What is Motherhood?

Motherhood is not getting much sleep at night.

It is regularly cleaning up pee, poop, or milk.

It is becoming a child all over again.

After Asa was born, I had about 20 stitches to fix some tearing. Those 20 stitches reminded me of what it feels like to be helpless and vulnerable. They reminded me what it means to have childlike faith in someone. I couldn’t get up off the couch or out of bed without Landon’s help those first few days. I couldn’t dry off my legs for myself. I couldn’t feed myself because I was so tired. I was completely dependent on other people for help.

With that helplessness comes a need for childlike faith. I had to believe that my husband, my mom, and Landon’s mom would help me in the midst of my exhaustion. As Asa is completely dependent on me, I was completely dependent on others. The hardest part of labor for me was not the vulnerability of giving birth but the vulnerability of relying on others.

It is so scary to rely on others. Eventually, they let you down. I don’t say that because anyone has let me down in the last few weeks but because I know I have let so many people down in the past. I know I will let people down in the future, too. Trusting another person is a very vulnerable act that we all have to do if we are to live well with others.

I am a helpless child. I am a helpless child, and I am responsible for my own helpless child. I have never felt that responsibility more strongly than here in motherhood. Motherhood has caused me to cry out to God for help more desperately than ever before, especially while I was in the pain of healing from stitches. Without strength from the Lord, I wouldn’t be able to wake up in the middle of the night to nurse Asa, burp him, and change his diaper. Without strength from Him, I couldn’t get up in the morning and start my day. Once I’m up, I am awake, by the grace of God.

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Motherhood is about humility. Motherhood is about recognizing my weaknesses, my pride, and my inability to do everything on my own. There’s no way I could function on my own. I have to remind myself of that. Rather, motherhood regularly reminds me of that when I begin to forget.

As a helpless child, I needed Landon to change Asa’s diapers in the middle of the night since I couldn’t get out of bed for myself. I needed my mom to help me with chores and Asa just so I could relax enough to take a nap. I needed Landon’s mom to pick up groceries and cuddle Asa so that I could breathe. I needed our church small group to bring us meals. I needed God to strengthen me when I was exhausted and in pain.

I still need Him. Every hour of every day. I need Him to give me childlike faith. I need Him to give me the strength to trust other people and be vulnerable with them.

Motherhood is learning to be a child again and believing the best of everyone.

Motherhood is completely worth it.

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Can You Say “Ouch?”

God has been teaching me from James 3 lately about the power of the tongue.

But the more he teaches me, the further I seem to have to go. My flaws become more apparent as I learn more. How painful! But in the end, it will be better, right?

I thought sanctification would be better as I got further along the process, but it seems more painful. I am distinctly aware of my sin, my flaws, my foolish words.

Since God placed James 3 on my heart, I seem to mess up more. Or maybe I just notice more. I thought I was doing well, but it seems I was just blind to how bad I was.

Does this sound hopeless? Yes!

But thankfully, grace triumphs! Without grace, I would be without hope. But because of grace, God forgives me.

I know I have wronged so many people with my words. Humility allows me to apologize and seek forgiveness for others, but it cannot take my words back. I can apologize, I can seek forgiveness, I can change my ways, but I cannot take back words that have already come out of my mouth.

James 3:9-12 says:

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Salt water overwhelms fresh water. My foolish words taint my wise words. Ouch.

As I continue to search God’s Word for wisdom and encouragement in using my words wisely, I plan to share that with y’all. So here is to the process of sanctification. Without God’s grace, I would be hopeless. But thankfully, God’s grace is greater than all my sins and all my flaws. What a message of hope!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

            It’s already Christmas Eve… December and 2011 has passed by so quickly.  Today, I enjoyed a run with my dad, a candlelight service, some Apologetics and pleasure reading, and I am getting ready to eat some delicious chicken and dumplins. Christmas music, advent stories, wrapping presents – it is all fantastic. However, the time I get to spend with my family is even more special.  But the reason I enjoy Christmas so much isn’t all the material sights, sounds, and tastes; it is the birthday of the One I call Savior.

            The whole reason behind Christmas is the birthday of God into human flesh.  Christ humbled Himself to be born in the small town of Bethlehem, in a borrowed stable and swaddling clothes, to an unmarried virgin, with an audience consisting of foreigners, shepherds, and animals.  Jesus left the throne room of heaven, robes of the purest white, His unlimited power, and the praise of the angels for the smallest, poorest, and most scandalous way to be born to an audience of the least important.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

            In the spirit of Christmas, we see true humility in the person of Jesus.  I cannot imagine serving any other God.  On what may not be a silent night, tonight, I know that through the coming of Jesus Christ, I have been made holy, and I am justified. 

            I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!  Eat good food, sing some carols, and don’t forget why we celebrate Christmas!