually poor at sacrificing my own comforts in service to others… I need not worry! The Lord has faithfully woven my depth of experience, ability, and natural desire into the story of sanctification, maturity, and calling in my life.
You see it again and again in the Word: Our God delights in making the impossible possible.
So, to all the unlikely mothers, resistant homemakers, and unsure home-schoolers—take heart and don’t be anxious! We are right where we need to be when we feel less than we want to be. Today, let’s anticipate the transforming work God is doing to make the impossible possible: to make us the women we never knew we could become tomorrow.
Ruth Chou Simons is an entrepreneur, speaker, and bestselling author of Beholding and Becoming and GraceLaced. She shares her journey of God’s grace intersecting daily life with word and paintbrush through an online shoppe at GraceLaced.com and her Instagram community of more than a hundred thousand. Ruth and her husband, Troy, are grateful parents to six boys—their greatest adventure.