Danielle Heckenkamp ponders how mothers can lean on Christ as they live their vocation.
Children are not very different from adults, probably more so in their lack of experience, but ultimately, we are on the same journey—only at different stages. What is this journey? It is the path traveled by each soul towards eternity. The journey does not become easier with age, instead, it becomes more difficult as we become weary, skeptical, critical, and no longer possess the wonder of children. There is no surprise that Our Lady appeared to so many children throughout history—they hold the curiosity, embrace the miracles, desire greatness, and possess the innocence that is necessary to humbly seek God.
No matter the difficulties and sufferings that invade adulthood, there is still hope to seek God as we once found Him in our childhood. It won’t be through our own abilities that we will find Christ, but through the graces received in the sacraments and a deep desire to love and to lean on Him for our spiritual needs.
As mothers, we experience a strong desire to nurture our families and to sacrificially care for those around us. But those instincts of our vocation can often leave us weary and overwhelmed in fulfilling the needs of a family. It is among the noise, the cooking and cleaning, the schoolwork, and the unplanned tasks that we can find Christ. The vocation of motherhood is one of self-sacrifice, patience, and undying love.
Looking back at 13 years of motherhood, thus far, I can’t say it is what I expected—I’d have to say it is better than anything I could’ve ever imagined. The work is exhausting, the hours are long, but the love continues to grow.
We have all heard the saying “the days are long, but the years are short” and as much as there is truth in those words, they are only slightly a reflection of motherhood. In fact, those words are missing the most important word to describe the days of motherhood: charity. It is through this virtue that we, as mothers, grow out of our selfishness and impatience. We transform our femininity and unite it with Christ. How does femininity transform? It is through the grace of God that we learn to give of ourselves. The tendencies of Original Sin are still quite prevalent, and we fight these daily, but motherhood (whether physical or spiritual) is a great gift from God to alter our selfish tendencies and lean on His goodness and graces.
Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to Him. That is all the doing you have to worry about. (St. Jane Frances de Chantal)
God offers us boundless opportunities to lean on Him for comfort and love. It is a misconception that by growing closer to Him, our daily trials and sufferings will decrease. In fact, the opposite is usually quite true. We have the free will to accept these crosses, and there are many opportunities for wives and mothers.
As families grow (in number and/or age), God offers us chances to lean more on His goodness and grace. It is amongst the loads of laundry that we can find silence. It is standing over the kitchen sink that we can find patience among the dishes. It is in washing the bathroom floor that we can learn charity. It is in the meal prep that we can lean on God for faith. It is in the dusting that we find hope for the future. It is in attending the small and large needs of our family that we lean closely upon God and His Sacred Heart. This is where we can find true peace. Joy will not be found in desiring our own version of our vocations, but holiness will be found in accepting the particular vocation of motherhood that He sends each one of us.
Copyright 2022 Danielle Heckenkamp
Images: Canva Pro
About the Author
Danielle Heckenkamp is a stay at home mom and freelance writer who lives in Wisconsin with her husband and six children. Danielle writes about her daily experiences as a mom and love for her Catholic Faith. Danielle is the co-author of a nonfiction book about manners and common sense. You can step inside Danielle s daily life on Instagram.