For the Moms – Treasure in Jars of Clay w/ Brittany Shields

For the Moms
  • How many children do you have? 4
  • How old are your children? 5, 3, 18 month twins
  • Are you a mom of girls or boys? Both!

How does having this treasure of Christ influence and transform your approach and ability to mother?

The entire journey from trying to get pregnant to trying to get through another day of 4 kids under 6 is something I could never have gotten through without Christ.

He is my strength, my hope, my endurance, my energy, my Sustainer, Healer, Joy, my Rock. Every day of being a mom goes better when I wake up and say ‘God, I need you today.’ Though I do it imperfectly, my approach and ability as a mom is filtered through the gospel- I am sinful. My children are sinful. I need a Savior. They need a Savior. My job is to show my kids love and grace, teach them truth, and point to Jesus. I am not enough for them, but he is.

My identity is in Christ, not in achieving a certain standard of motherhood or raising a certain caliber of child. That’s the freedom and treasure of Christ in motherhood.


How is the enemy waging war on motherhood?

Not only is the enemy trying to prevent motherhood through the acceptance and normalizing of the practice of abortion, but he is trying to influence people’s perception that being a mom is insignificant. That raising kids is settling for something less than your dreams, that they are an obstacle and hindrance to creating a meaningful and impactful existence.

But motherhood is so significant.

Motherhood is on the front lines of building God’s kingdom. We are teaching and caring for eternal souls. The enemy wants us to view motherhood with annoyance and to feel trapped in a thankless and meaningless existence, wasting our time and our talents. The enemy sows discontentment in motherhood. But God has called us to it so it must be very important to his plan and it is an honor and a blessing to care for God’s children.

Motherhood is supremely meaningful.

How would you say motherhood mirrors God’s relationship with, and connection to us?

I had no idea how much being a mom would inform my posture to and view of the Lord.

The fierce and incredible love for my children even when they disobey or do naughty things. How I ask them to trust me when they don’t understand what I have deemed best for them. My children are a reminder to me how I can trust the Lord and believe that he will protect me because he loves me. Their child-like faith and trust in me is grounded in my person- I am their mother; they know me and my heart and will do anything as long as I am with them. This should be our posture to God. We know him and his heart and therefore we trust and have faith that he is leading us well.

My feelings and the way I view my circumstances is not the measure of his love.

-Brittany Shields

Has there been a time where your faith in God began to wane? What was that like for you? How did you come back?

The most tenuous season of my faith was my journey to being a mom. We had trouble getting pregnant. When I finally did get pregnant I miscarried. I spent another year trying. I was mad at God. I couldn’t understand why he would command that we be fruitful and multiply, create life in my womb, and then just take it away. It felt cruel and I felt utterly unloved.

I had to wrestle with knowing I had a deep desire to be a mother, but that God doesn’t promise us children. I had to struggle with who I believed God to be and reconcile that with my feelings and my circumstances. I stopped praying— I didn’t know how. I stopped worshiping— the words of the songs spoke truths of God that I didn’t know if my heart could say.

I was like Naomi in the Bible who was bitter towards God after losing her husband and sons. But just as God showed his faithfulness to Naomi even while she was bitter, he did the same for me. He never stopped pursuing me or loving me. He showed his faithfulness and I became pregnant with my oldest. It was a humbling experience because I was overjoyed with carrying life, but feeling like a toddler who had a tantrum to get what she wanted. I hadn’t reconciled my heart to God but he had shown me that he was there the whole time, calling me back to him.

God worked on my heart. I had a playlist of worship songs I listened to daily praying, ‘God, I know these words are true. I know this is who you are, but help me to believe them.’ Over the course of many months God reminded me of who he is and what his heart is for me. My feelings and the way I view my circumstances is not the measure of his love. His love for me is measured in the cross. I learned to seek his heart and his character, not his hand and what he can give me. Whatever pain and hardship he has ordained in my life, he asks me to cling to him, to trust his love, and to know that he walks through the fire with me. I don’t ask ‘why?’ when the pain is inexplicable; I ask ‘who?’, and I preach to myself the heart and character of God reflected in his loving sacrifice for me on the cross when I was still his enemy. And that makes all the difference.

Do you struggle to come to terms with your own limitations? What factors contribute to this struggle the most?

There is a narrative, however subtle, that champions self-sufficiency. And it’s attractive to us. We like to be in control. So when we hear the five-step plans and the tidy list of mom-hacks we latch on to them. When we hear the charge to reach deep inside ourselves for that extra ounce of energy, strength, endurance, to dig deep and try harder, with the promise of success and achievement we believe it. Of course we have it in ourselves to do whatever and be whoever we set our hearts on! We are all we need and we can do it! The narrative tells us with the right attitude, we can be limitless.

But self-sufficiency is an empty lie. There is nothing deep in me, no amount of effort that sustains me or propels me. Being a follower of Christ is a life of rightful dependence on the Lord. I am not enough and I never will be. Motherhood is hard. The meals, the messes, the laundry, the whining, the busyness, the invaded space and lack of quiet, the fears of the unknown, the endless needs. Every day has its own challenges and I am not up to the task. Not without the power of Christ within me sustaining me, strengthening me, defining me, and leading me. Relinquishing control feels out of control; I have to hold my kids and my plans with open hands and that is really hard.

Being a follower of Christ is admitting that I am not God— everything I do, say, and think is tainted by sin and I need a Savior. No life hack, strategy, or program can save me. When I see my limits— and as a mother I feel them deeply— I reach out, not within, and the Lord equips me for every day. Coming to terms with my own limitations is actually freeing because I no longer bear the burden and weight of being enough and doing enough. I take on the yoke of Christ. It is light and I can find rest from my self-righteous striving.


For the Moms
Brittany Shields – Blogger/Stay-at-home Mom
Follow Brittany!
Book Review/Faith Blog: www.shelfreflection.com
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Since our inception in 2020, For the Moms has received over 2500 views in over almost 30 countries!

I am all the more grateful for the women (like Brittany) who have chosen to join me on this journey of transparency. I can’t thank you enough.

For the Moms is an annual written blog series which aims to ignite and connect Godly Women in various stages of Motherhood toward the revelation of their Divinely given assignment and their impact as the gatekeepers of the home. 

The purpose and mission is to elevate Christ and conceptualize Godly character in Motherhood – and to reach down and pull up those Mothers who are just starting, who are understandably worn, or who have somehow lost their way. 

Further, For the Moms is a movement that is calling to attention the warriors within us for the times in which we live. We will aim to unravel the mistakes and cycles of generations past. We will wage war for our families. And, we will diligently seek the Lord’s face concerning His will for our children, and who we are becoming through our Motherhood. 

My prayer is that the women who lay eyes on the For the Moms Series, will be encouraged, emboldened, and all the more hopeful.

For the Moms,

Hannah



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