Thursday, April 17, 2014

Toiling On!

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
’Neath the banner of the cross!
(The Banner of the Cross-Daniel Whittle)

For some reason this song has been stuck in my head since I was a little girl.  I'm not sure if we sang it a lot in church when I was a child or if my mom used it as a motivational song for me to get my chores done. Whatever the reason, it is stuck!  But, I have always sung the first line as "Toiling on, Toiling on" instead of marching on.  It wasn't until recently that I saw the song printed somewhere that I noticed I had the words wrong!  But did I?  I believe God had it planted in my head that way because He knew the mission He had set out for me.  Motherhood.

Being a mom is wonderful!  I love it!  Most days...

Here's the definition for toil:
  1. 1.
    work extremely hard or incessantly.
    "we toiled away"
    synonyms:work hard, labor, exert oneself, slave (away), grind away, strive, work one's fingers to the bone, put one's nose to the grindstone; More

  1. 1.
    exhausting physical labor.
    "a life of toil"
    synonyms:hard work, laborexertion, slaving, drudgeryeffortindustry, 'blood,sweat, and tears'; More

This really does describe motherhood...but I don't look at this as discouraging but encouraging!  We all toil at something!  And I love that my calling is to toil at motherhood but I'll be honest-  some days are just hard!  Some weeks are hard!  It's not always how commercials, pinterest and movies make it look.  In fact, is it ever?  Like so many other things, culture likes to give us this "picture" to live up to in order to sell us something.  "If I just had that mixer, I could bake chocolate chip cookies with my kids and giggle as we get flour on our noses."  "If we could just go to Disney together, I know we could have some really great moments that would bring our family closer."  And, "If I just had that mop that makes life easier I can just shake my head and giggle at the milk and jelly that just crashed on the floor."  Sometimes we have those moments and SOMETIMES...nah...I never shake my head and giggle at the spills.  But, my joy and happiness in being a mom is not dependent on these things.  It's not dependent on the special moments...though we have plenty. I want my kids to know that.  I want to constantly remind myself of that.  My joy and happiness comes from my faith, hope, and trust in God, not in the atmosphere I can create in my home to show the world that we are doing it "right".

 I toil on for Christ! I rejoice in the good days and the bad days for Christ!  It's a shocking thing I'm gonna say here.  Prepare yourself.  My children are not the source of my joy and hope.  My children bring me great joy.  I love them more than I love myself (except when I get mad because I love myself more than I love them...but that is another post).  They are, apart from salvation and my godly husband, my most precious gifts from God.  But if I base my joy on them, I will be disappointed.  If they base their joy on me they will really be disappointed.  My joy is in Him and my only expectation is from Him.  "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him."Psalm 62:5  I want them to know that.  I want to demonstrate that to my children so that they never look for joy and happiness in anything but Christ.  Oh, temporary happinesses may come...but the rough days come as well.  I pray I will teach my kids to base their hopes, foundations, dreams-everything on Christ alone.  He is the only One who never fails!  He is the source of hope: Psalm 119:14;Psalm 23...and a million other verses.  I want my kids to look to Jesus for everything...not look for happiness in things, people or events.  Psalm 16:11 

So, I toil on in my calling of motherhood.  Not for their benefit and not so I will be mother of the year.  I toil, as the song says, to crown Him King beneath the banner of the cross.  Everything I do is to honor and glorify Him.  My children will benefit from that so much more than the vain things this world says makes a great mom. What makes a great mom, dad, family, or person is Christ and Him being the source and purpose for all that we do. 

Sometimes it's easy and all the world seems right.  Sometimes it is toiling.  But, with joy I will sing:

Toiling on, Toiling on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
                                ’Neath the banner of the cross!