Joy in Motherhood?

You can tell I have that movie on my brain. I think it has something to do with a particular line from the movie that really made me pause and rethink who I am and what I’m meant to be.

I wrote more about it at WorldMag.com today.

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Two completely unrelated incidents collided this week as to briefly take my breath away and reconsider life as I know it and wish it to be.

The first event came in the form of a trailer for the soon-to-be released film Motherhood. In the movie, Eliza Welch (played by Uma Thurman) is a “mommy blogger” struggling to find her voice in the midst of her life as a stay-at-home mother. In the trailer, her husband, Avery (played by Anthony Edwards), looks at his wife and says, “I want to know what makes you want to live a life with passion.”

When I watched the trailer (see below), tears welled up in my eyes. It could have been that particular day or just this particular season of life (the stay-at-home/homeschool mom season), but while deep inside I know what the answer should be (Jesus, right?), there are days I dread thinking about the question.

The second breath-taker: I recently decided to go through World Harvest Mission’s Sonship program. My book arrived this week and I began listening to the first lecture. I didn’t get very far before I had to pause again. In lecture one Jack Miller, the late 1970s pastor/evangelist, reads several verses from Galatians and then says, “The key question that the book of Galatians brings to us is this one: What happened to all your joy?”

Again, tears. What happened to all my joy? What makes me want to live a life with passion? If I can’t sincerely answer those questions with Jesus, then I’ve seriously lost touch of who I really am and was made to be. I can get so wrapped up in my identity—as a mom, as a homeschooler, as a writer—that I forget the very essence of the “why?” behind the “what?” of the “where?” and the “when” of the “how?” I do what I do.

And for Whom? That’s what I really need to ask, isn’t it? That’s the question: for Whom?

What makes me want to live a life with passion? What happened to all my joy?

How would you answer the questions? I’d love to hear from you.

 

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3 thoughts on “Joy in Motherhood?

  1. Christy says:

    How would you answer the questions? I’d love to hear from you.
    >>What makes me want to live a life with passion?
    I think it is the Holy Spirit bubbling up in us … alive, drawing us to the bigger-than-we-are possibility of being One with Almighty God and having His love flow through us making us part of something pure and holy and beautiful and powerful.
    >>What happened to all my joy?
    I recently had to ask myself the same question. My answer was that I had taken control and was not letting the Holy Spirit lead. I prayed and acknowledged that the Holy Spirit is in me but confessed that I had not been allowing the Spirit to be active. I am now making an effort to acknowledge the Holy Spirit in me each day and ask for it to be active in me and in our home, to stop throughout the day and ask, “Lord, what do YOU want for us today, right now in this moment, and the next, and the rest of the day?” I wonder at why it’s terrifying for me to ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit. I suppose I’m worried I’m not going to get something done that I feel is uber important (uber important in the sense that getting it done makes me feel good about myself). It’s silly of me to buck the leading of the Spirit. I’ve surrendered myself fully to it before and it was the most freeing, productive, passionate time of my life. … It all comes back to letting go and a full surrender.
    xoxo
    Christy

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  2. gretchen from lifenut says:

    Is joy is a choice, something we can summon or conjure? If so, it’s awfully petulant.
    I think joy is a side-effect of deliberate living for God.
    What makes me want to live a life with passion? That’s a hard nut to crack. Sometimes, I settle for dispassionate living because it is much easier to clean, if you know what I mean. That depresses me to the core.
    Clearly, joy and passion are connected. I don’t think you can have one without the other.
    Just call me She Of No Good Answer. Wrestling with this myself.
    Hey, I wish I lived in St. Louis. I would go to the movie with you.

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  3. Megan says:

    Christy, I hear you loud and clear. Somehow I think I can live in my own strength and still expect to have a strong, thriving relationship with God. Deep down I know I’m still connected. Closer to the surface, though, it feels very distant.
    Gretchen – joy as a side-effect of deliberate living for God. Good answer.
    As for the movie, I still can’t even figure out where it is playing! I almost want to drive somewhere to go see it!

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