DRAFT – legacy the power of our thoughts

Our thoughts about motherhood affect our ability to live out our responsibilities well. I had years to prepare for motherhood, starting from youthful indifference, as life was too busy and fulfilling without kids, to yearning for it. Wrestling with this longing to care for a child and share of the abundance of love, knowledge and time I felt I had to give in my late 20s. 

Then releasing it to God. 

A few years later, in my thirties I became a mother through adoption. How I act and talk to my children influences the way they see the world. They had had a difficult start in life, so this adaptability of perspective is great news to me. 

My beliefs and our purposeful conversations can reshape their outlook on life. Through our connection, my commitment to love them well and God’s grace, their brains can be rewired for joy and not fear. And through this blessed and challenging adventure called life, if all I leave to them as my legacy is the sense of agency of mind and body, by pointing them to our Creator, so they may know Him personally and love Him, then I will have fulfilled my calling. 

In order to carry myself with confidence, and lead the way with clarity, I need to pursue the truth and live in the light myself. I want to be a good leader for my children, and mothering them is heavy responsibility as well as a strong motivator to purge my thoughts.

But how am I to do that? There are three main ways as I see it: study the Bible, pray and pursue healthy community. 

Read the Bible and continuously renew my mind with the Truth. To have it at my fingertips when I’m bombarded with lies about my worth or the future. Jesus often quoted the Bible when talking with friends or foes. “It is written” He would say. I love that phrase the more I think about it! I don’t have a passive stance in the spiritual war of this world. I can plant my feet strongly in the truth and  actively defend my mind: “it is written!” 

Knowing the Truth we can share it with our kids and help them develop and define their core values, pointing them to God. Then we will be able to say with confidence and clarity: fear not, rejoice, do not lie, do not steal, respect your parents, rest. 

Motherhood is a powerful motivator to connect to the Vine, and continuously refill with the Truth in order to reflect it untarnished to our kids. Especially today, through social media, our fast food for the mind, we are bombarded with short half truths, words that tickle our ear, polished motivational speakers, self realization, self healing, self love.They taste sweet at first (easy to swallow) but then they turn bitter, or worse: poisonous.But the Truth is only One. And digesting it is a slow process of pouring over it in silence. Every day we have to make judgement calls, to climb towards the truth or to slide in the easy-to-believe lies.

Reading the Bible is a discipline of the mind that can help us develop our taste buds. And much like the food we put on the table for our kids, and they develop a taste for it. The same goes with the truth we believe, the information we read. 

We need to also Pray. Prayer is a privilege. Not a chore. And it gives us hope beyond the present and it releases the past. 

I pray on my own when I cook, when I drive, when I clean the house, when I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. With the kids we pray at meal times but the time they love the most is when I pray with them at bedtime. Sometimes it releases the hurts or fears of the day. Other times I pray words of truth about their future. It made me realize how joyously my kids bask in words of affirmation. They have asked me to come pray with them and tell them more about who they are and all the great things they will do and how God delights in them. 

At prayer time I also confess my sin and my shortcomings as a mom. As we sit there together, the Spirit clarifies the truth and helps me face it. I ask God for forgiveness and I ask them to forgive me too. I believe this is the most therapeutic, connecting, affirming and healing activity in my parenting journey. 

Prayer is complex. It makes room for lament, for tears and fear and hurts to surface. Prayer ca be filled with gratitude. We can audaciously asks for miracles. And gratitude precedes miracles.  Prayer can be silent and reflective. Prayer can be joyous and at the same time, at the feet of the cross, we can voice our despair in the face of death while believing in the resurrection.   

Our society lives in two extremes: toxic positivity or giving into despair. Strangely these two have more in common than meets the eye if we try to do it all on our own. 

Romans 12:2 says  “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” 

In community we can carry the weight of our responsibility in motherhood. In community we can confront our thought process. We can’t base our courage in feelings. They shift in the wind in silence.

But we can have a strong foothold in the Bible, in communion with our Father, alongside people who pursue God as well. And in this honest pursuit we let our kids see us. 

We can not give our faith to our kids as an inheritance but we can lead by example, living faithfully and wholeheartedly brave, loving God, loving people and immersing our mind in the Truth with perseverance.