Today, I have a little something different. I have been wanting to post this for a while now, but the world has been so crazy, and I didn’t want it to get lost in the muddle of all that is going on in 2020. However, I decided that even with and especially with everything going on, we could all use these reminders. So today, I have a guest post by a friend, and someone I have long admired. Please take to heart the sweet lessons and practical wisdom from this missionary mom, Bethany Spears. Thank you, Bethany, for sharing your heart with us!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello, my name is Bethany Spears. I grew up in a Christian home in North Carolina. At a young
age, I gave my life to Christ and desired to live for Him in obedience and faith. I went to college
and graduate school in Florida where I met my handsome man. After school, I moved to
Pennsylvania, got married and worked as a teacher for five years while pursuing a seminary
degree alongside my husband. We were appointed as missionaries in 2014 and moved to the
Philippines in 2016. God blessed us with a beautiful daughter just seven months after moving
overseas. In 2019 we moved to our current city, Tacloban, Leyte, where my husband and I are
working alongside national pastors and church leaders to start a school for theological training.
My favorite things in life are marriage, motherhood, hospitality, homemaking, food, education,
studying God’s Word, exercise, and German Shepherds.
How is your motherhood journey different than you planned?
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to
the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect in motherhood. During the first half of my twenties, I
didn’t even want to be a mother. In my immaturity, I didn’t value motherhood and the beauty
of raising a sweet soul for Christ’s glory. But God changed my heart and perspective like only He
can do. He has shown me how important motherhood is and the eternal value it holds. Now I
can’t imagine life without the precious privilege of motherhood. So, I think I would say that my
motherhood journey has been different than I thought because I adore my title as mother.
Motherhood has given me unexpected joy, a joy that can only come from God working in a
My journey has not been easy. Learning to be a mother away from my comfort zone and home
country has been quite a lesson in allowing God to use me in my weakness. Most of my journey
has been alone without a community of support from our family, church family, and friends.
But for that, I can truly say thank you, Lord. He has drawn near in my loneliness and helped me
to thrive as a mother. He has given me an unexplainable joy as I seek to serve Him and my
family in a foreign country. Truly, He has given me joy, peace, and hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy
Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
If you had to pick one word or theme that describes your motherhood journey so far what would it be and why?
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7.
Motherhood is eternal work, ministry work that God sees and values. He should be glorified in how we love and serve our children each and every day. The way by which we love God will have a major impact in the way we mother our children. These verses in Deuteronomy have been heavy on my mind and heart for months now. Motherhood is an eternity-impacting job. My daughter is already at three years old forming beliefs in her little mind about God. What she is learning and believing in her little heart is much in part because she is watching me and her daddy daily. I tell her often and pray over her that my greatest desire for her is that she love the Lord with her whole heart, mind, and soul. And right now, I am her biggest teacher. God may have called my family across the world to share Him with others, but she is my greatest disciple. I am so underserving of this job – to reflect Christ’s love to her in my daily actions and words and to share with her the beauty of a relationship with God the Father through Christ Jesus. As you each know, it is a job that requires much: humility, selflessness, forgiveness, patience, love, and cuddles. Thank you, Lord, for entrusting me with the ministry of motherhood and giving me the daily grace needed. Knowing that what I do each day matters for eternity gives me the encouragement to remain steadfast through my weakness and with God’s strength to love my family. Having the right eternal perspective changes the way we mother each day.
“I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” Psalms 89:1
What piece of advice would give other mothers/women wanting to become mothers based on your experience?
“I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8
Make God’s Word a priority in your life. This is the only way you will be able to thrive in motherhood. The only way you will love your children and family well and serve them for God’s glory is by prioritizing the time you spend with the Lord. Understandably, some days you won’t be able to sit down and study God’s Word for much more than a few minutes. Yet you can still prioritize your relationship with him. Maybe prioritizing him means placing Scripture passages in places where you can meditate on them throughout your day. I like to keep 3×5 cards with verses above my kitchen sink. Sometimes it means I need to skip Netflix during naptime and listen to a God-centered podcast while I fold laundry. Sometimes washing dishes is an excellent time to focus on praying. Maybe it even means not doing housework during naptime and instead sitting down to study the Word. Maybe you don’t have any quiet time during your day. Read a short passage out loud to your littles while they play.
Fill your home with God-centered music. Meditating on Scripture throughout your busy day will change the course of your day. Your attitude will change. God will give you great joy and peace as you focus on him and serve your family for his honor and glory. Folding laundry, changing diapers, cooking yet another dinner, and washing dishes again and again done in the spirit of honoring God can change your life and the lives around you. Let the Spirit change you through the power of his Word.
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
One practice that has changed my life as I study God’s Word is God-centered reading. As you read try to understand what God was saying to the original audience and how it applied to their life rather than immediately applying the passage to yourself. Ask yourself, “How does the passage relate to Christ?” Then identify the universal truth within the passage. Then apply all of that amazing truth to your own life. Until we understand how Christ loved us when we were yet sinners, we are incapable of loving our own families with a Christ-like sacrificial love.
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2