Monday, January 7, 2013

how mommyhood changed how I think about....pretty much everything...

Have you read something that caused you to ponder something in your own life a little more?

I found myself there today after reading this.

Prior to May 2011, I thought I knew what it meant to be a mama.  I thought I knew what life would be like with a child. 

Turns out, I didn't know a thing.  I still don't.

I've got a whole lot of learning ahead of me.  I have changed how I think about pretty much everything.  Things I thought I knew and things I didn't have a clue about.

This journey of mommyhood.   It's a sacrifice. 

It's beautiful and ugly and rewarding and grueling.  Exhilirating and exhausting.  Happy and sad.  Healing and hurting.  Singing and screaming.  Laughing and crying.  Giving and taking.  Making and molding.  Breaking and mending.  Falling and catching.  Dancing and stomping.  Tickling and taming.  Understanding and misunderstanding. 

Whispering and wailing.  Praying and waiting.  Hushing and rocking.  Praying and waiting.  Reading and writing.   Praying and waiting. 

Each day I walk this journey, I realize that God created mothers to refine them.  To reveal Himself in ways unimaginable.  To make room for more of Him and less of me.  To show me who He is through the dirty diapers and bad timing and temper tantrums and toddler rants and mounds of laundry.  Through the sweet songs and giggles and storytime and hugs.  Through the back pats and big grins.

Mommyhood is a sacred dance of self-denial with Jesus.  The One who called us to this place of vulnerability.  This place where we love another more than we love ourselves.  This place where we deny ourselves in order to nuture another tiny being.  This place where we face our fears in the middle of the night when the fever is so high your heart nearly beats out of your chest.  This place where we hear the cry fall from the lips of our babies before we have a chance to focus our eyes.  This place where we wrestle our demons, once and for all, in order for our children to have the victory.  This place of struggle, between good and evil, right and wrong.  This place where we so desperately want the best for our children, even if it means withholding the 'good' from them.  This place where we learn our own identity, while helping our children identify with Jesus.

Somewhere in the midst of all the dancing, we learn to lean into Jesus.  To let Him lead.  To wrap us up in His arms.  To reassure us that we are doing a good job. 

Because after all, our only job is point our children {His children} to Him.  To the Cross. 

The things of this world will not always immediately testify to God's goodness.  But I know for sure that He is good.  Even on the days when I can't articulate it, I know for sure it is so. 

On the days that my daughter wants nothing to do with me and everything to do with her daddy, I know for sure that she loves me.  And though I will have to face the moments when she will say otherwise, I trust in a God that gave her to me.  To love her through that moment. 

In the moments, with all her toddler bossyness, when she declares 'No!' and demands her own way, I know the One who makes my path straight.  I lean on the One whose strength is greater than mine.  And when she is grown and continues to demand her own way, I, too will continue leaning on the One who instructs me to point her to Him. 

When I'm doing my best to protect her from harm {whether she is trying to climb in the dishwasher or climb in the car with someone I'm not familiar with}, I know for sure I will love her still.  Through the tough decisions and tough parenting.  Through the tantrums and not understanding my rules and the thinking she knows better than me.  Through the 'that's not fair' and 'all the other kids can' I will love her still.  And I will love Him more. 

When other parents don't agree with my parenting {and I know they won't}, I will continue to seek Him.  He will instruct me through His perfect Truth and Love.  His ways never fail.  I will continue to believe that my job is to point her to the Cross.  And their job is to the do the same with their children.  But I am only accountable for myself and the children that have been entrusted to me.  And though it will not be easy and there will be hard times, I will trust His ways. 

In the moments when I need a time-out or want to pull my hair out or beg to escape to the closet for just a moment of peace, I know for sure that grace and mercy are found when I fall on my knees.  When I cry out to Him in a moment of desperation.  For that time.  To fill the gap between my imperfections and His grace.

In the moments when I fail her {and fail her I will, I already have}, I know for sure to seek His mercy.  I beg forgiveness, both from Jesus and from my daugther.  And I pray He closes the cavern of hurt in her heart because of my failures.  Likewise, I pray He completely heals my broken heart for the times when she hurts me. 

When what I want to say and should say are opposite, I pray my words are peppered with goodness and gentleness and self-control.  I pray my words will lift her spirit and encourage her in her walk with Christ, rather than tear her down or cause her to question my love for her.  In Jesus name, I will rebuke the Enemy and learn to ward off his cunning attacks from my daughter.  And me.

I have a whole lot to learn on my journey.  Thankfully, I have friends who have tredged the path before me.  Some are just a few steps ahead of me.  Some I can barely see off in the distance.  And yet some have made the turn where I can no longer see them, yet their footprints still remain.  I've had the honor and privilege of praying them through some tough stuff.  And I've seen how beautifully they have walked hand-in-hand with Jesus in their journey. 

This journey is a sacred dance.  A dance in which Jesus invited me to as His partner.  A dance that I don't know the steps.  A dance that I awkwardly fumble my way through.  But my Partner knows the steps, He gracefully glides to the music.  So, I am learning to let Him lead.  And I'm finding that in the moments that I let go and follow His steps, we are dancing beautifully across the floor to the rhythm of grace. 

'People of Israel, I have always loved you,
so I continue to show you my constant love.  
Once again I will rebuild you.
Once again you will take up your tambourines
and dance joyfully.'
Jeremiah 31:3-4

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