Carry on, Dear Sisters. When you’re drop dead tired and there’re still several hours and as many chores left to do at the end of the day: Carry on. When you have so much to do you don’t know how you’ll do it all: Carry on. When you have so many needs to fill and seemingly not enough resources to fill them all: Carry on. When you’re weary and successes are few and failures are many: Carry on. When you feel all alone and as if no one cares for what you do: Carry on.
Carry on, Mother, carry on! Motherhood’s a call to carry on. No matter what you think, how you feel or how things seem to appear, as a mother, you’re called to carry on.
I was mulling over this message, I got to thinking about flying; the hustle and bustle of the airport, the waiting in line, the scans and the check-points. You board the plane and you prepare for the flight ahead and you sit back and either endure or enjoy the ride. You don’t really worry about your baggage, for at that point there’s really nothing you can do about it anyway. But there’s still your “carry on” stuff… the stuff you need to be responsible to take care of. All the while, it’s up to you to make the best of the flight or perhaps by default, just choose to snooze or endure the passage of miles and time.
Motherhood’s a lot like that… you may come into it with lots of baggage, but there comes a point that you need to put the baggage down and “check it” as it were, and deal with your carry-on’s. You know, it’s interesting how baggage goes… it’s all the stuff we think we’ll need for the trip; it’s all the stuff we thought we couldn’t live without; it’s all the stuff that follows us wherever we go and much of it doesn’t do us any good or isn’t actually useful or necessary for the trip –we usually find that out when we reach the destination. Actually, for most all of us, what’s really important is what’s in our carry-on’s. We usually pack the most important things in our carry-on’s – our valuables, our money, our credit, our identification, our appearance enhancing tools, and other necessities. Problem is, many mothers get bogged down with their heavy baggage and are consumed with looking at it, thinking about it, rifling through it, trying to carry it around –that they forget to hang on tight to their precious carry-on’s. Many mothers are more concerned with the baggage… the things, the what if’s, the furnishings, the styles, the weights of the world, the what-will-other-people-think’s in life.
It’s what’s in the carry-on that is most important —You keep the carry-on stuff intact, chances are good that no matter what happens to the baggage, you’ll still make it though the trip just fine. Your ‘carry-on’ is usually what you need for the trip… the stuff in the carry-on is your treasure. Well, this is sort of a description of motherhood, but as analogies usually do, this analogy breaks down at some point.
Motherhood’s a call to carry on. But we don’t carry on alone. O, the enemy may attempt to persuade us that we’re alone, that no one else is doing what we’re doing, that we have too much to carry or not enough help with what we’ve got to carry or that our load is heavier that other mother’s loads or worse: that our load or the work we carry is not all that important – that anyone can do it. Truth is, whatever the LORD’s given us to do is ours to do – not someone else’s to carry and do. That’s why the LORD has so faithfully preserved His Word, given us His direction and defined our roles as mothers. Many mothers attempt to carry baggage that’s not even theirs to carry –as if what they’ve got isn’t enough already. Many mothers think they’ve got to do all the lifting and carrying and, really, the LORD never intended mothers to do all that some do. O, some things are noble, even admirable, but they’re not necessarily what the LORD designed and called them to do.
So, how do we carry on? Well, I’ve come to see that carrying on is probably best defined as obedience – obedience to the will and way of the LORD and nothing else – for obedience sort of sums up the whole of the Christian walk. It’s hearing what you’re being told and doing it. And for mothers, it’s what we do (or ought to do) and what we teach (or ought to teach). As we walk with the LORD and live in obedience to Him, He enables us to hear Him and to obey Him –that’s the precious work of the Holy Spirit. As we live and walk in obedience to Him, we’re carrying on the call of motherhood. For God calls us to obey Him and He calls us teach our children as we rise up, as we lie down and as we walk along the way. A mother cannot lead children where she herself is not going; a mother cannot teach what she herself has not learned or is not learning. A mother cannot call her children to obedience if she’s not seeking that in and for herself – it’s part of that precious calling: the call to carry on.
So, precious mother, when the way is dark and the future seems bleak: carry on. When the path is rocky, windy and steep: carry on. When life seems to be endless piles –piles of papers, piles of dishes, piles of laundry, piles of toys and books and crayons, piles of dirt and piles of chores: carry on.
And when you feel you cannot go on, stop where you are, fall to your knees and carry on. Carry on to the LORD, He will be there, He will hear and He will carry you. And you will see that all the while you carry on, your cares are in the hand of Jesus and all your carrying on is in His strong hand. You will never find a time when you open the Word or fold your hands in prayer that He won’t already be there. You’ll never find a time where your prayers are not heard by the One who loves you. There will never ever be a time where you step out in faith or in obedience and not find Him already there.
If it’s been a while since you stepped aside to pray or to read the Word or to write in your journal, taste and see: the LORD is good. He will already be there. He will welcome you with open arms – He won’t be looking at where you haven’t been, He will be looking at your “now.” In the moment you call upon His name, He will answer, He will be there. Taste and see.
Dear mother, faithful and wise, you’re called to carry on – one day at a time in the hand of the Saviour. He’s not looking at your yesterdays or even your worries about tomorrow; He’s looking at your “today” – at your “now.” All that stuff that in the baggage? Be done with fretting about it; be done with lesser things, be done with vain glory and all the trappings of the world. The enemy doesn’t want you to bask in the blessing and direction of the LORD –that’s why he seeks to distract you and weigh you down –reminding you of your failures, what you don’t have and what you haven’t done –or worse: that none of it matters, that it doesn’t matter what you do.
But today? O, today, dear mama, today’s your new beginning. Now is the day, now is the time to carry on in His name – His wonderfully strong name. Your children will see Him in you and they’ll see the Light on the path as you carry on. You have a most honourable, most noble calling: that of carrying on. Be faithful. Finish well.
Carrying on with you: in love and blessings, —pamela