Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When you are made into a Mother...

Annabelle Therese on the Jersey Shore (Photo by Laura White)

Greetings and congratulations
to all of you brand-new Mamas out there!
I want to give a collective shout-out to all of you brave sisters who are opening up your hearts and bodies to hop on this crazy ride called motherhood!

Whether your baby is just a few days old or approaching his first birthday, when you answered "yes" to growing this new life, you were up for an incredible adventure.

Thank you for your willingness to serve.
Because THIS is a calling with ETERNAL consequences. 

 After surviving labor and delivery, you already know that this little one, so small in your arms, is capable of big surprises! Mamas, let's link-on and tackle this together!
I am writing to tell you to be encouraged.
You have been entrusted with life's greatest job...

God has made you a MOTHER.
And I know that you are up to His invitation to love.
  The road will wind up many inspiring mountains and sometimes plummet through some bumpy valleys but I know you are up for this, not because of your own strength,
but because God has EQUIPPED you in this vocation. 

I was blessed with the honor and life-changing experience of becoming a Mama a little over eight years ago. As I look back, it is amazing to see how much I have learned and how much I have changed during the journey of birthing, nursing, and pouring into my children.
But just days after giving birth to my little girl Lillian, I remember feeling overwhelmed by this awesome responsibility of helping raise a child.

 I mean, if this kiddo turned out crazy this was ALL on me!

 Ok, Mamas, I'm an avid reader so I (naively) felt somewhat equipped to study my daughter's every cry and record every color stool(let me tell you books can NEVER prepare you for all that funky stuff!). I even had a game plan about how often to feed her, if she should or should not wear socks to bed, and how best to introduce solids. I was going to do this Mama-thing, and do it well.
But girls ,then reality hit.
And it got ugly fast.

 Because no book can tell you just how wild it is to watch your heart go walking around the outside of your body.

I had no idea how much this little baby, and our three more to come, would stretch me.
Would tug on my marriage.
I made the mistake of losing all of myself in these babes.
 I forgot who I was and who I belonged to. I let my mothering define me instead of remembering where I get my primary identity: as God's beloved daughter.

 There have been many beautiful moments, but I have also known deep struggle.
I have felt unseen.

And if you are there today, I understand.

But even more importantly,
so does the “One Who Sees All”.
He sees every time you nurse and it hurts, every time to get up in the middle of the night to check on that sleeping newborn just one more time, and every diaper you change. He feels every labor pain.  Every throb of post-partum recovery.
He is here and He notices.

And once you become a Mama,
you’ll start to notice other Mama’s too.
And the truth that we need each other.

Breathe deep and know that we are in this messy,
awesome Mama-thang together! 

So here is my challenge for today.
Have a 10-minute conversation with someone
and talk to them about YOU.
Tell your husband how YOU are feeling today. Confide in your sister about what is on your heart. Meet your Mom for a drink and talk about one of your dreams. Get a pedicure or take a long run. Say hi to a neighbor and take the time to have an adult conversation about something in the news.

 The point of this challenge?
You are still YOU even without wearing the armor of your infant or toddler or your 10-year-old.
Remember, that we have these "littles" hanging around our knees for just a spell until the grow and glorify the Lord using their own spiritual gifts.
 Let me know how it goes!