Motherhood is hard, just the plain truth. Motherhood is beautiful, joy-filled, amusing, good-work, bewildering…the list of possible adjectives is long. And yet motherhood is hard. It is meant to be laborious. The job requirements can often leave us drained and weary. It demands selflessness and sacrifice, and all too often we fall into the lie that we can do it all, which only leaves us further spent. We were never meant to mother in our own strength, but in the strength and power of the One who gave us our calling. We must remind ourselves each day of the truths given to us in God’s Word. We must be in His Word each day, looking for the goodness of the Lord in our daily tasks.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;

How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Psalm 34:8

TASTE

This passage by David in Psalms is a quite familiar portion of scripture to most people. So familiar in fact that we can be in danger of glossing over foundational truths given to us by God to draw us closer to Him and protect us. It begins with taste. Food. Nourishment. Motherhood is saturated with food planning, procuring, preparation, and pick-up. While our baby is in the womb, awareness of our own consumption of food is heightened. We compare the gestational age of the new baby to various fruit and vegetables in a week-by-week comparison. New baby is a poppy seed, a lentil, a kumquat, fig, peapod, avocado, heirloom tomato, rutabaga, jicama (that’s a real familiar one)…and a swiss chard at 37 weeks! At the moment of birth our thoughts and worries turn towards getting that new baby to eat, frequency is logged, pain is endured and sleep is sacrificed to ensure nourishment is provided. It is a God-created fundamental need in our lives, regardless of age, gender, profession and social status. If we are not nourished, our bodies will signal the alarm sounds, telling us of the deficiency.

So it is with the Lord when we are not feeding our souls and our children’s souls on His Word. Our heart shows the deficiency and signals the alarm bells. We are cranky and  grow weary in doing good. We are enticed by ungodly fillers, which appear as a good substitute but in fact are “just empty calories” and poison. As mothers, we need the Word of God every single day. Our kiddos, who we never neglect to provide food for,  need to taste and be filled up with God’s truths every single day. Consume the Word and taste the goodness of the Lord.

Join me this summer in purposefully feeding our kiddos the Word of God. Author Rachel Jankovic (@lizziejank) recently threw out a time challenge, daring women to find out how long it takes to read the book of Ephesians. Try it. Grab a stopwatch, a/k/a cell phone, and record just how long it takes to read one of Paul’s letters. Pick one and read aloud at a normal pace without stopping to study the passage. Just hear and taste God’s word. My kids from the earliest ages love to operate the start/stop button of a stopwatch. Have them read, operate the timer, log the times. Let’s show them the importance of daily feeding on God’s word.

SEE

As I am obedient to read His Word, I see His goodness surrounding my family. His word is active and it unseals our eyes, enabling us to see that the Lord is good. Practice looking for the goodness of God. We are told in Psalms to see it, which means we need to look for it and He will be faithful to reveal his goodness to us.

A recent example of this tasting and seeing the Lord’s goodness took place in a car ride home one evening. I was bringing kids home from an evening celebrating the year spent reading and memorizing scripture. Feeding their souls with God’s Word. There is something particularly special about the northwest Ohio flatlands in the Monclova region. It is so frequently the stage for God’s handiwork to be displayed in the vast sky. A spanse of sky, which is unhindered by anything that may obstruct the view. Simply a long horizontal line separating sky and land. As we trekked down our road, to the east appeared the most vivid rainbow. Full arch of the color spectrum which shot up and across the sky and dove back down disappearing into the horizontal line. We admired all of the colors represented so clearly in crisp lines. At the same moment, to the west was an equally spectacular color display as the sun set into the horizon. Every color of the rainbow was swirling around in the evening sky. Every color but green, which held its place below the horizontal line in the spring grass. It was as if the east and west were competing for the best of show!

That evening happened to be my son’s birthday, and he matter-of-factly observed, “God must really love me.” Isn’t that exactly the childlike manner that God our Father desires that we presume upon Him? To be audacious enough to expect or assume with confidence that God Himself would show His faithfulness to us, to allow us to see His goodness. Thankfully, the Lord gave me pause instead of instinctively responding, and He allowed me to see my child looking for and seeing the goodness of the Lord.

OUR REFUGE

Not everyday is filled with rainbows and sunsets. In fact in motherhood most days are extraordinarily ordinary, filled to the brim with hard stuff. All too often I find myself discouraged and defeated in the midst of motherhood responsibilities. From the baby blues, to sleepless nights, mountains of laundry, potty training, teaching little ones to read, sibling fighting, worry, and loneliness…the selflessness and sacrifice that motherhood demands leaves me feeling less than joyful on more days then I like to admit. The truth is despairing in our circumstances instead of hoping in Christ is sin. It is me wallowing in self-pity and defeat instead of taking God at His word. The Lord provides refuge in Him, to those who trust in Him.

A number of years ago I began to work to be purposeful throughout each day to see the goodness of the Lord. Six years ago when our 5th child was born, the fourth boy, I began taking a photo a day and posting on Instagram. No commentary, simply the photo and day number. The project continued for 365 days. It was an act of looking to see the good of the Lord in each day and seeking refuge in Him in the midst of some heavy days of motherhood. It turned into a very sweet, treasured moment each day and evolved into a built-in daily prompt to pray to the Lord. I took on the year-long project again when our fifth son was born. Currently, Dietrich who is our sixth son, is approaching Day No. 300. The Lord has blessed the habit of prayer. Currently I am working to remember to give a prayer of thanksgiving each time I walk down my stairs from the second floor to the first floor. What daily task or habit can you turn into a moment to devote to a brief prayer to the Lord? Maybe it is loading the dishwasher, brewing the morning coffee, brushing your teeth…we have seemingly endless tasks from which we may choose to look to see the goodness of the Lord and find refuge in Him.

Summertime is a great season to take on a small project and set new routines. Join me in pulling apart this short, but powerful, truth of scripture with our children. Set short daily reading challenges that get us all into God’s Word EACH Day. Look for the goodness of the Lord each day with your kiddos. Record what the Lord shows you, perhaps on a list posted to the fridge or a daily photo, and reflect back at the end of the summer.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;

How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Psalm 34:8

Love, Jennifer

Jennifer Clark

Author Jennifer Clark

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