What is the Glory of Motherhood?

“Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?”

I keep hearing the Holy Spirit asking me that question.  And I have to answer with a question of my own.

“What is the glory of my calling?”

Honestly, I am having trouble seeing it in the midst of one big mess after another.  Courage’s birthday was a perfect example of this.

DSC_0139 (2)

It had been a pretty peaceful day.  I had time to get the house cleaned and ready for the party celebrating our fiery three-year old.  All of his presents were wrapped.  The supper was prepared in advance.  I had gathered the ingredients for Courage’s heart’s desire; a chocolate dirt cake with gummy bears.  I had also made two additional desserts with special ingredients to accommodate the more delicate members of our family.

I was sitting on the sofa, waiting for dinner time.  “This is an important part of motherhood right here,” I thought.  Celebrating my children and creating happy birthday memories for them.  I was hoping that Courage would feel loved and special and that the entire family would have fun.

DSC_0143 (2)

I started setting the table and getting the food ready when my perfectly planned birthday celebration began to unravel.

“Chai just threw up on the carpet!!!” I heard an excited child yell.  At first I tried to ignore it and continued the dinner preparations.  Maybe they were exaggerating as children are prone to do, or maybe someone else would take care of it.  No such luck.

I went from working with food in the kitchen to scraping stinky puke off the living room carpet.  Chai had suddenly gotten sick and ended up sleeping in his bed for the entire birthday party. The smell and the germs were not what I had planned.  Thank goodness my mom was the only guest, and we didn’t have a house full of people!

As I began scrubbing the carpet with cleanser, I heard the sound of some sort of ball hitting the side of the house.  This didn’t go on for long before I heard Chris yell out the window, “Cole, stop kicking the soccer ball against the house!”

Did Cole heed his father’s wise advice?  No, the banging continued once more, twice more, and then…the sickening sound of shattering glass!  Cole had just broken our living room window.  Thankfully, it was the storm window so none of the glass came into the house.  But there was glass all over the back patio.

“Oh well, I can’t worry about that right now,” I thought to myself.  “I have to throw in some laundry, get the boys to take out this trash, scrub my hands about fifty times in hot water, and then finish putting the food on the table.”

Back into the kitchen I went.  Then Areli came to me holding the cup used to measure the laundry detergent.

“Courage just handed this to me… filled with his pee!” she told me.

“Of course he did,” I thought. I was bracing myself for the next catastrophe that was sure to come.

Amazingly, the rest of the evening went just fine.  We all sang “Happy Birthday” very loudly.  Cake was eaten.  Presents were opened and played with.

March and Courage's birthday 2016 054

We made a big mess and cleaned up a big mess.  We put all the children to bed and prayed that no one else would throw up during the night.  We got into bed late to get up early and do it all over again.  Doesn’t seem very glorious, does it?

“Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?”

Rick Joyner heard a great Queen ask him this very question in a vision that he wrote about in The Torch and the Sword.  He said that she was astonishingly beautiful and seemed to be motherhood in all of its glory.  She explained that she was Jerusalem above, the mother of all who worship in Spirit and truth, the church as it was called to be.

She asked Rick, “Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?  Will you give my daughters swords and torches?  They are the ones who keep the torches alive, and they will wield the sword wisely.  My daughters will stop the death and bring back the life!”

DSC_0001 (3)

Perhaps to see a bit of the glory of my calling, I should find out what these swords and torches are all about.  Here are a few excerpts from the book and I hope it is encouraging to you!

The Lord handed Rick a torch and told him, “This is the light of My presence.  If I was not close to you, you could not hold it.  If you drift from My presence, it will become heavy.  If you drift very far from Me, you will have to lay it down…It is yours to carry for as long as you stay close to Me…No power on earth can put it out if the torchbearer walks with Me in this realm. Its brightness and power depend on the life of the torch-bearer, and on how close he stays to Me.”

Then Rick met Tomas a Kempis who told him, “You can set people, cities, and even nations free with the light of this torch…The torch you carry has been the source of every true movement of the Spirit.  The leaders of these movements were all torchbearers…If you are going to endure to the end, you must stay close to the Source of this light and fire.”

The Lord spoke about Thomas, “Men thought of Thomas as a humble laborer, one to cook, wash dishes, and weed gardens [sounds a lot like a mom’s job!], but he, too, carried this torch.  From his post of washing dishes, he became more powerful than kings or emperors.  He prophesied to millions over generations.  Even today My message goes forth from his writings to help prepare the coming ones.  You can be more powerful washing dishes and staying close to Me than you would be leading armies or nations but drifting from Me.”

I need to read that again!

“YOU CAN BE MORE POWERFUL WASHING DISHES AND STAYING CLOSE TO ME than you would be leading armies or nations but drifting from Me.”

To be torchbearers, to carry this fire that brings life rather than destroys, we must abide in Jesus.

Rick met Enoch who had so much of this life flowing through him that he never died.  Enoch said, “The Lord makes His messengers flames of fire.  You cannot walk with God, or fulfill His purpose for you on the earth, unless you keep this fire burning in your heart.  Lukewarmness is your deadly enemy.”

Lukewarmness can easily creep into the mind numbing daily grind of a mother.  It is the overwhelming hardships and challenges of motherhood that push us into his presence!  How I want to be one of the chosen torchbearers!

Jesus told Rick, “You will know these chosen ones by the fire that already burns in them.  They will never be content with religious practices, for they yearn for Me and the reality of this realm.  Because they seek Me, I will be found by them.  I will give them their heart’s desire – My fellowship.  I will be their inheritance.”

Later in the vision, Rick found himself preparing for a battle.  The only other warriors with him were a young girl and John Wesley.  Wesley told him, “The Lord called a dozen men.  He changed them and then they changed the world.  In your time He is going to do the same with the children.  It is also the time of the lioness.  Great are the company of women who will preach the gospel.  There will be many great men of God in your time – but the great marvel and great honor will be for the women and children who walk in the ways of the Lord.”

Later the Lord gave Rick a sword and said, “It will only become heavy if you wield it in your own strength.  This is my Word of redemption.  It cannot be destroyed, but will stand forever…No power on the earth is stronger than my redemption…This is the sword of the Spirit…You are holding my living Word…to receive my word into your heart must be your quest every day.  Then you will begin to see.  Then you will have understanding.

                “It was by my Word that the universe was created, and it is by My Word that it is held together.  My Word is the answer to every human problem…The sword that is being given to my messengers in the last days can break any yoke, and cut through any chain.”

“Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?  Will you give my daughters swords ad torches?  They are the ones who keep the torches alive, and they will wield the sword wisely.  My daughters will stop the death and bring back the life!”

                “I am a woman.  I am a mother.  I am the keeper and sustainer of life here on earth.  Heaven stands in honor of my mission.  No one else can carry my call.  I am the daughter of Eve.  Eve has been redeemed.  I am the opposition of death.  I am a woman.” – Christianna Reed Maas

The reality is, we can carry the living fire of His presence and the powerful Word of redemption into every part of our day – the fun celebrations and the puking parties, the playtime and the hard work.  That is glorious even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.  We don’t need any special skills or qualifications.  All that is required is that we seek Him first, abide in Him, and receive His words into our hearts every day.

Birth Story: Part 6 – Calvin, the One Who Brought the Angels!

Calvin 008

Two years after Cooper was born, the time had come for me to give birth again. Once again, my water broke during the night. I went to the bathroom and returned to bed to try to get some sleep before the contractions started. As I rolled over, I caught a glimpse of the shadowy corner of our bedroom. There was something unusual about it. A vision flashed into my mind, and I saw angels packed into our small room. There were so many angels in that dark corner that their wings were smashed and flatten into each other. The air felt electric with excitement! I realized that the angels had come to witness the birth of a human child, a child of destiny and purpose, a child who carried the very likeness of the Almighty God. I had the sense that almost nothing could thrill an angel more that witnessing the birth of such a one.

Well, I was filled with excited anticipation as well! If the angels were already here, the baby must be coming soon! How could I sleep under circumstances such as these? This labor must be destined to be the most supernatural and glorious one yet! I had heard of the book, Supernatural Childbirth, which told of women who had birthed babies with NO PAIN at all!!! I had personally met three women with virtually pain-free experiences, and I was convinced that this was possible. Perhaps this was my time for a supernatural labor!

The sun rose and I got up to eat breakfast. Slowly the rest of the world began to awaken as well. It was Father’s Day and the summer solstice and the longest day of sunlight of the entire year. I whispered into Chris’ ear to wake him up, “Happy Father’s Day. We are going to have a baby today!”

His eyes snapped open in shock and wonder.

“Really?!”

“Yep, my water broke!”

We walked around the block many times that morning in the beautiful June air. I was hoping that this baby could be born before noon so we could announce it to our friends before church let out. Yet the walking didn’t do much to bring the contractions, it just wore me out. By the time I got into the birthing pool in our bedroom, I was pretty tired. My normal position of kneeling in the water with my upper body leaning on the edge of the pool was no longer comfortable. My joints were all sore and my legs were trembling. Sitting in the pool wasn’t comfortable either. Lunch time came and went.

Finally, I just had to stand up in the water. All that remained submerged were my feet and calves, but nothing else felt good. I continued to watch the clock as the hours inched by. Never watch the clock when you are in labor! Bad Idea!

“Come on Baby! It is time to come out now!” I said in exhaustion. “Why is this baby taking so long?” I asked Chris and the midwife and anyone else who was present. I sounded very pitiful and whiny. This labor felt like a struggle. I was weary and in pain and the baby didn’t seem any closer to being born.

Struggle…that was a word that had perfectly described the entire pregnancy. I had felt sick and tired most of the time. I struggled to take care of the six children and keep the house running. Chris was struggling to keep his faith. He was working two jobs to pay off the huge burden of debt we had created during our time in Colorado. He was a diligent and hard worker at any job that he had. Yet still, many times we weren’t sure how we were going to buy food that week or keep the water running.

God had given me a name for this child that I had taken to be a prophetic word for our family. It was Ayani, a name from Africa which meant, “Victorious in the Struggle!” I was sure that this baby was a girl since all our girls had names that began with the letter “A.” Somehow God always provided everything that we needed and I knew that we would be victorious in paying off this debt. And sure enough, God had made it possible to pay of every cent of it…just three days ago! I knew that I would be victorious and eventually give birth to this baby…but right now it was a struggle!

Pretty soon I felt like I could no longer stand up, but I didn’t want to lie down. Chris plunged his feet into the birthing pool, put his strong arms around me, and held me up. I don’t know how long he did this, but it felt like an eternity! It was now supper time.

Finally I felt like I might need to push. Sure enough, there was the head! Oh Glory!!! A few more pushes and the head was born. I could hear the midwife instruct Chris on how to gently rotate the body in order to allow the shoulder to clear. Yet nothing was happening.

“Can’t you just pull her out?” I whined.

“You have to push,” the midwife said sweetly.

Yes, of course I had to push. My seventh baby and I had forgotten to push! One more push and the baby was born at 5:34! A healthy baby…boy!!! I couldn’t believe it was another boy!

He let out the tiniest cry and promptly fell back to sleep. He slept soundly for the rest of the day as the midwives where cleaning him and weighing him, as we were holding him and fawning over him. Chris was concerned.

“Are you sure he is alright? Shouldn’t he be crying?” he asked.

“Oh, he is fine,” they answered. He was such a peaceful baby. I had spent hours reading scriptures and loving affirmations to this baby while he was in the womb. I think this was why he was so tranquil. He felt totally loved and accepted by his God, his parents, and his world despite the turmoil that was all around him.

“That is why you took so long to be born,” I thought. “You were sleeping peacefully the whole time!”

Calvin 001

The next two days were very difficult for me. I was shocked that I had given birth to a boy. I thought God had spoken to me about the perfect name, and it was a girl’s name. I felt confused and wondered if I could hear God’s voice at all. I was so wiped out, that I didn’t leave my room for two days. I was tired deep in my bones, yet after-contractions racked my body every time the precious bundle would nurse, which was all the time! I had never had such painful after-contractions. They were much worse than labor, because they would go on and on and on…for days!

On the third day they began to subside. One the third day we also settled on a name for our prefect baby boy. The name that I thought was a girl’s name, Ayani, was actually masculine and we choose a variant of the name for his middle name, Ajani. We were victorious in the struggle! We chose Calvin for his first name because that had always been a favorite of ours. I realized that God had spoken to me about this child and his name; I just misunderstood some of it. Just when we think that we have our lives figured out, something unexpected happens. This is good for us, because it keeps us looking to God and not to our own understanding.

It wasn’t until days later that I remembered the angels! They had been there the whole time, I was sure of it. They had seen my pitiful performance which was neither glorious nor supernatural. And in the midst of my arduous toil, I had completely forgotten about my divine audience. I felt pathetic and disappointing. I hadn’t experienced supernatural childbirth.

Yet God began to show me that Calvin’s birth was supernatural and majestic. It had been held in awe by angelic beings, even though I had been totally unaware of the honor.

I thought of the most amazing and supernatural event of all time; when Jesus hung on the cross; naked and shamed, beaten and bloodied, rejected and despised. It didn’t seem supernatural or triumphant. Yet it changed the entire working of the universe. Jesus triumphed over sin and death once and for all in those agonizing moments before his death. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!!!!

Birthing a baby can be…shall we say, embarrassing, awkward, and humiliating to put it very mildly. A woman can find herself almost naked, not looking her best (maybe looking her worst), doing and saying things she would never normally do or say. She is being poked, prodded, stressed, and stretched in her most private parts. Yet God calls it beautiful and sacred. Birthing mother…you are stunning and graceful. You are veiled and guarded with glory.

Birth is always a promise that the work of Jesus can be manifested in another life.

IMG_1592

Mother, you make that promise possible. Birth is always a miracle, whether it is full of bliss or full of pain. It is a wonder, and angels never tire of the mystery.