a few days ago, i found out that someone had seen steve, the kids and i at our little local mall and was so excited to see us outside of instagram. my heart! gracious, i was so honored. when telling steve about it, i said “dude, i live in a trailer and am stumbling through motherhood.” and then, in my weekly alone time at the cafe, i sat and thought about motherhood – what it used to be some ten years ago, what the general idea is now, and what it means to me.
isn’t it wild what our idea of normal is now? its become such a rush and competition – a quick scroll through instagram will produce stark white walls, perfectly posed chemix/flower combinations, our children against brick walls wearing outfits full of tagged instagram shops. dont get me wrong, i love a good posed shot now and again, and 80% of our house is eggshell white. but i’ve been culling through who i follow and why. am i encouraged by their words and lifestyle – does it encourage me to be a better mother and woman?
what calls to my heart most is the feeds that are messy and honest and lively – just like motherhood. just like my kids, who currently are climbing all over my lap occasionally grabbing down my shirt to nurse and putting a matchbox in my pant waistband. recently, i came across this article that reworded first corinthians thirteen to fit motherhood, and let me tell you it is an absolute gem of a read. i hope and pray this encourages you this mothers day to share real moments over poses, to squish those baby thighs instead of stressing over your next photo, and to promote connections with our kids instead of looking for the next hip baby clothes to buy. lets take back motherhood, shall we?
“if my child speaks in the tongues of men or of angels, masters sign language at six months and spanish and mandrin chinese by six years, but does not learn to love, they are only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. if he has the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge-abc’s at a year, reading by two, writing chapter books in kindergarten-but does not have love, he is nothing. if I volunteer for every mommy ministry-mops, awana, Sunday School, and if I give all I possess to the poor (or at least bring loads of groceries to the foodbank), but do not have love, I gain nothing.
love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy other mother’s lifestyle choices or possessions, it does not boast in the areas of my children’s natural strengths (while covering for their faults), it is not proud of the way my child potty trained before your child. it does not dishonor others by insisting that my method of parenting is the best, it is not self-seeking-hoping that you’ll notice how smart, talented or well rounded i am raising my child to be. it is not easily angered by perceived slights or misjudgments, it keeps no record of wrongs. love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth that all of parenting is fueled and driven by God’s grace. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
love never fails-even where I have fallen painfully short of God’s best for my children. but where there are competitions to see whose body bounces back best after childbirth, they will cease; where there are verbal fights over the correct methods of discipline, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge about the best way to feed and clothe and nurture a child, it will pass away. for we know in part and we parent incompletely, but when they are fully grown, what we thought we knew about raising our children will disappear. when I was a new parent, i thought, spoke and reasoned with immaturity and without grace. as my children grew, i asked God to give me the wisdom to put these childish ways behind me. for now we see our children’s future as only a reflection as in a mirror; one day we will behold their adults selves face to face. now i know in part; then we shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love.”