Mother Teresa as my compass through Motherhood

Growing up Catholic, Mother Teresa was a vivid image throughout the church. I have always somewhat linked motherhood with Mother Teresa. It could be because my own mother’s name is Teresa but I think the roots are deeper than that.

As a mom to three little kids, working part-time, being a full-time wife and carpool driver, I can get lost in the daily hustle of life. I forget to come up for air and take a breath and realize this is my life too. In my five minutes or some days two minutes of alone time, I usually spend it on my phone scrolling social media, checking emails, Pinterest, or adding to my cart on Amazon Prime.

When I was in my late teens, early twenties, I knew where I belonged. I knew “my” purpose. At the time, that purpose was nowhere near close to motherhood and I definitely was not focused on God’s purpose for my life. Fast forward a decade, I am more aware of my purpose as a mother and wife but I fail to find God’s purpose for me. Each of us play a role in His plan whether we acknowledge that role or not. I think we have all heard that silent nagging in our head to do something we know we should do but we just do not want to do it. I’m not talking about doing the ten loads of laundry we have stacked up and we keep putting it off. I am talking about the bigger things in life, even if they are simple in nature. Maybe it means going to church on Sunday morning even though you know you will spend at least twenty minutes of it outside trying to tame a defying two year old.

Mother Teresa said, “I knew where I belonged but I did not know how to get there.”* She refers to a time in 1946 when she was traveling on a train and God was clearly telling or “ordering” her to leave the convent and work with the poor. I think many of us can relate to this feeling of uncertainty, we have that sense of what we should be doing but either we do not know the path to maintain it or maybe we fear the judgement or fear the chance of failing. I am starting to learn that if it is God’s will, then we will not fail and if we do it is because it is a part of a bigger better plan.

On this crazy train of motherhood, I think we can all take refuge in the words and life of Mother Teresa. She lived simply and by God’s plan. I am challenging myself to “live authentically” and find God’s purpose for me. So during my two minutes of quiet time each day, I am going to strive to pray for my next steps in life, to open and close my doors, and to be as Mother Teresa says, “a pencil in God’s hands.”

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* Eileen Egan. Such a Vision of the Street: Mother Teresa. The Spirit and the Work (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1985). p.25.

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