Opinions.

Everywhere.

So many unsolicited opinions.

Not a day goes by that the opinions don’t flood in…

“Did you mean to have that many children?”

“Won’t you be glad when they are all in school?”

“Are you preparing yourself for the teenage years?”

“Wow, you have your hands full.”

“You know there are ways to prevent that, right?!”

In the grocery store line.

At sports practices.

In waiting rooms.

More often than not, while my children listen.

The words pierce my heart, like tiny daggers.

My soul.

My entire being.

As I let my body breathe in their casual comments, all while I breathe out the lies that accompany them.

Because motherhood? It is my calling.

Above anything else in my life.

It is a gift I will never take for granted.

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It is an endless treasure wrapped in blessing.

Motherhood is my calling.

The unspoken Godly vocation.

The ultimate sacrifice.

Laying down one’s life for another.

An act exhibited by mothers, daily.

Laying down the triviality.

Laying down the finickiness.

Lay down bitterness about the endless laundry, overflowing dishes, about the constant feeling of invisibility.

A mother gives, daily.

She gives her life.

She gives her all.

Exhaustedly.

Joyfully.

Fearfully.

Anxiously.

Selflessly.

She gives her all, all while defending her children’s worth, her own worth, her love, her pleasure in her calling, and her value, each and every day.

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Satan loves to target mothers.

A group filled with so much unconditional love is almost too much for even his own hardened heart to take. And his continuous lies are a constant threat to each mother’s experience with motherhood, taunting day-in-and-day-out:

“There goes my body.”

“I will never get this house in order.”

“Maybe one day I will actually sleep again.”

“I won’t be pursuing my dreams anytime soon.”

And for the longest time, oh what a hold the enemy had on me.

With his lies. Such purposeful, deceitful, targeted falsehoods.

But Satan?

He never gets too comfortable, without my Father stepping back in.

To remind me of the miraculousness.

To remind me of the bittersweetness.

To remind me of the plans He wove together for me.

Undeserved plans.

For an undeserving me.

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Because my body?

It has housed and grown life more times than I deserve.

Because the messes?

They are the ultimate bittersweet reminder of what blessings they truly are.

Because my dreams?

Motherhood has always been my dream. And, I love nothing more than to show our little ones how I can still weave God’s purpose for me through and throughout it all.

Motherhood does not take anything away from me.

It enriches me.

Motherhood does not steal my dreams from me.

It places my dreams-come-true in my arms and hearts, each day.

The questions and looks can be so heavy.

So judgmental.

So full of questions.

So wrapped in opinion.

Perceived burdens.

Instead of miraculous blessings.

But, I choose to anchor in the truth my Father whispers into my ears, each and every day: “Children are a gift from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).

I am not simply a mom.

Motherhood is my purpose.

Motherhood is my heart.

My life’s ultimate fulfillment.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Liz Spenner

Liz is a former elementary teacher and now a stay-at-home mama to six little ones. She writes as an inspiration and encouragement to other women, and most especially mothers on her blog, at www.gracefullywoven.net (where you can subscribe and receive her free Five-Day Mini-Motherhood Devotional!). Liz loves spending with her family, outside as often as possible, as well as sneaking a few moments to herself with a run, dark chocolate and writing, with her faith as her greatest motivation.