I never considered it a sacrifice to be a mother. I have always thought it was a privilege and the most amazing calling. It is powerful and world-changing to be a mother, to grow and nourish the next generation.
Yet, now that I have been a mother for 17 years, I am getting a bit weary. I have realized that I really don’t have my own life. My days are filled with the needs of my husband and children. I find myself daydreaming about what it would be like to be alone in the house with nothing to do except exactly what I WANTED to do.
Most of the time, I enjoy being at home with my children. It is my favorite place to be. I just assumed that it was my children’s favorite place to be as well. One night Chris was working late and I was sitting at the dinner table with all of my nine children. A peaceful meal is so refreshing to the soul; enjoying the smells and flavors, exchanging stimulating conversation.
A meal is never a peaceful affair at my house. That night the children were all so loud, I couldn’t follow any one conversation. Several of the boys were discussing topics not appropriate for the table. The three-year old kept getting up and wandering around, and the 6-year-old kept standing up on the bench. In an attempt to regain control, I lifted my voice and shouted above the noise, “Everyone be quiet! We are going around the table and I want each one of you to tell me your favorite part of the day. The rest of you just listen!”
The chaos quieted to a dull roar, and the children shared with me what they most enjoyed about their day. The elementary school boys all enjoyed playing kickball at recess. Cadin, who is fifteen, just started Cyber School after being homeschooled. He had to go take the PSSAs for the first time. He had never had to sit for 7 hours in a classroom before, and I thought he would hate it. Yet, when it was his turn to share, Cadin said, “My favorite part of the day was taking the PSSAs.”
“Really?! Why is that?” I asked.
“Because I didn’t have to be at home,” he answered.
“You don’t like being at home?” I asked, feeling very hurt.
“Well,” Cadin started with an apologetic voice, “I got to get a break and I didn’t have to do any chores.”
“I understand how he feels,” said Areli, my 17-year-old daughter. “My favorite part of the day is when I do school, alone in my room.”
Now the small ache in my heart was growing. “Well, I never actually get to be alone,” I said. “Except maybe when I am in the bathroom.”
“You do get a nap every day,” Areli countered.
“That is true, and I so appreciate that nap! But I am still not alone. I have to share the room with the baby and wake up when she wakes up. I am really never alone.” I said.
Cole, the 15-year-old cynic, chimed in, “That’s your own fault for having so many children. You and Dad went a little crazy,” he pointed out.
I felt the wind go out of my sails. My own children didn’t even appreciate my willingness to carry them, give birth to them; give up sleep and privacy and alone time for them. They couldn’t see the purpose in this crazy, loud, mess that is the Brandenburg household. Sometimes I lose sight of it too.
When I look down the corridors of history, I don’t see the stories full of mothers heroically laying their lives down for their children. I see men who fight battles, conquer, and enslave. I see men who fight battles, conquer, and set free. I see stories of kings and rulers.
When I turn on the TV, I don’t see news stories about the amazing mom who changed 24 diapers in the last 24 hours with only 3 hours of sleep the night before. I see lawmakers and lawbreakers, politicians and rebels.
When I watch an awards show, I never see a mom who looks like me get up on stage and accept a prestigious award for her amazing ability to check items off a to do list and keep 9 children clothed and feed. That is for the talented artists who receive the praise of millions of adoring fans.
What I thought was my little fan club was now telling me that they would rather be out of the house or alone instead of spending time with me.
I turned to a book that always helps me gain an eternal perspective, The Final Quest by Rick Joyner. He shares a prophetic experience he had when he was in the throne room of heaven. He started in the very back of the room. On his long walk to the front where the Lord was, he passed crowds of believers who had already died. The multitudes standing at the back were more glorious than Rick had imagined people could ever be. He was shocked to find out that these were in the very lowest rank in heaven.
One man he had known on earth explained it to him this way, “There is an aristocracy of sorts here. The rewards for our earthly lives are the eternal positions that we will have forever. This great multitude are those whom the Lord called ‘foolish virgins.’ We knew the Lord and trusted in His cross for salvation, but we lived for ourselves more than we really lived for him…there is no greater folly than to know the great salvation of God, but then go on living for yourself.”
This man was still more glorious and full of joy and peace than Rick had ever imagined possible. It was simply because even a moment in the lowest part of heaven is much greater than a thousand years in the highest life on earth, and every person there had received so much more than they actually deserved. As Rick moved toward the throne, he learned from the mistakes of those in the lowest ranks, and discovered that those same mistakes resided in his own life.
A great Christian leader during his life on earth told him, “What looks good on earth looks very different here. What will make you a king on earth will often be a stumbling block to keep you from being a king here. What will make you a king here is lowly and unclaimed on earth.”
Later, a famous reformer stepped forward and Rick couldn’t believe that he was in the lowest rank. The reformer told him, “God does have a different set of history books than those on the earth. You have had a glimpse of this but you do not yet know how different they are. Earthly histories will pass away, but the books that are kept here will last forever. If you can rejoice in what heaven is recording about your life, you are blessed indeed.”
Then the reformer gave Rick some advice, “The high calling is not out of reach for anyone that the Lord has called. I will tell you what will keep you on the path of life – love the Savior and seek His glory alone. Everything you do to exalt yourself will one day bring you the most terrible humiliation. Everything you do out of genuine love for the Savior, to glorify His name, will extend the limits of His eternal kingdom and ultimately result in a much higher place for yourself. Live for what is recorded here. Care nothing for what is recorded on earth.”
As Rick continued walking towards the glory of Jesus, he saw that each rank was many times greater than the previous one. He described it like this, “When I was still not even halfway to the throne, what had been the indescribable glory of the first rank now seemed to be outer darkness in comparison to the glory of those I was now passing. The greatest beauty on earth would not qualify to be found anywhere in heaven. And I was told that this room was just the threshold of indescribable realms of glory!”
Rick learned from those who had fallen short of their destinies and also learned from those who had overcome and remained faithful to Jesus. “Those who stumbled did so in many different ways. But those who prevailed all did it the same way: They did not deviate from their devotion to the first and greatest commandment – loving the Lord. In this way, their service was done unto Him, not to men. These were the ones who worshipped the Lamb and followed him wherever He went.”
Finally after what seemed like years of traveling, Rick reached the throne. “Near the judgement seat of Christ, those in the highest ranks were sitting on thrones that were all a part of His throne. Even the least of these thrones was many times more glorious than any earthly throne. Some of those on the thrones were rulers over cities on earth and would soon take their places. Others were rulers over the affairs of heaven, and still others ruled over the affairs of the physical creation, such as star systems and galaxies.
“It was apparent that those who were given authority over cities were esteemed even above those who had been given authority over galaxies. The value OF A SINGLE CHILD (emphasis added) surpassed that of a galaxy of stars because the Lord has chosen men as His eternal dwelling place…
“At one point the Lord looked toward the galleries of thrones around Him. Many were occupied, but many were empty. He then said, ‘These thrones are for the overcomers who have served Me faithfully in every generation. My Father and I prepared them before the foundation of the world. Are you worthy to sit on one of these?’
“…I looked at those who were now seated on the thrones. I could recognize most of those seated had not even been well-known on earth.
“Many of those on the thrones had been missionaries who expended their lives in obscurity. They had never cared to be remembered on earth, but wanted only to be remembered by Him. I was a bit surprised to see some who had been wealthy, and rulers who had been faithful with what they had been given. However, it seemed that faithful, praying women and mothers occupied more thrones than any other single group.”
I have read this passage many times and every time my eyes flood with tears and my heart swells like it will burst! My Lord has so honored mothers that many sit with him on the highest thrones in heaven! My Lord so honors mothers that he allowed Rick Joyner to write down the revelation so that we could read it and be encouraged.
Mothers, let’s receive His grace to walk this path like eternity depends on it. Jesus gave Rick this wisdom, “Those empty seats could have been filled in any generation. I gave the invitation to sit here to everyone who has called upon My name. The seats are still available. Now the last battle has come, and many who are last shall be first. These seats will be filled before the battle is over. Those who sit here will be known by two things: They will wear the mantle of humility, and they will have my likeness.”
I am right where God wants me to be. I am in the perfect place to love Him and to serve Him. I don’t need to be famous or acclaimed or recognized or talented. I just need to be who He has made me to be.
I don’t need the world to understand the importance of what I am doing. I don’t even need my children to understand and appreciate me. I know that Jesus understands and he sees.
I don’t feel at all able to walk this path perfectly. I am full of selfishness and I get off track so easily. I realize that I can’t even do the basics, loving my husband and children, on my own. I need His great grace! But I am in the perfect place to receive His Grace…every…single…day!