Juggling Being a Wife, Mom and Student: Mackenzie Morris
Can we get real for a moment? All this juggling that we as women pride ourselves in is misleading. The synonyms for juggling alone expose our daily exertions: deluded, misrepresenting, falsifiable, and my personal favorite—performing magic.
Our kids already think we are magicians with all of our “now you see it, now you don’t” tricks we do with dirty dishes, piles of laundry and ready-to-be-tripped toys. But we misrepresent Christ if our mantra looks to other women like, “I can do all things through Pinterest who gives me strength.” Juggling implies we’re putting on an act, and as Eugene Peterson put it in Matthew 6:1-4, the world is not a stage.
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding…When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.”
Ladies, if we are to glorify the Lord with the many tasks He has given us we need to start by leaving
the performing to the Pharisees. I am not saying abdicate these God-given roles, I am saying our first priority that overflows into
tying that bag of garbage,
picking up that trail of socks,
hanging that wet towel on the bathroom floor,
comforting that distressed friend,
giving counsel to that perplexed husband,
and holding down those flailing toddler legs,
is daily abiding in the Lord. I am saying that our theology is the most important thing we can offer anyone we come in contact with today.
Now, there is a theology that some of us picture as sitting in our den with reading glasses on, highlighting the most important phrases and nodding, “So this is God.”
And then, there is a theology that takes us out into the middle of a storm with waves breaking over us. This theology washes us up on shore with a salty gasp of “So this is God!” Do you see the difference? In one we underline a phrase of a book, in the other we underline a phrase of our lives.
Our experiences with God are what shapes us and those around us. What we experience with God affects our spouses, our children, our studies and our work. Our theology deeply matters. Carolyn Custis James says in her book When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference, “Our goal is to bring knowing God out of the ivory tower and into the ordinary moments of life.”
And that is exactly what we are doing as we take all of our little stuff and see it as the weighty stuff of great sacrifices as Ann Voskamp says. Are we living sacrifices or living actors? One determines for grandeur—for greatness. They metaphorically lift houses over their heads. They save the multitudes from burning buildings. Living sacrifices do the opposite—they lay it all down. As Peterson said, they live “quietly and unobtrusively..”
Adversely, Jeremiah 2 tells of Israel forsaking the Lord. It says the heavens were shocked and shuddered in horror (2:12). What happened? How did they get to that point? Verse 8 says, “Even the priests did not say, Where is the Lord?”
On this side of the covenant, we are the priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:5). In our daily tasks are we asking the question, “Where is the Lord?” Actors ask the question, “Where is my glory?” Living sacrifices ask the question, “Where is the Lord?”
Do we feel the Lord’s strong hands anoint our heads when we see cross-shaped cracks in our chapped grip from the day’s dishes? Tertullian, a North African lawyer-theologian in A.D. 200 wrote: "At every step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at the table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign [the cross]."
Our everyday closeness to the Lord is in our meager dying-is-living, last-is-first moments.
1 John 2:17 says, “..But whoever does the will of God abides forever”. In the Greek, the word abide had many different meanings, but here are some to ponder. As you juggle all of those tasks, mom, wife, home-maker, employee, student, are you:
Staying in the Lord,
Continuing in the Lord,
Dwelling the Lord,
Lasting in the Lord,
Living in the Lord,
Being still in the Lord,
Surviving in the Lord?
Your theology deeply matters, precious daughter. Abide in the Lord as you complete those tasks.
James, Carolyn Custis. When life and beliefs collide: how knowing God makes a difference. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003.
Stott, John R. W. The cross of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.
Voskamp, Ann. "Little Stuff." Ann Voskamp. Accessed January 01, 2018. http://annvoskamp.com/2007/05/little-stuff/.