Misconception of a Christ-centered woman

There seems to be many false notions out there about what constitutes a Christ-centered woman. All of these beliefs have started out as valid ideas and have good intentions, but just as if you start off your journey with even one degree off the trajectory and go for a hundred miles, you will end up in a completely wrong destination. That’s why I want to explore some of these common misconceptions or myths, so that we can get back on the right track. We’ll talk about several other myths another time. For now, here’s one:

Myth: Christ-centeredness is determined by disciplines and duties.

We all know that woman. The one we identify as the super, uber Christian woman. She may your friend, a family member, coworker, or classmate. She leads Bible studies. She wakes up at the crack of dawn to pray and meditate. She memorizes scripture verses on a regular basis. She serves at a soup kitchen. And somewhere in the middle of all of those practices, we have lost sight of the object of our Christian faith. Rather than seeking God first, we have inadvertently started measuring our “Christian-ness” by those behaviors.

Don’t get me wrong. Those disciplines are not only good but vital to our spiritual health. But they are byproducts of our relationship with Jesus, not the ultimate goal. We can’t measure someone’s godliness by these behaviors because there could be wrong reasons or ulterior motives for a person practicing those disciplines. A person could want to come across as very knowledgable or holy. Ultimately, it becomes more about themselves.

John 5:39 states, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (NLT)

This is talking about the religious leaders back in the day who knew about the Bible, but they failed to apply its words to their lives. They understood the teachings and the rules, but they failed to see the Savior whom the Scriptures were referring to. They were so preoccupied by the religion, that they simply missed the point.

Let’s be very intentional and careful that we are reaching toward Jesus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Awakening

I don’t know when it began. I imagine it must’ve started shortly after I became a mom. I loved being a mom, nurturing and providing for a life that was completely and utterly dependent on me. It was hard, but it was rewarding. I felt blessed to have a child to call my own. But slowly, without me knowing it, the days and the weeks and the months began to blend together, and I didn’t really see the end. Everyday, or pretty much everyday began to look and feel the same. The duties of mom were tireless and endless. I started to look forward to the days when my child would be older (and less dependent), and my life would look different.

Then, another child came along. My second son was born almost 8 weeks premature, and he stayed in the NICU for almost as long. I was grateful that he had “caught up” to his age and healthy, and I dove into mothering, again tired, but determined. And then, after two and a half years, another child, this time a daughter, was born to us. I loved being a mom to a little precious girl. She was more beautiful than I could have imagined. My heart was full. But, something was amiss.

I think this was almost 4 years, or perhaps longer, in the making. I am a blessed and busy wife and mother of three. But somewhere, in the midst of all this hectic life of feeding, diaper changing and middle of the night wakings, life became dormant. Or rather, I became dormant. It was hard to see beyond the diaper changes, even as I, all too frequently, looked beyond those days.

But tonight, as I dared to finally fold and put away the clean laundry that’s been sitting in the laundry basket for weeks with some music playing in the background, I felt something stir within me. For the first time in a very, very long time, I felt awakened to the realization that I might have been sleeping my days away (not literally, because moms of newborns rarely get much sleep). Life was passing me by. And maybe, it’s because I believed that life sets a certain course of trajectory, and you follow it, such as being a wife, then being a mom, but I might have accepted this all too plainly and without any intentionality. I want this to stop. I need this to stop. I want to dream and dare and achieve, and ultimately make a difference. And maybe in my tired delirium I just got too worked up by a song, and life will try to suck me back into the drudgery of a stay-at-home-mom. But I don’t want this feeling and thought of awakening to end tonight when I close my eyes. I will try, no I will be different tomorrow.

So stay tuned.

Another new baby, another new thought

It has been a long hiatus, but there’s something about having a new baby that makes your mind ponder and you find yourself thinking new thoughts with new perspective on life and family. I recently gave birth to a baby girl, this being our third (and last) biological child, if you catch my drift. Having two boys have been fun, tiresome, challenging and wonderful, but I get the feeling that these emotions will be exacerbated with having a daughter. Perhaps it was because this pregnancy has been the most difficult one, but the fruit of my labor (some pun intended) is this most amazing and beautiful life that eats, sleeps and poops non-stop. I love this tiny life so much, and thank God even at 4 o’clock in the morning, in my sleep-deprived, half-awake state. And because I love her, and my boys and my husband so deeply, it’s so easy to find myself drawing inward to provide, protect and pursue my family and give them my best. But, I think this can be a dangerous thing. Day in and day out, I am immersed with diaper changing, pumping, all the while trying to recover from a c-section, and I forget that time is passing by and the world is moving on. As I watch my children grow, I want them to see their mom, not just as a provider and nurturer but as a person who seeks to continue to grow. So how do I become the mom I so desperately want them to see as a growing and thriving individual who they desire to emulate? First, I think it starts with my new realized notion on love. Love is not a feeling in your gut that makes you involuntarily smile, or warms your heart, or even that which enables you to wake up in the middle of the night to feed and change your little darling’s diapers without too much grumpiness. But, I believe love is that drive that makes you want to be a better person. You want to make the world a better place for your loves, to be that one more positive influence and role model in the world, despite the fact that it would be far more comfortable to just coast on with life. This will mean that I need to get over myself, draw outward, learn and be a blessing unto people out there, not just under my roof, which I realize will not come naturally or easy. But I want to do this. I have to do this. I WILL do this. I may never be a Super Woman, but I will do more today than yesterday and hope to make the world a better place tomorrow than it is today. Because I love you. And because you made this world a better place for me today than it was yesterday.