22 Jul Embracing Who You Are As a Mother
Mothering is hard. The older my children become the more I see parenting challenges increase. I need wisdom and the Holy Spirit to navigate this journey well!
I am thankful for the women who have helped shape my mothering including my mom who has been with Jesus for almost 20 years, my step mom, my mother in law, and others. Add in wonderful books and several bloggers who have been mentors from afar. Each of them have strengths and passions that weave through their lives and writings. They have ministered to me by the parts of their lives they have shared.
I am a researcher at heart. I have found treasures of wisdom regarding mothering, homeschooling, health, and more through awesome books, blogs, people on Instagram, etc. The flip side is at times I feel I am not doing enough, I am not reading enough, and frankly I am not enough. One of our sons Jeremiah has complex medical needs and it feels there is never enough time to learn everything needed to help him let alone grow in other aspects of life. Who out there can relate to just not feeling you are enough? Friend, I speak to you today…we are enough!
A sure foundation for my mothering
Before I am a mom….I am a daughter of the King.
Before I am a mom….I am a woman for whom Jesus died.
Before I am a mom….I am loved fully the way I am today.
I always want to have my eyes towards eternity growing into the likeness of Christ. But I also want to embrace where I have come from, how I have grown, and embrace the mother God gave to my children TODAY. I want to wake up knowing that God is by my side cheering me on as I seek to love my children. What if we see the many resources we have as blessings to help mature us, but we courageously stand doing the best with the tools we have today?
So who am I as a mother?
What has become part of my mothering DNA? One of those passions is smiling at my kiddos. A lot. When I had 1 or 2 little ones I read a blog post about smiling at your children often. It is one of those posts that changed me. Before I read it I loved my children tremendously. Kisses, hugs, and “I love you” were frequently given. At the same time parenting is hard. Who else relates to the wide range of feelings that parenting these treasures can provoke? There have been and are times when I do not handle my frustration and anger well. When I am focused on that “small” thing they did for the 50th time and it feels like Mount Everest. When I am impatient. Oh how I want to parent better. Mothering gives me the chance to see my brokenness and to need Jesus often.
But my heart is filled with joy that this smiling has become part of my DNA. I want my children to remember me smiling at them. That they would feel worth in their hearts because I smile at them many times a day. Regularly I am intentional to gaze into their eyes and smile so they know their value in my heart. I like smiling when they talk about what is important to them. After I have disciplined them I seek to look in their eyes and explain how much I love them so they know I do not forsake them when they do wrong. And when the time is right I want to smile to give them security that my love is unchanged. And those times when I mess up in my mothering I seek to hold them close and apologize and tell them I love them. As their hearts open back up I seek to smile to fill their love tanks.
Jeremiah, our 8 year old (oldest of 3 boys), was diagnosed with cancer when he was 4 years old and finished chemotherapy a year ago. I am choked up thinking about the time, so much time, I missed with our second child Hosea. Hosea was only two when his momma was suddenly gone at a hospital 8 hours away for almost 3 months with his brother. And then during the years when Jeremiah was in and out of our local hospital (over 30 times in about 2.5 years) there were times when I only saw Hosea for minutes, to a few hours, to a day or two at a time (thankfully there were much longer times I saw him too). And this smiling DNA comforted my heart as I sought to look into Hosea’s eyes and soul as often as I could to show him how much he meant to me. No length of time is too short to impact your child with your smile, your gaze, your words, or your loving touch.
So I want to ask you a question. What are those one or two passions which are part of your mothering DNA? Rejoice today in who you are. Please tell me about these passions in the comments, I would love to hear!