YOUR ENLARGING MOTHERHOOD
"Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel,
Until I Deborah, arose,
Arose a mother in Israel"
(Judges 5:7 NKJB).
I nearly called this devotion "Preparation for Ministry," but realized it is not a truly accurate title. Although motherhood prepares us for extended service to the Lord, it cannot be relegated to preparation, for motherhood is already our ministry. Your mothering does not prepare you for something greater; you are already "being" and "doing" the greatest ministry given to women. You are not apprenticing for your final life's work; you are fulfilling your life's vocation now!
Mothering is your God-created, God-planned, God-ordained, and God-commissioned mission. Any other ministry God opens up for you will be an extension of your mothering, never apart from it, because mothering is who God created you to be. Any extended ministry that does not flow from your mothering anointing is of your own making, not God's.
As your children grow older and you no longer nourish little ones and big ones n the home, God does not want you to stop mothering, but to extend your mothering. He wants you to enlarge your mothering, not diminish it. He wants you to increase your fruitfulness, not become unfruitful.
As you wait on Him, He will give you a burden for the people He wants you to feed and nurture. Is it an orphan needing a home? Fostering children? Reaching out to widows and widowers? A particular needy people in your area? Are you opening your home in hospitality? Hospitality is an extension of your mothering anointing. Open your doors wide. Gather more and more people into your home.
We read a description of the enlarging of motherhood in 1 Timothy 5:10 (HCSB) where the woman is described as "Well known for good works - that is, if she has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints' feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to every good work."
Nurturing and feeding are synonymous with mothering. God chose the two greatest leaders in the Bible from feeding sheep--Moses in the hidden backside of the desert (Exodus 3:1-22), and David from the lonely hillsides of Bethlehem. When God looks for great leaders, He look for shepherding hearts.
Psalm 78:70-72 says, "He chose David also his servant, and took him from sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to FEED Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he FED them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands." God is our Shepherd who feeds us, daily nourishing our bodies, souls, and spirits as we look to Him. He delights to see us feeding our families too--their bodies, souls, and spirits. You haven't got to time to feed your own ego, ambitions, and career. This feeding is all-consuming. It was Moses' full-time occupation; it was David's life.
God chose feeders of sheep and lambs to feed and lead His people. This is His pattern for you too. Always enlarging your mothering. Never hibernating. Never stagnating. Always pouring out with sacrificial love. Always gathering to your table. As your children leave your nest to establish their own homes, fill the empty spaces at your table with many others--the discouraged, the needy, the lonely, the hurting, and young mothers who need encouraging.
Deborah was an older woman when she led her nation to defeat the enemy who had oppressed them for twenty years. How did she arise to save her nation? AS A MOTHER. She didn't think it was her time of life to pander to herself. She didn't sit around wasting her life. She arose! She had to rise up and do it (Judges 5:7).
Satan hates mothers. He knows the power of mothering to change the nation. Don't give into his deceptions. Young mother, embrace your mothering anointing with all your heart. Older mother, don't lay down your mothering. Don't think you are now free to do something different. Rise up like Deborah. Rise up with your mothering experience. It's in your mothering anointing that you will break the deceptions and oppressions of the enemy on people's lives.
Can you just image would could happen in our nations if all the older mothers would rise up to mother the young mothers, to be mothers in the church, and mothers in this hurting and confused world?
Blessings from Nancy Campbell
"Dear Father, thank you for Your reminder to me that You created me to be a mother from the cradle to the grave. Please pour out Your Holy Spirit upon me that I will increase in mothering, rather than diminish. Please continually enlarge my mother's heart to reach out to those who need me in a wider and wider sphere. Amen."
In the power of the Holy Spirit I am mothering from strength to strength.