I will not attempt to add to these wise people with (much) chatter, but these few quotes are incredibly encouraging to me in this delightful but challenging season with several young children.
I struggle with my own desires to do "big" (by my own standards) things for God, and know these kids can't be my "god". But, lets be honest, the incredible amount of time and energy it takes to really raise and disciple these children well is significant, often crowding out time for my own "ministry". How I conduct myself with these precious gifts matters greatly to the Lord.
"She [a mother] is handling never-dying souls. She's daily conducting heart surgery on eternal spirts whose forever destinies are influenced most profoundly by the hands that rock their cradles, wipe their noses, spank their fannies, open their Bibles, prepare their after-school snacks, and turn off their bedroom lights. Those motherly hands are molding characters which will become men and women who will turn the world upside down either for good or for evil. Not that's a job that counts. " - Mark Chanski, Womanly Dominion
On feeling overwhelmed:
"Inspirational historical models may provide a temporary enthusiasm, but a mother of dominion needs something more. Otherwise, the grueling day and night demands of crying infants, filthy bottoms, vomit-soaked blankets, strong-willed naughtiness, physical exhaustion, dull routine, deferred gratifications, lack of recognition, cultural criticism, and personal disillusionment will bring the work of her hands to a grinding halt.
There she sits, exhausted on the edge of her bed, her face in her hands, wondering, 'Where is the glory in this?' She needs something more empowering to keep her going.
She needs to gain and maintain the deep conviction of the glory, honor, and nobility of selfless service. This she finds at the foot of the cross, looking up to the One who earned for Himself, 'the name that is above every name' by emptying Himself, taking the form of a bond servant. There she beholds her Savior, who mopped up the damning vomit of her own sin with the precious sponge of His perfect life and atoning death. The love of Christ constrains and compels her to press on. The Spirit of Christ empowers her." Womanly Dominion, pg. 120
On feeling the need (or desire) to be busy, busy, busy outside the home:
"The season of young children is a time to refrain. Refrain from most outside activities, even church activities. Now is a time to be faithful in discipline...it's the springtime of mothering.Redeem the time, don't waste it." Sono Harris, mother to 7 (Josh, Alex, Brett)
"O, that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is placed in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse into the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into its soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no other's hand the sacred and holy trust given to her." --JR Miller