Back to School Thoughts on Motherhood as Spiritual Formation

The other day I was talking with one of our sons about a big moment coming up in his life: sending his first son off to kindergarten.  We reminisced about his own first day of Kindergarten, a day I will never forget.  There we were, both Woody and I (he had taken time off from work to come home and see Bjorn off) standing at the bus stop in the rain, waving through our tears.  I’m not sure that Bjorn was crying.  But we both were. Fast forward 13 years.  A long drive across 7 states and over 1000 miles to take him to college.  More rain.  More tears—lots of them. Windshield wipers going the whole way—both outside and inside. And a new realization:  This motherhood thing is even harder than I’d realized. One releasing after another.  And another.  And each releasing feels somehow physical.  There’s an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that by now, many years later, has become familiar.

So just last week this same son (the one whose first son will soon be off to Kindergarten) sent me a link to an article posted on The Gospel Coalition blog entitled, “The Truth about Pain in Childbearing” by Jen Wilkin. I really resonate with her perspective.  I’ve always believed that parenting affords a unique opportunity for spiritual formation.  And this blogger sheds a great deal of light on why and how that is.

A favorite part: “Childbearing saves me because it faithfully (albeit painfully) reminds me over and over again that I am weak.  It reminds me that I am not self-sufficient, that I do not have what it takes to protect and preserve my children, but that my heavenly father does.  It saves me from the belief that I am God.”

I hope you’ll read the whole article.