The Journey of Motherhood
Pamela Fields: I was very hungry as a young mom. To get to know what the Bible says about being a mom? I started thinking I babysat a lot when I was a teenager. And I knew that I was a good babysitter. And what is babysitting about? It is like feeding them, ensuring they’re happy, and keeping everybody alive until mom and dad get home. And then mom and dad run with it, the marathon. You know, it's just a different thing. Then when my first child was born, they sent him home from the hospital with me, and I was like, what am I supposed to do? Like, this can't be right. You're really sending me home with this child. What qualifications do I have? What authority do I have here? I mean, it just was so foreign. And so, I went on a quest to learn what the Bible says. And I found that it talks about more than the physical aspects of keeping our children alive. But I don't think it's something that we can study once and then have a complete grasp on. Or a complete knowledge of application because as each new child joins our home, new situations in life arise. We've got a whole new place to start, research, study, and seek the Lord on.
Ruth Hovsepian: With nine children, you've had nine different personalities and nine characters to hone your skills as a mother.
Pamela Fields: Yeah. Absolutely. And each one of them is so different. And factor in, of course, my husband and I are very different. And then the things that the Lord teaches us. My older children sometimes are not very happy about it, but they say, you're teaching, you're training, the younger ones totally than you are us. And I've said, yeah, because we've learned. We've matured. We're different parents to our now nine-year-old than we were to our twenty-six-year-old and our twenty-five-year-old now.
The Refining Nature of Motherhood
Pamela Fields: We don't get a do-over with our children. We can look at it and go, okay, we can be repentant and say, I messed that up. Let me try it again. And even in doing that, we teach and train our children to have that heart. I think motherhood is a huge refining that we go through because God teaches us in his words so much about how he is a Father and He parents us. There are so many correlations to how we parent our children, like, you know, we get frustrated with them, or we're like, aren't you ever gonna learn? And then I think, is that how I am with my relationship with the Lord? Is he saying, come on, Pam, what are you gonna learn? Have I not taught you this lesson before?
Nourishing With the Word of God Pamela Fields: Here's what I like to think of going back to having a hunger for the Word and being hungry to know what God says for this stage in my life, no matter where I am. I think of my time with the Lord as food that fuels me. And there are some days when I am on the run. And my physical food may not look like a meal to other people. It may look like a handful of almonds, a hard-boiled egg, carrot sticks, or whatever. I throw them in the car, and I eat them while driving. That's like a snack, but it nourishes and sustains me until the next time that I fuel my body. And then there are meals where I sit down, prepare, and have all the courses and proper nutrition, and we would deem that a proper meal. And then there are times, maybe holidays, a special occasion, an anniversary, a special outing, where we have a feast. We've got everything, and we can dig in and go deep, and we walk away completely bloated. And we think I'm never gonna be able to eat again.
And the same is true with our time with the Lord. When we are being rushed around, we can't decide I'm not gonna eat at all because that's not gonna give us nourishment for the next phase. Right? What we need to do is have those little snacks. And preparing those snacks ahead of time is great. Like little post-it notes you put on your mirror or in the car. Another thing I do is print out verses or prayer lists, run them through my little home laminator, and stick those to the walls of my shower. And when I'm in the shower, I have a reference point to help me focus on the Lord and a little verse to feed me during the day. And so, I leave myself snacks around the house and places I know I'm gonna be to remind me of spending time with the Lord too so that he can feed me and fill me even though I'm on the run and even though I'm busy with littles or bigs. And then there are definitely times when I attend a women's Bible study, and we have homework, which is like my meal, and that is a meal. And then when I might go on a women's retreat, to a conference, or even alone, spend an extended time with the Lord. That's the feast.
Support for Young Moms
Ruth Hovsepian: How did family members or mentors or friends support you during the time when you had all your children were younger, and you were going through those seasons when it was just so busy at home? Did you have the support? And what did that look like?
Pamela Fields: You know, it was a different era. We didn't have all the social media, which could be good or bad. Because these are ways where there are women that speak into the lives of young moms online now. So, there's that access now that's different. When all my children were young, the greatest place that spoke to me was attending a once-a-week mom's group at my church and then books. I read many books about motherhood, highlighting a certain verse that would remind me of who the Lord was, his intentions for my life to be good, and my authority to speak truth into my children's lives. So, a lot of that and friendships. You know, so many, it was a mom-to-mom friendship for me where we could encourage each other. And there it was more physical, like, hey, let's go to McDonald's, let everybody run around on the playground, and chat, picking up the telephone. We didn't have texting then. So, picking up the telephone and chatting on the phone were some good ways for me. And I know it has changed through the years, but at my stage, that is what fed me. And where my community was built around.
Impact of Words on Mothers
Pamela Fields: I remember when I had about four or five children. And we were starting to homeschool, and it was a lot to juggle, like physically a lot of things to do with that many young children. And an older woman from my church came over to my house. So in my mind, I thought, she’s coming over to help me and speak life into me. I was so excited for her to come over. When she came over, she looked around my house and said, “I think it's time that you get a little more serious about your housekeeping. What do you think people will say if they come over and see that this is how you keep your house?” And I was devastated. But I didn't have a voice then. I just sat there kind of squashed and devastated. I didn't know what to say. But as I reflected on that, over the next couple of days and even years later. I remember these words twenty years later.
It does not matter what our position is regarding stay-at-home moms, or working moms. I thought, no, God didn't put me on this earth to make a clean house and to put on some show for everybody else. He put me on this earth to raise my children for him. And that's gonna look different for me than it looked for her. It's gonna look different for each one of us.
Supporting and Encouraging Mothers
Pamela Fields: I was at Goodwill one night, and I had my baby in a carrier, you know, strapped to my body. And I was walking around, and this older man walked up to me. And he just simply said to me, “you're carrying the future. And I am so happy that you're, you know, like, look at you, you're carrying our future.” And then we stopped, and we talked for, like, ten minutes. And this man just spoke life into me. He spoke about how important it was, what I was doing, raising my child, and he didn't know I had more children at home. But he had that boldness and confidence to speak life into a young mom. And it's interesting because I think I'm so anxious someday to be that old woman who walks up to a gal in the grocery store and says, oh, honey, you got this.
No matter where you are, you can speak life and truth to somebody else. So, if it's mom to mom, grandma to grandchild, if you run into somebody at the grocery store, speak life and encourage.
Praying for Your Children
Pamela Fields: One thing that I have learned, and I don't know that I knew it at the early end of my motherhood. But I understand now how important it is to pray for my children and that when I pray for them, it can go further than I can. When they're little, I pray for them for things I see. And as I have some grown and on their own, I can still pray for them and reach into their life beyond where I physically am. I have kids that live in different states now. And that is so important for me to be praying for them.