You know the idea I’m speaking of. The kind with the aroma of “Oh, you’re one of thoooooose moms.” The kind that results in responses of comparison or inspiration, kinship or doubt, criticism or curiousity. Why? Because only you are accountable to what you do with the life and people God gives you. How you walk it out will be different than how another mom walks it out. The things you prioritize will blossom from both simple preferences and invitations from the Lord.
It’s okay for your motherhood and your family to look like your motherhood and your family.
This was something I realized a year or so into my mom life and I’m deeeeeeeply glad I did.
It’s okay, good even, for you to look like you, and for me to look like me, as we follow Christ. But there’s the important part. Following Christ, not my idols or the world or how He may lead another.
These are the blocks in our foundations that look similar. The house looks different, but the bedrock and the bones are the same. By grace, through faith, we live… whatever circumstances He gives us, whatever paths along which we walk together, whatever ways we choose to operate.
I’m saying to you, dear reader-friend, what I’ve been rehearsing to myself. What matters most is your surrender, trust in and obedience to God and the love you practice for your neighbor. It will be imperfect, of course, but it will also free you. It’s more challenging than comparison or pride or measuring your worth against another. And it will require listening for His voice, extending compassion to your progress and being a cheerleader to those who are different than you instead of comparing. But it will also give you the capacity to more fully embrace how God wired you and the path He lays before you.
So be that mom.
Here’s a little glimpse into the “that” for me…
I am not the mom who looks forward to hours of “me time.” Instead I crave the slow pace of being at home and being together.
I am not the mom who demands vegetables be eaten. Instead I trust she’ll get there eventually if we keep offering, and hardly ever forget to pack a PB&J for outings.
I am not the mom who can do life alone. Instead I rely whole-self-head-first on the love and grace of God, my husband and close friends.
I am not the mom who cares about the style and decor of my home. Instead I’m the person obsessed with the way it feels when we (and others) are in it.
I am not the mom who reads all the parenting books. Instead I have been extremely choosey about those I do read but have committed to asking for wisdom and advice from seasoned moms I trust in stages ahead of me.
I am not the mom who assumes her kids will go the route of traditional education because it’s what they’re supposed to do. Instead I want to explore all the options, think creatively, and guard their childhood as much as possible.
I am not the mom who gets a babysitter for all errands. Instead I like to bring the girls along wherever I go.
I am not the mom who forgets diapers and snacks. Instead I nerd out (obsess?) over being prepared.
I am not the mom who feels isolated in stay-at-home-motherhood. Instead I have a revolving door of friends coming for visits or meeting us places.
I am not the mom who always gets it right. Instead I ask for forgiveness daily and help (in the form of questions, feedback, presence and conversation) weekly.
I am not the mom with set rhythms and schedules. Instead I find comfort in flexibility and freedom, though sometimes it stretches me thin.
I am not the mom compartmentalizing life. Instead it’s all weaved together for me, which has its ups and downs. I carry the deep delight and worry and gratitude with me always.
I’m this mom. And you’re that mom.
I believe that as we submit ourselves to the guiding, transforming, satisfying love of God, He will make us into the woman He desires us to be… the woman He has good plans for, the woman impacting her corner of the world, the woman being formed by what life throws at her. We have a habit of making it complicated, and that often derails our peace and contentment and puts anxiety and restlessness in its place.
If the foundation is solid, then say Yes to His making your heart and home creatively, uniquely, wonderfully you.
I’m cheering you on.