Susanna Wesley was a busy woman living in a small home of the 1700s London. She birthed nineteen children, ten of whom survived to adulthood. She was a pastor’s wife and a stay-at-home mother. Susanna had her hands full. With no iPhone or dishwasher, door deliveries or microwave—Susanna managed her home with a poised assertiveness and hard-work resilience. She was resourceful and persistent. But most of all, Susanna was creative. She valued her faith in Christ and made time for prayer. In the midst of her busy mothering, Susanna stopped, pulled her apron over her head, and signaled to her children that she was having her “alone” time with God. Susanna filled her life with prayer, not in spite of her business, but through her hustling life. She didn’t let her little home and the overcrowded space stop her from being with her God, but rather she used even these circumstances to bring God glory. In her own words, she was “content to fill a little space if God be glorified.”
- A Faithful Mom is Driven to Visible Creativity
Plato said that “what is honored in a country is cultivated there.” Same is true for our homes: we teach what we value. Our love drives our living. Susanna’s greatest possession was not her children, her husband, or her Proverbs 31-ingenuity. Her greatest treasure was Christ. And she ordered herself—life and all—around what she loved the most. From being a wife and mothering, to serving in her community, Susanna lived by two principles: “There are two things to do about the gospel: believe it and behave it.” Her theology was applied. A faithful mom who is preoccupied by living with Jesus in the days to come will also be driven to live for Him in the present. Our faith in Jesus is practical. The Bible welds together faith and life because God is not an abstract concept but an incarnational truth (James 2:14-17). We move in the direction of our loves. What controls your heart? What of your future preoccupies your present? And how do you “behave” your faith in your home?
2. A Faithful Mom is Driven to Visible Creativity
Some wise parents once said that “everything in our home is either a tool or an idol.” When I first heard of Susanna’s story, I marveled at the fact that it was an apron that helped her time with God. An apron! This grease stained, hand towel, tissue for the kids’ runny noses, rag for cleaning, pocket for hiding trinkets, you name it—tool. Susanna might not have had much compared to our 21st century, but she used the little that she had with creativity. The simplest tools can be great assets in our faith. Susanna’s story reminds me that over the centuries and through the nations, faithful moms are driven to visible creativity. In the seasons of life when our little children need us constantly and leaving the home may be impossible for a while, we, too, need to find our kind of “apron” that allows us to be built up in the Word even as we remain present with our children.
While faith rests in Christ alone, lived out faithfulness comes in all shapes and forms. Faithful moms run the race with much creativity even in our days. Here are some examples of “aprons” that mothers often use to carve out time for personal growth:
- Couch: Reading the Bibles on thecouch while the children join in.
- Phones: Listening to the Bible App on our phones while doing house choirs and the kids play in the background.
- Computer: Joining a Zoom Bible Study while the children nap, or after their bedtime.
- Clock: Setting the timer for a “mommy quiet time” after a long work shift or an appointment-filled day.
- Livingroom floor: Setting up playdates for one-on-one discipleship while the children play.
- Bed: Reading the Bible before bedtime and then praying together.
- Laundry room: Listening to Podcasts/Music/Bible on Alexa.
What is your “apron”? What helps you in your time with God in the midst of your active life?
A faithful mother, no matter her business, is visibly creative when it comes to her time with God. She finds ways to be built up in Christ while marching on in her mothering. She understands that including children in her own spiritual growth is a missional opportunity rather than an inconvenient bother. We don’t need to run out and buy an apron for our heads to mark out our time with God, but we do need to find our “apron” and use it to the glory of God in our ever so busy seasons of motherhood.