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Topic: Motherhood

Mama and the Water Spout

March 14, 2016
By GraceAnna Castleberry

By GraceAnna Castleberry

My oldest child, AudreyKate turned five-years-old last week. Since March 3rd, she has let everyone, and I mean everyone, know “I’m five!” every place we go.

Yesterday, I took all three of my kids to the restroom at Chick-fil-a. When it was time to wash hands, AudreyKate used a stool at the sink and to my surprise, she was tall enough to reach everything. For the first time in 5 years, I didn’t have to hold her up to the water spout.

A wave of relief swept over me at not having to juggle assisting her while also holding her little brother.

But then, I felt a tinge of sadness. She isn’t a baby anymore. She can reach.

And it hit me, this is what motherhood is all about.

I am not raising her to stay little, but to grow.

That is why each day matters so much. All those days of holding her up time after time so she can one day reach “all by myself.”

While almost anyone can tend to menial and repetitious tasks like of changing a diaper, giving a bottle, or brushing tangly hair, no one can do it like I can as her mother.

Because it’s not just about those tasks.

I want to treasure the simple every day things, but I don’t want them to ever be all that I see.

If that is all I see, I will only love it when the house is clean and I have dinner in the crockpot and my children are obeying, but I will spurn it when it is difficult.

And it is difficult.

It was Jesus who taught us that the lowly tasks are actually great.

He was eating a meal with his disciples when he pulled out a towel and wrapped it around his waist. And then he stooped to his knees and began washing the disciples’ feet.

In that moment {and all the ones leading up to it}, He showed us that the task of serving others means means more than we think it does. As Jesus washed the grime off his followers’ toes, He was pointing to the internal cleansing the cross would bring. It wasn’t just about their feet, but their souls. They needed to be forever cleansed.

All the momentary tasks were pointing to something eternal.

This is what so many miss when they think of motherhood. This is what I so often miss when I think of motherhood.

I see the humbling tasks of wiping the base of a toilet or hauling all three kids out of a store to deal with a disobedience issue.

But it’s not just about that. And it’s not just something anyone can do for my children.

As I hold my little girl to the sink to help her wash her hands, I am caring for her physical needs, yes, but I am showing her Christ.

I am praying that one day her soul will be forever cleansed.

Living the sacrificial love of Christ is hard. And I fail often. But living it transforms all the mundane moments and makes them count.

It is what the culture looking in doesn’t always see, but I know as I wash my children’s feet that by God’s grace I am pointing them to the only One who can make them clean.

And I am praying that one day, they will reach not just the water spout, but the well of living water that will cleanse their soul, satisfy every desire, and never ever run dry.

GraceAnna Castleberry is a wife and a mom. Just like she always wanted to be. Before joining her Marine husband, Grant, overseas, GraceAnna led women’s Bible studies at Duke University with CRU. Out of the outflow of her ministry, raising three small children, she writes for women at You can follow her on Twitter @gacastleberry.

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