Mrs. Wilson wonders if Paul had mothers in mind when he wrote I Thessalonians 5:14 "Admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all." Don't you agree with her that's a very good description of mothering?
I made myself a sign out of the verse, printed in one of my new favorite colors (orange :) and mounted on a slip of scrapbook paper. It now hangs prominently in my kitchen, where I see it often - to serve as a reminder of my job description.
It's been posted for about a week now. I find it interesting that each time my one of my children has a need - a need that "interrupts" my "work" and I'm tempted to get frustrated - meeting the need falls easily into one of the four categories! The Big Boys getting off-task in their schoolwork? An opportunity to admonish the idle. The 5yo has a high fever and keeps us up all night? An opportunity to help the weak. The Littles are grouchy and lacking self-control because of hunger? An opportunity to encourage the fainthearted (and give them a snack.) The end of a long day, when my "to-do list" seems untouched and I feel like what I need most is just a BREAK!? An opportunity to be patient with them all. (And... as Amy Carmichael says ... a "chance to die" to self.)
Is it my nature to do this? No way! I'm so selfish, and I do love crossing things off my list. I wrestle with my flesh constantly when it comes to dying to myself and "walking" in the "good works" (Eph 2:10) the Lord has prepared for me in each moment - especially when those good works seem to be interrupting the good works I've planned for myself. That's exactly why I made the sign - I need a visible, present reminder for I have much learning and growing yet to do in this area.