Pressing Deeper Into Motherhood: How Having No Internet Revealed Closed Places of My Heart
A guest post by Sarah Behen at The Wholehearted Home.
Recently my family went eight weeks without the internet.
Yes, we lived for eight weeks in a temporary home with no internet while our home underwent repairs.
As the day approached for this eight week journey to commence, I felt itchy and unsettled. I just knew I would miss out on so much in that dark void of connection. But God is faithful and good, and now, on the other side of that time, I am incredibly thankful for it. God used it to change my heart in big ways.
Ultimately, He changed my perception of motherhood and my work ethic around the home.
As the days and weeks passed free from the pull of the internet, I found myself being fully present in my days. Seemingly little changes – like sitting with the kids at breakfast instead of on the couch checking emails – became big habit changes, and heart changes. And, without many toys in our temporary home, I was forced to do a lot more with my kids in general.
God opened my eyes to see that the allure of the internet was causing me to view my children as the distraction. I realized that the more I gave in to the pull of the online world, the hungrier my heart became for me and my needs, and the more I spent doing those very things.
However, by playing loads of puzzles over and over again, reading countless books, painting, taking big walks together, and, quite simply, spending all our time together, God showed me how much more I could be pressing into motherhood than I had been —how much more I wanted to be.
While down time and creative outlets are not bad things, God showed me that there is a deeper level of motherhood that He’s calling me into.
Earlier this year I re-read Sally Clarkson’s The Mission of Motherhood, along with Susan Schaeffer Macauley’s For the Children’s Sake. Both of these brought me to a place where I had to ask myself, “Am I willing to give even more? Am I able to offer up what God is asking of me?”
In Clarkson’s book, she talks about discipling and teaching our children. She offered Jesus as our example, which is fitting since He is our ultimate example in all things.
And how did He invest in and equip His disciples? He was with them all the time.
How did they learn from Him? By walking, talking, experiencing, and processing life together in real time.
Jesus did not allow any distraction to take Him away from all that God had asked Him to do. Despite the temptation, Jesus actively chose whole-hearted life of ministry with His disciples so they might serve the people He had come to save. Is this not the same for me and the little people God has asked me to raise up in the way they should go?
Since becoming a mother, little by little, the Lord has slowly being prying open my closed fists and bringing down the walls of my heart. He’s calling me to give all of myself to Him, for His service.
During this season of “online disconnection,” God also showed me how much more capable I am of caring for our home than I have allowed myself to be in the past. Not only am I capable but, in a study of Proverbs 31, I saw how in the original language God has called wives to be strong and warrior-like in their task of managing their homes.
Did I mention that not only did I not have the internet, but I didn’t have a dishwasher?
I saw that all the gadgets that are supposed to free our time up have actually made our lives more complicated (by raising the standard of cleanliness and by allowing that time to be always filled up with activities and stuff-managing).
Without those two “hindrances” in my life, I set up better routines and found that I gained so much satisfaction at the end of the day when I had worked hard with a full and honest heart. I didn’t have the guilt about how I spent my time pressing down on me at the end of a day. It was wonderful.
I saw how truly abundant a simple life can be.
These challenges may not be challenges in your life. You may already be fully present with your children and working hard around your home. But if you aren’t, I want to come alongside you and encourage you – as God has so gently and firmly encouraged me – to evaluate how you are spending your days as a wife, mother, and homemaker.
- Is the internet (or, something else) causing you to see your family as a distraction?
- Are you easily annoyed or resentful when your children require a hug, a correction, or a time of play when you’re involved in that particular activity?
- Is there a place in your heart that you have closed off to the Lord? Are you, in keeping it closed, saying to the Lord, “Yes, Lord, I give you my life – but please let me keep this part all to myself?” Oh yes, I have.
If you are then, just like me, go to your Father in Heaven. Seek His wisdom and His care. Repent and start working on pruning those things out of your life.
As you can see, I have the internet again (and a dishwasher). We are back home and life is back to normal. At times, I have been weak and allowed myself to get sucked back in. But, I deeply want something different for my life – and God has knocked on that closed door so strongly that I cannot shut myself to Him. So I pick myself up when I’ve failed, cry out to the Lord for strength, and keep going.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance, and sin which so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set before us.”Hebrews 12:1
In Hebrews 12, we see that it is not just sin that weighs us down and prevents us from living this life for Christ – there are also encumbrances. If you love the Lord, you will look at your own heart and life and throw off what sins and encumbrances are weighing you down and keeping you from loving your God and family well.
Where is God calling you to press deeper into truth? What does it require of you? And are you willing to obey, no matter the cost or “come what may?” Seek Him and He will show you the way. Not only that, He will go with you and give you His strength.
I am proof.
New to this community? Start here friend.