SummaryHow does God make our work holy? Amy Pawlusiak, homeschooling mom of five, from teen to toddler, discusses how only God’s love makes motherhood meaningful.
When I was a child, I remember fantasizing about being a mom.
I thought I would do so many things differently than my mother had done them. I would always play games with my kids, and I would always give them whatever foods they wanted, etc.
Then I became a mom. Sometimes, you just can’t stop what you’re doing to play, and the foods kids want aren’t usually the healthy kind.
In love for them, I make hard choices every day that the kids don’t understand now, but I know (or hope!) they’ll appreciate one day. Being a mom is challenging, but the key is love.
When I do my work in love, it’s meaningful. Knowing each little thing I do benefits my family and gives us all a happy home, with Jesus at the center, is such a good feeling.
But then there are the bad days. There are days when I want to pull my hair out because there’s so much to do that I can’t keep it all straight.
That’s when motherhood needs God’s love.
Mother Teresa Knew
“I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ Ask yourself, ‘How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?’ Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery.” Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, p. 99
I can pinpoint so many times in my life when the work I was doing suddenly had no meaning. It became a means to an end. I kept going because I had to. Then, I snapped at my kids out of frustration.
Mother Teresa’s words hit me in the eye because we all have those discouraging days (or weeks). Even motherhood can feel like slavery if we do not allow God’s love to make it meaningful.
Frustrations are Inevitable
Lately, I’ve been getting frustrated easily. I seem to lack the peace of just a few years ago when the kids were smaller. Now, with five kids all in different times of their lives (high school to toddler), I’m feeling the pull. It seems to start when they have a squabble, or someone wants something he or she knows I can’t say yes to.
Then, the toddler suddenly breaks something because I was distracted at that moment. My head starts to spin, and I feel myself falling into frustration and anger. I hate being angry. I dislike hearing high-pitched words loudly coming out of my mouth. I don’t want it to be this way, I think to myself. What’s going on?
Work Without Love is Slavery
I think this is what’s going on. I’m toiling as a mother in the midst of the expected daily grind, and suddenly I lose sight of God’s love. I don’t ask God to help me with the squabble. I don’t tell God that He needs to send His love to help me give it to the kid who just broke my lamp or spilled juice all over the floor AGAIN. I need His love, or else I can’t give it to my children.
We are made to be vessels with cracks, and those cracks let God’s love pour out of us into all the places we walk past. I’m walking without being full. I need to go to the well and refill with love, or my work becomes like slavery.
How Does One Get Love?
We must set aside time each day to visit with Jesus. This is not always easy, and it means you need to be thoughtful in your daily grind. But there are ten to fifteen minutes somewhere in the day that we can give to God.
The days I take time to meditate on the readings of the Mass for that day or read through the life of a saint, I begin to think about the messages God is sending me through those words. I center my mind on Him, and, in that moment, I feel God’s presence in my life. I hear Him say, “Ah…here you are. Glad you came for a visit!” I feel Him pour His love into my soul.
There it is. I came for love, and He found me in that moment and did what He promised.
Choose to be Friends of Jesus!
Now, I’m not saying that this is what makes motherhood suddenly meaningful again in every way. But this is how God can take our work and make it holy. Every day brings new challenges, and our lives are often unseen by the world.
No one will give us a bonus or a trophy for being amazing moms. Instead, we live in the silence of the home, and only God and our families see what we do. However, God’s love makes our work meaningful. So moms, choose not to be slaves! Choose love, and ask God to shower His love upon you as you carry out your work.
“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15