Your kids NEED YOU to pursue your life mission–and doing so will take you right out of Helicopter Mom mode into Intentional Mom mode.
Understanding these 3 reasons will open your eyes to the massive impact that a mission driven perspective can have on you and on your family. They need you to lead out and keeping these 3 reasons at the forefront of your mind will give you the motivation to do just that!
Listen, watch or read about these 3 reasons and then take a moment to journal about what they mean to you–and how you need to get started. As always, make sure you’ve picked up your copy of The Mission Driven Life so you can dive into the 7 Laws of Life Mission immediately!
Why life mission? And why life mission for moms? Those are super important questions that I get asked them quite often. I’m going to share with you three reasons why life mission is worth the effort and is going make all the difference in your life and in your home.
Reason #1: You need a life purpose all your own
The first reason life mission is so important is because we all think that what we really want is happiness. Well, we do want happiness but we actually want something more than happiness. The story of Viktor Frankl explains what this something is.
Viktor Frankl was studying psychology and psychiatry in the 1920s in Vienna. During that time, the school systems there were designed such that the kids would take all their school classes and receive grades. But they were also required take specific test. The combination of their grades and test scores opened or closed certain doors for these high school kids for the rest of their lives. The result was that because of the tremendous amount of stress and pressure at this time during these kids’ lives there was a really high suicide rate. Viktor Frankl saw this tragedy and decided that he wanted to try to do something about it. He began volunteering his time while he was finishing up his residency for his doctorate degree, offering free therapy to these students. The suicide rate among those he was working with dropped to zero. Of course, this won the attention of some important people in Vienna and he was given the opportunity to work with 3,000 students thereafter. Eventually world war two erupted. Frankl was Jewish and tragically his entire family was killed and he was placed in a concentration camp.
While he was in that concentration camp you can imagine the kind of feelings that he was having. It all seemed so pointless, especially with his family gone. One day he was working, digging ditches. He was hungry, tired and sick, barely clothed and freezing. But then, he had a vision come into his mind—a picture of himself in the future in a lecture hall giving a presentation on his experiences. He was talking about the youth he worked with before World War II and the hardships he and other victims had in the concentration camp. In this vision he was sharing all he’d learned about life and suffering with other therapists and helping to move the therapy world forward.
Through this vision he realized that he had found his purpose—his mission. Now he knew what he was going to do in the future and that gave great purpose to every day, every moment in the camp. Suddenly that picture of the mission that he was preparing for helped bring today into sharp focus. He now had a reason to get out of bed in the morning. He had a purpose for connecting with the other camp victims rather than remaining only in survival mode. He wanted to befriend them and learn their stories and try to help them. He could see the connection between the past and the future. It was no longer just about him or these victims in this camp. It was about the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands that he could reach and help.
At this point, he has gone far beyond that. His book Man’s Search for Meaning has reached millions. In the first half of the book he tells of his concentration camp experiences and then the second half of the book is devoted to his therapeutic model. It’s called Logotherapy. “Logos” is the Greek word for “meaning.” It’s purpose-focused therapy! He took everything that he learned all those years and he taught therapists for the rest of his life how to help their clients find life purpose, find their life mission. When they did, so many of their other troubles faded away. He talks about how even in suffering they could find purpose and meaning and when they had meaning then most of their other troubles just faded away. They didn’t need therapy anymore because now they had this inner motivation, this reason to get up in the morning, to work hard, to reach out, to learn, to progress and to solve their own problems. There were now willing to do what was necessary because they had a mission. They felt a call!
Frankl goes on to talk about how we don’t need to feel great and we don’t need to have no stress. What we really need is to feel a calling for a purpose that only we can fulfill. He explains how even though we want happiness it isn’t something we can actually seek. Happiness is something, Frankl says, that must ensue—it must come to us. And it only does so, he says, as a direct result of losing ourselves to a cause that’s bigger than ourselves. So, you and I want to be happy but we can’t pursue happiness, we can only pursue mission. We can lose ourselves in a cause that’s greater than ourselves and in doing so we will receive the fulfillment, the meaningful experiences and the joy that comes from mission. And we will also get personal happiness that we’re seeking because it will ensue from life mission.
As moms we can see how important it is to have this personal life mission because when we don’t what we tend to do is become helicopter moms. If you stick around The Mission Driven Mom for very long you’re going to hear that term pretty often because when when we as moms decide that we’re going to put motherhood first, that we’re going to really focus on the kids and really try to be the best moms that we can it’s easy to become a helicopter mom. Basically, your life just revolves around them—you’re the helicopter that just hovers over them and meets every need and want they have. Of course, this is not what’s best for them and it’s definitely not what’s best for you. Now the flip-side of that is the absentee mom. This is the mom that decides that in order for her life to have meaning she’s got to take off and do mission despite her kids. I talked about this problem in the introduction of The Mission Driven Life. We don’t want either of those models so what we have to do first of all is find personal happiness by losing ourselves in life mission. That’s the first most important reason for becoming a mission driven mom.
Reason #2: You want to leave a legacy
Listen to what Daniel Taylor said, “Our greatest desire greater, even than the desire for happiness, is that our lives mean something.” That’s the second really important reason for life mission—to leave a legacy. If we’re not going be a helicopter mom or an absentee mom, then, what we really have to do is find this life purpose and pursue it. We need to lose ourselves in mission so that we can leave a legacy. What’s cool about pursuing mission is that it creates self-motivation. You no longer think, “I can’t get up in the morning,” or “I just don’t feel motivated,” or “I don’t want to learn certain things or change certain things about myself.” So much of that just goes away because you have this greater cause in which you’ve lost yourself.
Wanting to leave a legacy is part of what made us moms—it made us want to have children, raise them and watch them become great men and women and do great things in the world. Through the years I’ve heard a lot of moms say that their mission in life is to be a mom and they’re right! Their mission in life is to be a mom but that’s not their only mission and it can’t be their only mission. You know why? Because if that were their only mission then their children’s only mission would be to be a mom and their children’s only mission would be to be a mom. So where will those individuals come from that will step outside their homes and participate in aiding humanity as well. That’s why we say “Motherhood AND Mission” because we’re going leave a legacy of being a connected and in-tune mother while modeling womanhood and modeling motherhood by pursuing mission in the right way—in the way I described in The Mission Driven Life. We are bringing our children along with us let them watch us model it for them and taking them with you in some of the work that you do. Then they’ll see what motherhood really is and what womanhood really is. In this way, you’ll leave a two part legacy. You’ll leave not just good solid men and women but mission-driven men and women! Your sons and daughters will become the kinds of people who also want to raise great children who also make a difference in their communities, stepping outside themselves to serve and using their gifts to bless others because you modeled it for them. There are so many stories I could tell you including Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer whose parents modeled this for them. They went on to follow that model. We want to leave this legacy behind us of fulfilling our own personal life mission so that our children will life mission driven lives as well.
Reason #3: You need to fight evil
The third really important reason for mom’s to pursue life mission is highlighted in this really cool experience I want to tell you about Daniel Taylor. In his book, The Healing Power of Stories, he tells the story of himself when he’s a young man, in his teenage years. He kind of had fallen in love with reading and was working his way through several books. At one point he picked up the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He says about his reading, “I was drawn not so much to the plot of the adventure as to the characters having the adventure.” He felt a really intimate connection with these characters—like could he feel what they were feeling and he was on the adventure with them. The story completely came alive for him! This story had a life-long impact on his character and deepest beliefs and motivations. “The story gave me courage,” he explained, “to say to myself what I already felt to be true from my own experience—that good and evil are real that it mattered a great deal which one wins out in the world and that the outcome depended on me.”
This is why the third super important reason that you and I as mothers and as women must pursue life mission and prepare ourselves to hear the call and act courageously on that call is because evil is real and it must be fought. “There are those,” Taylor goes on to explain, “sophistic thinkers—relativists and atheists—who assured me that good and evil are not real, that they are just subjective and transient points of view. But I knew better.” And he knew better because of the truth he’d received from Tolkien about the true nature of the world and his part in it.
Now, I’m not trying to promote the Lord of the Rings here—there are many books including your scripture that obviously will teach that evil is real—but Tolkien himself was a very devout Christian and he had a deep understanding of great literature and an incredible education. He himself had felt a call to write stories that would do this exact thing—that would bring people into a world outside their everyday experience and show them that there is good and evil and that evil needs to be fought. For Daniel Taylor this was his first insight and motivation to do just that. He said he didn’t have the words yet to know how to fight but but he was motivated to gain the skills to prepare himself to fulfill his own life mission and fight evil in his own unique way. He now knew for himself that evil is real and it needs to be fought and it matters very much who wins. He wanted to ensure that he had done everything in his power to make sure that good won. He gone on to do a many really cool things in his life too to promote good and to fight evil.
That’s why, as mission driven moms we need to be willing to do the hard work that it’s going to require—like being self-analytical and engaging in self-care and self-discovery and all the things that The Mission Driven Life talks about—because we need a purpose in our lives. Of course our children are part of that purpose but guess what?
We’ve got a model for them how to discover their gifts because we’re invested in finding our gifts. We have to show them that self-education matters because we’re engaged on our own self-education. We have to put our house in order and put our lives in line with principles because we want them to put their lives in line with principles. In this way, we do and model everything we want for them. We teach our children that evil is real and how to be fighters of evil through fighting evil ourselves. We buoy up the poor and the sickly and the ignorant and whoever else needs buoying up. We use our gifts to make a difference in our communities because they need us. And our children watch us and eventually they engage on this quest. The result is this awesome two-part legacy because as mothers our calling is unique—we have two parts to our life mission. We raise our children and we pursue our life mission.
The best part is the great adventure of all of it! The excitement of it growing and becoming your best and bringing your family along with you. And you’re definitely not alone! Here at The Mission Driven Mom, you have the community and the tools that so many moms haven’t had in the past. We know what to do. We know how to get started. It’s not always going to be pretty—it’s going be a little sticky sometimes. But it’s also going to be amazing!
I can’t tell you how all of this information, all of this knowledge, all of this experience that I’m sharing with you has totally transformed me! I am a completely different person than I was 20 years ago. I know exactly where I’m going, exactly what I’m doing and why I’m doing it—I’m doing it for God and I’m doing it for my children and I’m doing it for myself and I’m doing it for you. So just make the commitment to yourself that you’re going to do this. If you can’t find any better reason right now then do it for your kids because they need you to model it so that they will also become mission-driven men and women.