Photo Credit: Meshali Mitchell
As a young mom, I allowed myself to be buried by the mundane tasks of life. I sort of raised my own hand and rendered myself ineffective, benching myself to the sidelines in terms of doing anything meaningful or purposeful. Somehow, I believed the familiar lie that the tasks of keeping a home and mothering were not “worthy” tasks in the kingdom of God. I remember all too well how exhausted I was by nightfall and being so worn down that I almost didn’t know what to pray over my kids. During the bedtime routine, there were nights I’d just rush through it, trying to get everyone “down” so that I could have some peace and quiet.
It was the posture of my heart in that season that the Lord wanted expose to me. If I’m honest, I fought motherhood with a vengeance in the beginning. These tiny people had arrived and though I adored them, at times I felt threatened by how much it required of me to care for them. Somehow I thought that I should be able to compartmentalize my world and manage it all, keeping everything in it’s proper place. I had no idea how to just be in the moment, how to sit still and most importantly, how to be a child myself.
Not long before this the Lord had made it very clear to my husband, Nathan and I, that we were to come off of the road for a time. We had been recording and traveling as Watermark for around 7 years and had come to a place of complete exhaustion with all of it. Our son, Noah, was about to start Kindergarten at the time and our daughter Ellie was just a toddler. We were desperate for stability and calm in our lives and we were willing to do just about anything for it. Little did we know what that kind of surrender could bring…
I look back on it now with such gratitude that the Lord would lead us to that place of exhaustion that we might learn how to truly breathe and live.
The Lord began to show me what it looked like to be still, to be present. Honestly, how to be His daughter first so that I could parent beautifully from that place. I began to sit in what I deemed the “secret place” which was pretty much the farm table in my kitchen. I learned to let God have my fears over the things I had laid down. Fears that I might not ever have a singing platform again. Fears that I might not ever write songs that would move people and that my purpose would be reduced to this hidden place of mundane, menial tasks.
It was in the secret places of the mundane, menial tasks that I discovered the glorious in the mundane. I found that He was with me at the kitchen sink and next to me in the minivan in the carpool line. I had just never taken the time to truly notice Him there with me. I began to hear Him in the words of my own children, as small as they were, speaking truth over me in the most unlikely of moments. I began to understand why Jesus said “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:2-4)
Jesus was teaching me to come like a child and exchange the heavy mother-load I had placed on my shoulders for His “unforced rhythms of grace” as The Message translation puts it.
I’d learn in those moments that my Heavenly Father sometimes goes to extremes to get to our hearts. It is in that surrender that you let go of every title, every desire, every earthly possession… but in it you gain everything somehow. It’s here that suddenly the one title that fits once and for all is Beloved. It’s here that you give back to your Father every good and perfect gift that He bestowed. See, it was in giving Him back these things that not only did I learn to trust Him with them but I watched Him hold them up for me.
At that farm table He’d lead me back to the passage of scripture that first led me to Him when I was just a little girl. Psalm 37: 3-6 “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday sun.” Many translations say, “the justice of your cause like the noonday sun”. I had memorized part of this passage of scripture from a wall plaque that we had in the hallway of our home when I was growing up. Each of our family members had one that declared their name, the meaning of their name and each had a scripture with it. Mine said “Christy – Follower of Christ – Psalm 37:5 ‘Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.’” I learned to handwrite it as a 7 year old child because I figured if this scripture was on the wall, next to my name, it was my scripture.
Fast forward about 25 years and there I was in the middle of my farm table epiphany, realizing that if I handed Him my heart all over again, that He would indeed show me the way to go. Handing him my heart meant that I’d need to take it back from places and people that I had given it to and that I’d even need to pry my own grimy little hands off of it. While sitting with Him in that secret place, He brought a much needed lull to my life and to this weary heart I had placed back into His hands. Hidden from the spotlight, tucked away from the masses, He began to uncover my beloved-ness. He reminded me of who I was, His own child.As I let His truth sing over me, I began to sing over the people in my life in a new way. Like a mother bird perched over her nest, I sang from a place of rest and protection. I was now lulling my own children from a place of being lulled by His presence and holding them from a place of allowing myself to be held.
There was a new surrender in motherhood and a release that set me free and I believe somehow it set my children free too…