Our dear contributor Elece Hollis gives us rich food for thought today. She uses the analogy of putting all your eggs in one basket. Thinking on this it strikes a chord with me because I can relate to Elece in many ways as an older mother with grown children (although still young ones at home as well.) I wonder though, in seeking to rightfully and unashamedly proclaim the high calling of motherhood, in a world that has forgotten-have we actually made motherhood and being a keeper at home an idol? Have we forgotten the heart of what the Lord desires of us? May we be called to be the full Proverbs 31 woman who attends to all things the Lord calls her to with diligence. -Jenny
Are All Your Eggs In One Basket?
How do you carry eggs from the chicken coop to the house without breaking some? Use a basket, of course. How would you carry a week’s worth in a wagon or by foot to town to sell? There is a question I won’t personally face. But If I were living back in the day when this amount of eggs and baskets came into use, I’d say carry them in several baskets, thereby averting the possibility of a farm-to-market disaster. If one basket were upset, you wouldn’t lose all the fragile produce. So the wisdom would be to not have all your eggs in one basket.
We mothers who value and cherish our children deeply; we who despite any and all difficulties, disabilities, and discouragements want to raise them––we mothers––tend to put them in our one basket. That basket is full––full of mothering, nurturing, cooking, cleaning, teaching, comforting, leading. Other things get crowded out.
These are the treasures of life we wanted desperately. We gathered them all in––as many as God would give us and we were excited about each precious blessing.
As a young mother, I was thrilled with my first baby. I was happy for the second, the third, and the fourth baby. I danced around the living room when I found I was carrying the fifth. I was thoroughly pleased to gain the sixth and cheered for the seventh. I wanted each and every one of my children.
All my hopes,
All my dreams,
All my wishes, plans, and schemes
Were for children.
I have always been glad to have them, often tired, and frustrated, but glad. They are my treasures. But wanting them so hard and investing every bit of my strength in them was maybe not right. I saw after a while that my husband didn’t feel love from me somedays. He often felt that I wanted him only for the children and for financial support. Not true, but nevertheless, how he came to feel.
My relationship with the Lord also was often neglected as all my time and emotion was invested in those children I loved mothering.
Could I succeed as a mother and wife if I did not put God and my husband before my children? That is the question I faced. Did I love them too much? Did I maybe even make them my one basket and not fulfill my other callings in life?Could I succeed as a mother and wife if I did not put God and my husband before my children? That is the question I faced. Did I love them too much? Click To Tweet
I had a huge job being the mom and it was good. It wasn’t wrong to love them and enjoy them, but there were other parts of my being, my calling, my lifeblood that got pushed aside. I allowed my other talents and gifts to languish.
All my children needed me. Yet there were others too––friends, neighbors, extended family members who needed pieces of my heart. I learned to give those pieces. And like mother’s love it was not lessened by dividing, it was somehow multiplied like the loaves and fishes. I learned that my big strong capable husband needed my attention and my touch also and that my children did not need me so continuously as I thought.
Now they are grown and had I not taken home educational courses read books, written stories, and letters, ministered to others, joined a club or two, visited my neighbors, reignited my faith and my marriage, reached out…. well…. outside my basket, I would have found myself left alone rocking an empty cradle, setting an empty table, filling empty hours, with an empty soul. If my children were my idol, when they were gone what would be left?
My grown children still need me. They need me to comfort them at times, to lend them a hand, to pray for them, to cook them a “home” meal every now and then. They need advice, and friendship which I can give them freely because I learned to carry my eggs in more than one basket.
Elece Hollis is a mother to seven and grandmother to 24. She lives in Oklahoma where she is retired from homeschooling. She is a freelance writer and a photographer and helps her husband tend their eighty-acre farm with the cows and a pecan orchard.
Elece is the author of several books with a new book The Heart of Spring––Prayers for Teachers, Her other two most recent books are What’s Good about Home! And Life With Mama. These can be found on Amazon.