Tuesday, May 7, 2013

mothering is storing up treasures






Did you know those little acts you do as a mom matter? Lately I feel like I’ve been buried by the mundane. The life of picking up and cleaning and feeding and all of that. And with three kids in school all the live long day I can feel like I really am not doing too much as a mom. I wonder if my services could be better used elsewhere. But then they come home and reality kicks in and I remember that my husband works nearly three jobs and if I wasn’t there to put dinner on the table and clean the clothes...well, you can imagine the state we’d be in. And so I realize that, yes, in fact, it does matter. 

It actually matters quite a lot. 

In the mundane, in daily life, in the ins and outs of family life there are lots of moments. And there are those precious ones, the ones where you enjoy your kids, stop to treasure them, those are the ones that mark them. Those are also the ones that mark us. 

Jesus told us to store up our treasures in heaven, but that always seemed so other worldly to me. Like storing up treasures was something for later, not right now. But it is for right now, and the invitation we receive from Jesus, the one that feels like a dare, that one to store up our treasures in heaven actually has everything to do with our lives right now. It is as much about the next life as it is about today. 

Dallas Willard said these words about treasures in heaven: “Invest your life in what God is doing, which cannot be lost.” And that is exactly what storing up our treasures means. It means putting our focus on what God is up to, and it turns the mundane into an opportunity to experience the divine. Willard goes on to say that storing up treasures in heaven means investing in the “good of other people-those around us within the range of our power to affect.”

What does God treasure the most of all? Deuteronomy 32:9 reminds us that the Lord’s portion is his people. 

As mothers we have a very unique opportunity; we get to partner with God as we care for his people, our children. Living this way allows the things we do to count, and even be kept secure. It’s not just about bottling memories, it’s about placing emphasis on the souls we have been called to raise. It’s about valuing them, and seeking to see them from God’s eternal perspective. It’s about realizing that all the daily things we do, the ones that seem unnoticed and unmentionable are the ones the really matter because they are the things that ultimately build their souls.

Storing up treasures in heaven is really about sowing in the Spirit. Galatians 6:8-10 reminds us of this fact:

The one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest...Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to family of believers.

Our children belong to that family, just as sure as they belong to our own. We know that motherhood is euphoric at best and complete drudgery at worst, but even in the mundane acts of mothering we have a chance to store up heavenly treasures. We have a chance to build what will be kept safe. 

Don’t give up the good work. Don’t think you have better things to do. Don’t forget that eternal treasures are in the balance. And the added bonus is that as we treasure our kids our hearts will be right there behind us-that’s a promise straight from Jesus: where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Don’t give it up. Don’t phone it in. As long as it today, keep on dear mother, keep on. 

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