Everyone also to whom God has given
wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them,
and to accept his lot and rejoice
in his toil—this is the gift of God.
For he will not much remember
the days of his life
because God keeps him occupied with
joy in his heart.
It was a bright, sunny day when I was working in the schoolroom of the N family, most everyone was either outside or reading in the sunroom and Sampson was probably chewing on something in the living room, and as I was browsing through the bookshelf I came across the wee volume of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic. Though I'm not a mother and have no brood of my own, I had heard many wonderful things about this book and thought I'd recruit it to be a part of my "bathroom reading", so I started. Just a few pages here and there throughout the day and very soon I was finished.
I loved it.
In my experience, there are many "encouraging" books and resources on mothering small children that don't really encourage at all, mostly just expound on the struggles and lack of "me time" that women with small children have, it's very rare that I come across something that cheerfully shows the joys and trials of motherhood. There are many things I loved about this book, but probably what I appreciated the most was Rachel's insight and the wisdom she shared on raising little ones. It also made me reflect on the wonderful examples of this in my life and reminded me how grateful I am to have women who continually show me the good, bad, and true joy that can come with stickies, littles, children.
It's a short, delightful read and I highly encourage you, whether you have little ones or not, to read it!
Also, in my quick research of Rachel's writings I came across this post from Desiring God.org ; in it Rachel shares her thoughts on motherhood as a missionfield, these are excellent and thought-provoking.
"Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.
Offered with thankfulness, your work at home is only the beginning. Your laundry pile, selflessly tackled daily, will be used in the hands of God to clothe many. Do not think that your work does not matter. In God’s hands, it will be broken, and broken, and broken again, until all who have need of it have eaten and are satisfied. And even then, there will be leftovers."