There’s been a lot of life lately. A lot of grocery shopping and dirty dishes and cats getting hair on things. Oh and laundry. And floors to be ripped up because refrigerators leak sometimes. And then there’s the teaching of Sunday School and throwing birthday fiesta’s and paperwork- always mounds and mounds of paperwork. There are empty pitchers in the fridge and attitudes and sleeplessness (hello-40!) and let me just tell you- some days you wake up and think:
What exactly is happening here?
Didn’t I have plans for my life that involved beautifully dressed children and sipping wine on my patio and impacting the world through my amazing insights into scripture? Wasn’t I going to be at the homeless shelter monthly and learn to speak Spanish fluently and also finally figure out how to grow things? Why am I not at the gym or traveling the world or up to date on the latest viral video?
It definitely gets in the way of our picture. You know the one you had at 20, where you always answered patiently and the house was “lived in” but still magazine worthy and you were……. well, lovely.
Motherhood does not actually offer that picture. Maybe we’ve confused it with Hollywood. No dear friends, motherhood offers us something entirely different, if we allow the Lord to use it.
Motherhood tackles us and wrestles every ounce of pride, self glory and ego out. It confronts every fear, inadequacy and wound and offers healing. It changes us; if we let it. I suppose I fought it more, those changes, when I was younger. I didn’t want to let go of my pride- I was going to be the one mother who never really screwed up anything important. It was okay with me if I forgot a PTA meeting or didn’t have the matching outfit ready for the picture day- those were acceptable flaws. But real mistakes, actually sinning against my children- I was going to be the one managed to rise above, who had no regrets.
I hid all my fears. Fear that I couldn’t figure it all out, fear that bad things would happen to my kids, fear of failing- but one by one, they’ve all been exposed. Motherhood is not a very safe place to hide out from fear. In fact, it exposes it faster than any other role I’ve ever lived.
And in return, the Lord, through this messy and beautiful and annoying and fun and treasured gift of Motherhood has changed my heart. I no longer believe most of what I used to about myself. I know how terribly sinful I am, but as I love those children He has given me, I get a glimpse of His love for me- unconditional and radically big. I am no longer quite so afraid- because I’ve watched Him use bad for good, turn pain into joy- both in me and my children.
And not every day or week, but sometimes, I get those moments where I think my heart will absolutely burst open with the love or joy He pours into me that I get to turn and pour into my babies. And for those times, I am thankful that Motherhood gets in the way.