936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
Strollers. It first happened over strollers.
I was at the zoo pushing my child in a hand-me-down stroller. It was generously given to us in the three weeks we prepared for her adoption. The stroller was functional and compact. I considered it a blessing. I didn’t mind the light stains on the fabric and slightly balding wheels, it reminded me of the honor I’d just received – an entrance into the world of motherhood.
And then another mom walked by me pushing the “Cadillac” of all baby strollers.
Its sleek design made it look expensive and aerodynamic. It was clearly safe and top-of-the-line. Its black, groovy wheels were still squeaky, there were no visible scratches or dirt spots. Everything about the stroller, including the woman pushing it, seemed better than me.
Defeat followed me the rest of the day. Embarrassment taunted me about my used, roughed-up stroller. But something happened when I reached the car.
I got my kid buckled into her car seat, folded up the stroller and headed toward the trunk. It fit perfectly, as always, and it was very easy to maneuver. As I went to close the lid, a new thought crossed my mind:
I liked my stroller; it was perfect for me.
And then a lightbulb went off. I became aware of the real battle I’d fought all afternoon. The battle that pits mom against mom.
That day was seven years ago, but I remember it often. It was the first time I became aware of the fight I enter into when my mind gets caught in a web of motherhood insecurities, and my heart turns fearful that something about me is broken beyond repair.
It’s the carnage of a war where if I’m not careful, I completely forget is waged against me each day.
The Bible is clear – as believers, we are in the middle of a war. There is an invisible enemy, Satan, whose mission is to steal, kill and destroy us. In Priscilla Schirer’s book Fervent, she puts it this way:
“A very real enemy has been strategizing and scheming against you, assaulting you, coming after your emotions, your mind, your man, your child, your future. In fact, he’s doing it right this second. Right where you’re sitting. Right where you are.”
This war seems bleak and endless. It’s not for the faint of heart. And there is encouragement and hope. Just like Paul reminded the Romans:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)
Although the enemy rages on, God is fighting for us. The day Jesus rose from the grave, He proved to be more powerful than death itself. The same authority in Christ is now in us as believers and mothers.
If we don’t recognize the spiritual war we’re in and the authority we possess to fight it, we can succumb to its attacks and blindly walk into battles tailored just for us – and especially us moms.
Since the day he introduced us to sin, satan has employed the strategy of dividing and conquering. He introduces thoughts, temptations and scenarios into our lives that drive moms apart rather than bring us together. What does this look like?
Does any of this sound familiar?
And this is just the tip of the iceberg…
This battle pits mom against mom and spews lies that invite comparison and judgement, envy and anger. We run into it waving the flag of either insecurity or pride. Then we spiral down in fear, shame, and embarrassment when we carry out a spirit of defeat.
Mom vs. mom stirs up child vs. child, and soon we look less like loving families and spirit-led communities. We become enemies in a war that’s not-so-invisible anymore and anything but life-giving.
I wasn’t aware of this battle on moms before I became a mother, but it was a rude awakening once I did. Warfare doesn’t ask for our permission to attack, and I wasn’t ready for the fight. I don’t think any of us moms are – but that doesn’t stop it from hitting.
But there’s always good news with the Gospel, including this battle on moms. As believers, God has given us tools to fight back.
Here are three of them:
Fellow sisters, I propose we make a “mom pact.”
Let’s lock arms and hold the line, making a commitment to recognize our true enemy: “the rulers, authorities, powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). Let’s agree to see one another not as the competition but as unique image bearers of Christ – we’re supposed to be different from one another. It’s by design!
Let’s not judge and tear each other down (even if it’s only in our minds), but instead let’s accept our differences and love each other deeply. Let’s agree to unite as moms and bring not darkness and death, but light and life.
We cannot control that a war is going on, but we can position ourselves to become aware of it. Let’s use our God-given authority to fight it all the way to victory.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!