The other night, Wesley hired a babysitter and took me out for dinner. While we were there, he said, "I have learned that while I protect and provide for our home, you guard the hearth and fan the flame of our home. I am so thankful for you, because I could never do it so well."
These words hit me as strange. What did that mean?
Wesley gave me a mushie-gushie love-struck answer, but later, in my own curiosity, I looked up the term.
What is a hearth guard?
And the answer surprised me. A hearth-guard back in the Middle Ages would have been a group of elite warriors who were gifted with skills in warfare. They became known as the "Hearth-guard" after their fervent and crushing victories over threats to the kingdom. The pride they had for their heritage and lust for battle made them a force of nature.
This had me so excited. Just think... if we translate this definition over to motherhood, how exciting does it sound?
Mommas, we are a group of elite warriors who have been gifted by the Lord with children. We have been equipped with the skills to be a parent. We are fervent and devoted, crushing the lies of our culture and any threats to our kingdom. We raise our babies at the feet of the Lord. We have pride in our heritage. We fight the battle against family dysfunction ending generational sin patterns once and for all. We can sustain tiny humans with our bodies in the womb and out. We don't let anything stand between us and our children. We will always go to battle for them—for we are a force of nature.
We are the Hearth-guard of our homes. We fan the flame for the love of each other and and the love of God.
Too often, we look at our lives as mothers—especially stay at home moms—and it feels mundane, unappreciated, unseen, and worthless.
These are lies we tell ourselves. We are so much more than this.
There is nothing mundane about motherhood. Like any warrior, we have our duties—laundry, cleaning, etc—however, let's be real, children are creative when it comes to causing trouble. Even with a one year old, I'm surprised daily by the new battle he brings me.
Most recently is was projectile vomiting all over his carseat on our way to Bible study. While disgusting, let me tell you, a very exciting experience. It really felt like a battle to clean vomit off a screaming 1 year old and fighting with the complicated carseat to get that cleaned up as well.
On the more positive side, after delivering Isaiah, I felt like I had conquered a war. I’d come out hurting, but, by golly, the battle had been won and I was in wonder of a precious bundle in my arms.
You are not unappreciated, the work you do is not unseen, and you are not worthless. Often it is our families who can make us feel this way. Thankfully, our identity doesn't have to rest in their human hands. The Lord is where our heart should rest, and trust me, He sees you.
He sees the time you are taking to feed the tiny soul He gifted you. He sees your tears in the dead of night as you hold a baby who just won't stop crying. He sees you get up the next morning to continue on for another day despite the ever pressing exhaustion.
He sees the worth in you. He sees worth in your family. This is your first and most precious mission field. There is so much value in the warm meals you place front of your family. There is value in the unending laundry you are folding. There is value in every piece of hard work that goes into motherhood.
Next time you feel less than, remember who's army you fight for. Not your husband. Not your children. Not your parents. Not your friends.
You fight in the Lord's battle and, He's already won.
So, put your identity in the one makes the mute speak and the blind see. He will sustain you. He will provide for you. He will equip you.
When you wake up in the morning, ask Him to be your ever-present help as take on the duty of Hearth-guard and may He lead you in your passion and devotion to raise your babies. May we spend our days teaching our children to lead righteous lives.
I read this quotes recently, "Never feel sorry for raising dragon slayers in a time where there are actual dragons."
How true are these words.
In a culture that is forcing itself into our homes and attempting to drag our children into their heartless money-making agendas, we have the honor and privilege to give ourselves, our children, and our homes to the Lord so that we may reflect Christ.
I think Psalm 91 says it perfectly:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge[b]— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
May we each guard the hearth of our homes with unending love, grace, and strength.
P.S. I loved the "Dragon Slayer" quote so much that I made a t-shirt of it. Check it out here!