When I was pregnant with my first child, I began to have this feeling of wanting to be a jack-of-all-trades kind of mom. I wanted to be the best, right now. I wanted to be wise, spiritually and practically, to be able to answer the questions of my children regarding the Lord and lead them in grace, and also to know how to get any stain out of any fabric. I wanted to be able to cook the best meals, healthy and nutritious, from scratch; recipes that my children and my friends would all be begging me for. I wanted to be a fun mom, who plays with her kids. I wanted to be a mom who could sew anything, making all sorts of handmade items for my home and my family. I still desire these things, but I have learned that in order to achieve my dreams I have to start small.
The Power of Starting Small
Everything starts small. Before we could be adults, we first had to be babies who grew into children who grew into adults. Before we could walk, we crawled. In our smallness, we gained experience and learned how to handle being big, and it is the same thing with our goals for motherhood. We must take small steps toward the big goal to be successful. If we take a giant leap, it is too easy to become overwhelmed and give up. If we start with small leaps, it builds our confidence that we can achieve the bigger picture. There is power in starting small in that it builds us up toward ending big.
Look at the picture at the top of this post. Can you imagine how long it would take to eventually put a check mark in that box? I have done this to myself, and starting out with too big of a goal makes you feel like you will never accomplish anything. After four years, I am just now learning that I have to start small towards my big goal of being an intentional mama.
The Small Building Blocks
1) PRAYER – The first thing you should do is pray. If you don’t have a motherhood goal or a life goal right now, pray and ask God what his plans are for you! Ask God to reveal to you what kind of mother he wants you to be. Ask Him to show you how to get there. Ask him what the first step should be. Then, listen for the answers! If you already have a dream, first you have to do is ask yourself if it is in line with what God wants for you, and pray about it. Tell God your dreams. Dream big! Ephesians 3:20 says God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”.
2) WRITE IT DOWN – What is your dream? When you close your eyes and envision the mother you want to be, what do you look like? What do you do? How do you act? Write it down and leave nothing out! The first step to reaching your goal is defining it. Make a list of all the things that you feel God leading you to be and write down what you will need to do to get there. This is your mission statement.
3) TAKE THE FIRST LITTLE STEP – What is the very first thing you need to do to get yourself on the right path? For me, it was prayer and study time. I knew that in order to get anywhere in my life I needed to be spending regular time praying and studying God’s word. How was I going to do that? I knew that my current pattern was not working well, it was hard to find that focused time in a crazy day and I was often too tired at the end of the day. What change could I make? I decided to follow Kat’s advice to maximize my mornings by getting up before my children to spend time with God. I chose my wake up time based on my children’s wake up time. I chose to get up an hour before my children right off the bat because waking up in the morning isn’t very difficult for me. If getting up early is one of your goals, and you are more of a night owl, then perhaps getting up only 5 minutes before your children’s normal waking time is best. Sometimes we need to start small even in our small goals!
4) KEEP TAKING STEPS – Don’t be afraid to fall down! Don’t give up! I was amazed when I watched my first child learn to walk. She would pull herself up to standing, take two wobbly steps and fall down. Then, she would do it again. And again. And again. She kept going until she could walk, and eventually run. If she gave up when she fell down, she would still be sitting on the floor now, but look at what she gained from her perseverance. Do not be discouraged, just keep learning and keep trying! Eventually you will run!
What is your motherhood dream? What is the first step you took or will take to accomplish your dreams?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!