I’ve always lived in this tension of, ‘How much of my life is my strength?’ and, ‘How much of my life is God’s strength?’ It’s all God, isn’t it? But also, does that mean we constantly sit idly by, waiting for God to move? I believe it’s about constantly checking in with God: ‘Am I relying on my own strength here? Am I trusting You? Am I being obedient to the call on my life? Am I just waiting for You to do it all? Or do I need to step out?’

Recently, I was reading the story of David again, and it beautifully illustrates this tension. God saw David’s heart, pure and trusting, even when others overlooked him. We hear God say to Samuel about David’s brother, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT). Then we’re introduced to David! He was a man after God’s own heart.

When facing Goliath, David didn’t step back, leaving it all to God. No, he boldly proclaimed, ‘You come at me with sword, spear and javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!’ Yet, he didn’t ignore his own abilities either. He told Saul, ‘I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats. When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!’ (1 Samuel 17:34-36).

David’s story is about co-labouring. Both confident in God, first and foremost, and confident in his skill. It was God’s power that subdued Saul’s demons, but it was David’s skills that earned him a place in the king’s presence in the first place. Many times in battle, David asked the Lord, ‘Should I go out to fight? Will you hand them over to me?’ He knew if God was for him, who could be against him? He also knew that if God was NOT with him, his skill would mean nothing.

Now, David wasn’t a mother, so how does this relate to motherhood? Well, like I stated above, I believe God is raising up mothers who are both skilled at what they do, yet fully rely on God’s strength. If you’re a mother, this includes you! Whether it’s homemaking, blogging, teaching, or a specific niche that God has called you to. Sometimes, in motherhood, we might feel like we’re barely keeping our heads above water. If we get food on the table it’s a good day… right? Anyone else been there? I so get it! We need to go easy on ourselves. David honed his skills over time, mastering his harp-playing and guarding sheep. Researchers have concluded 10,000 hours are needed to master a complex skill. He didn’t gain these skills in the five minutes after the moment he was called, this was his life. Don’t be discouraged by the daily grind. Whether you’re folding laundry, kissing hurt children or deliberately taking your free time to learn a desired skill, keep pushing forward. Seek God’s guidance, invest in your skills, and don’t be afraid to seek help when needed. Like David, ask God for direction, trusting in His strength while using the talents He’s given you.

God is definitely doing an acceleration in this time in people’s gifts and callings, but don’t get discouraged as months go by and you’re still learning that lesson or still sharpening your gift. If you’re being refined, it will not go unused when your life is surrendered to God.

So, dear mother, keep a heart that is close to His, seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness, keep honing your skills, and keep moving forward in the plan God has for your life.