We became first-time moms within nine months of each other, and although we didn’t realize it at the time, we both entered motherhood with high expectations. Yet today, with eight kids between us, our optimistic expectations have toppled under the pressures of everyday life.
Just like when we realized our carefully selected muslin swaddles were insufficient at holding our Houdini babies’ arms in place, motherhood left us feeling inadequate, frustrated, and desperate for new solutions.
And it wasn’t just us—it’s a nearly universal experience in modern motherhood. According to a Barna Group study, 95 percent of moms say they need to do better in at least one area of life, 80 percent say they feel overwhelmed by stress, 70 percent say they don’t get enough rest, and more than 50 percent feel overcommitted and dissatisfied by their balance of work and home life.
If motherhood is supposed to be so wonderful—one of life’s biggest blessings—why do we feel stressed, tired, dissatisfied, and overcommitted? If social media personalities, motherhood gurus, and book-writing experts hold the answers, why do we need more and more help?
WHY WE NEED A RISEN MOTHERHOOD
If you are like us, the tactics, tips, and tricks that culture offers fail to fully alleviate the guilt, stress, and pressures of everyday motherhood. Instead, they send us on a confusing trial-and-error journey, where we never find rest.
That’s because the world would have you believe the problem is that you can’t seem to get your act together, but the reality is that you can’t get your act together. Not in the sense that your sink always seems to be piled high with dishes, or you’re not getting to the gym as often as you should, or you shoot random discipline strategies from the hip every 30 minutes. No, you can’t get your act together because you’re a sinner in need of a Savior.
None of the world’s fixes last beyond a moment, and they don’t cure the problem deep within us. We cannot will ourselves into finding joy in motherhood because we cannot will ourselves into the obedience or love God requires of us. If we’re to find true, lasting joy in our motherhood journey, what we need is the work of Jesus Christ.
We don’t need the world’s version of motherhood; we need a risen motherhood, transformed by the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. We need His shed blood if we’re going to shed our guilt and failures. We need His fullness to fill us where we are empty. We need His sacrifice and hurt so we can sacrifice for others until it hurts. We need His wounds to cure our wounds. We need His atonement to atone once and for all for our sins. We need His death to give us life.
The gospel is for every mother who secretly fears her world will crumble if she doesn’t keep all the plates spinning. For the mother who is lonely and can’t hear the call to life in God’s community. For the mother who is grieving through the deepest kind of heartache and is crying out, “God, do you see this? Do you hear me?”
Oh, friend, there is a fix that never fails. The gospel changes everything.
Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler are the coauthors of Risen Motherhood, cofounders of the Risen Motherhood ministry, and cohosts of the chart-topping podcast. They are also in the trenches of motherhood, right alongside their readers. With a combination of accessibility, relatability, and solid biblical knowledge, Emily and Laura have a knack for simplifying complex scriptural truths, relating and applying them to everyday life. God has consistently and powerfully used the voices of these two moms to captivate women around the world with the gospel. As sisters-in-law, Emily and Laura both live in central Iowa with their families.