Pondering about motherhood has become a familiar pastime for me. There isn’t a day that goes by without me thinking about parenting in all it entails. Some days the thoughts are reflections of the lessons I’ve learned while on other days I question myself about everything from my parenting techniques to why I can’t expand my meal plan with more options. If I am not careful those last thoughts can cause my mind to spiral to a place that’s not healthy. I’m sure I am not the only one who has found herself thinking about one thing and a half hour later wondering how in the world did I get to the place where I am feeling downtrodden. If you’re one who can relate, let me offer you a bit of motherhood encouragement while I also encourage myself.
Philippians 4:8 is one of my favorite scriptures. If you have never read the book of Philippians, I highly recommend you do. It’s a book filled with encouragement that you can apply to any circumstance. When my mind begins to spiral I hold on to the words of Philippians 4:8 which reads, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
Applying Philippians 4:8 to Motherhood
Whatever is true.
When doubt wants to creep in and parenting struggles or your children’s mistakes want to loom over your head, refocus your mind on the things that are true. In the grand scheme of things, the mistake we made in that moment isn’t our entire life, and it doesn’t tell the full story. Discerning what is true is important on this motherhood journey. I often find myself getting worked up over the what ifs. What if my daughters only know how to scroll endlessly on their tablets—how will they take care of themselves as adults? What if I don’t teach them all the correct social cues—how will others perceive them? Well, it may be true that my daughters scroll more than I would like, but what is also true they know how to feed themselves, shop for ingredients, do chores, read, and more—skills that they will use to care for themselves as adults. And even if they couldn’t do those things, the Father will be there for them just the same as He has been there for me when I didn’t know something. Refocusing on what is true keeps our minds from conjuring up stories that may not ever have a place in our lives and places us back into the moment that we are currently living.
Whatever is right.
Some behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts are undoubtedly wrong by God’s standard. I know into today’s world nearly everything can be swept under a rug or given a pass. As believers, we must read His word to have an understanding of His mind about those things that are right and wrong. One of my least favorite things about parenting is discipline. I honestly do not enjoy correcting others not even my children. It’s so much work. Even though it’s my least favorite thing to do, I still do it because it is right. Do you have an area of motherhood that you struggle with more than others? If so, take a moment to think about if the job you least like to do. Is it something you need to do because God calls you to do it? I probably will always have this struggle with discipline, but I know that I am not sorting through the hard stuff alone. He is here with me; because I know this I will walk upright in my call to mother.
Whatever is lovely.
When I think about whatever is lovely, my mind doesn’t go to Instagram or Pinterest; instead I find myself focusing on the good that is happening as I grow into the mother God desires me to be. It’s a lovely gift to see someone who struggles with discipline to be blessed with daughters whose behaviors aren’t so bad and who are growing lovely to the young women God desires them to be. He shows me the beauty of our perfectly imperfect lives daily, and when I look outside of myself I can see the beauty He displays throughout the earth too. This includes nature and people.
Applying scripture to our lives is a great way to keep our minds clear of clutter. There’s a few more attributes in Philippians 4:8 that I want to encourage you take a moment or two to define for yourselves. It’s my hope that you will think on whatever is noble and pure, and be encouraged on your motherhood journey. Take Paul’s words to heart and “… think on these things”.
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