There is something to be said about looking back. Reading through old journals, letters and these days old blog posts. Seeing were the last 6 to 7 years has been full of. How my family has grown the places we've been and even some life changing decisions we made. We moved twice in those seven years our fourth baby was born during this time and then another came into our life in the most amazing life changing way. We said yes to foster care and then yes to adoption. The most amazing thing God has ever led us through and my goodness are we forever changed!
Our boys grew and grew and now hover over me and James. When did this all happen?
Its happening right now. Life is unfolding all around us and I am trying to hold on tight. Sometimes I hold on with just the right amount needed and other times a little too tight as if I'm struggling still to trust and just let go. Mothering is like that right.
Mothering teen boys now has me leaning hard on Jesus more then ever. When they tell you early on in those beginning mama years that "oh boy you just wait they will need you even more later." They were not lying!!
Later is when they want to talk to you through every room and even stand outside your bathroom wall on occasion to have your attention. They will speak about their own disappointments and confusion they may feel about life, faith maybe over everything you've taught them so far. When they push the boundaries you want to safely keep them in its going to hurt and its going to stretch you. Mistakes they will make that you will have to get on your knees and pray over. Mostly praying over your anger and that you will give them grace to ask hard questions and be themselves around you. Oh that they'll be grace and wisdom to fill your mouth when you see and speak to them over it all.
There was a time not long ago another mama friend said to me " you make it look so easy" I know she meant it as a kind encouragement in passing. I knew that then just as I know it now but can I tell you honestly it made me cringe.
I certainly don't think its easy and I had no idea that I had been portraying that kind of image out there. Because if there is one thing that is hard for women is being able to relate to each other and if that is how other women see me then it made my heart sink a little. Because how can you relate to a person who seems to have all her ducks in a row. I know I have a hard time with it. Insecurities make us all fall into comparing our life to others..
If my family and I are all dressed up in some way that's presentable and make it to church before it ends I have started calling it a small victory!
I think we tend to judge the outward appearances of women or families in general and think, well they must have it all together and better then I do because her husband and kids look happy and they are clean and dressed in super cute trendy clothes (which I'm totally a sucker for by the way!:) but that in no way means she has it easier or is a better mom then you and I. We all struggle
And mothering for me is one of my hard areas that I struggle with. I struggle with mom guilt all the time. This mothering thing feels exhausting and life draining at times. Just as much as it can be amazing joyful and fulfilling the next. Its a paradox really.
Mothering is hard period. I have not arrived I am a learner. I am learning all the time to surrender my kids to God. To listen better and talk at them less. I am learning that what they need most of all is my prayers, affirmation encouragement and affection. Coming at them with a hug and tell me about your day attitude has gone a long long way in our relationships. My mothering has been less strained because of it. And I am so thankful for it and you know what some days I got this thing down this beautiful hard mama job and some days not so much. But GRACE. Grace Grace grace!!!
Lets give ourselves some grace mamas its a very hard job and the only thing that makes this job better is relying on our savior for grace guidance and strength that seems supernatural to the world. Because it is! We are super heroes in the making you and I:) None of us have it all together period.
So I am going to tell you what I am most thankful for as I look back at these 14 years of mothering. I am thankful my teen boys are still seeking me out to share their hearts with me and want my opinion on life. I am thankful my ten year old Jasmine talks to me openly about her friendships and crushes still. And I feel the closeness that has taken trial and error and a whole lot of Gods doing to help me mother my daughter well. Thankful for our Violet thankful she came into our life when she did and that she teaches us everyday to let your joy and love shine! She holds nothing back from anyone and invites everyone into her heart. That's Gods love right there. And then our little peanut, poppy our Penelope Norah (the Queen of nicknames;) you are the best thing that's happened to us. When people say that she is so lucky to have you all I think is its the other way around friends. We are the lucky ones, the blessed ones. We are a family who said yes to a beautiful gift a precious life to love. And love is what you brought into our lives vanilla (violet calls her this and its the cutest thing when she answers to it:).
I am not perfect that I am so so sure of. I serve a perfect savior my Jesus who daily I have to ask for help in mothering and that he would work his perfect will in me. I only hope that more of my days will be filled with me being more grateful like this for what God has given me to love and bless with all of my heart. The days ahead in mothering are ones I am looking forward too even more then when the boys were little and for that I am even more grateful to be.
Just imagine me right now giving you mamas ALL a high five and a huge hug!! You are doing a beautiful hard job and we are all in this together.