Today is Day Nine of 31 Days of Encountering God! If you missed the kick-off, you can go HERE and find the Introduction as well as each days post! (I will be adding every day as the month goes on!)
Encountering God in Parenthood... (Pt 2)
So today we are continuing with the thoughts of how we encounter God while we parent... in how He shows up for us, with us, through us (gasp) when it comes to our Littles (and not-so-Littles, too!)
Here is Part 1 in case you missed it!
Now, on to Part 2:
I remember being new at this whole motherhood thing. Feeling all the feelings of being overwhelmed and underqualified... how I secretly longed to just be real - and risk the tears and judgment of really just saying I was winging it most of the time! I was at a low point, after one too many Terrible Three days in a row when my sister was watching me with my girlie. I could feel her eyes and when I was finished with the task at hand, I slowly allowed mine to meet hers.
She smiled at me and said, "You are anointed to do this.
You are a natural at being a Mama."
That helped more than I think I ever told her! How we NEED other Mama's to come alongside us and tell us what they see... to give encouragement and hand out a You'll-Get-Through-This... to offer help and coffee and folding laundry... to speak life into our weary sleep deprived souls when our littles are little... but OH HOW WE NEED IT when they are not so little too!
In our little family of three... in the midst of our units' Growing Up years, there were chunks of time when it felt like I was doing (almost) everything right... I was definitely the good girl... the good wife, the good Mom, the good friend... I was really super busy being all of those titles... sometimes I was busy doing what I was supposed to be doing, but often - well, often, I was just busy.
There were (gracefully) shorter chunks of time when I felt quite certain that I had done every. single. thing. wrong...
I took a lot of pride in how I was a Mom. I mother... it's not just what I do but it is who I am... but every so often, I would feel like it was a sham. Because - not a one of us makes it through too many days in a row (if any) without blowing it somewhere. I wrote in an earlier post about how we are never done Mothering... how we all need a Mama to hold us up... and we need to be one who comforts and speaks life... how we need to "reach out, knowing that no matter the age of our children, "Mother" is not just what we are called, but it is who we are... it is what we do and it is not limited to the Littles we are raising!"
Here's the thing about Encountering God in parenthood... there is no performance test... no checklist... no shadow of turning. He meets us there at every turn and if we look for Him, we will find Him!
We have an Only girlie... so there are all kinds of pressures with that. In some ways it's harder I suppose, and in many ways it is easier... but in all ways - it is both a job and a gift... it is work and a joy... it is pain and it is pride and it is all things beautiful even when it is falling-apart-messy.
I remember from early on... God would lovingly rat my kid out! It didn't take long before she knew it and I knew it and she has a limited amount of time to just fess up on her own... He encountered her in the hard ways because He loved her (and me!) but there were many times when I knew He would encounter her in sweetness and worship - pouring love and grace all over her and causing her to overflow and spill right out all around her.
Oh how He has done the same with me!
I have written all over this blog in the past couple of years... hinting at a hard season - never giving complete details because this story is not all my own to tell. I can say this - it was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through in parenting... the death of dreams... the feelings of failure... the reality that His grace is more needed and more available than you ever thought possible. I failed... all of us failed... but through it all - God was encountering us in heaps on our kitchen floor... in brokenness and numbness... in fear and failings... in drawing us in and speaking life when death and endings were all we saw.
Now - even as I type this, I can know we are on the other side because I read back over that I think, "Wow - that just sounds so dramatic!" But it was... ok - maybe it wasn't - but in the midst of it all - it sure felt like too much! I didn't know that we would survive it.
I doubted that 'anointing' to mother... I questioned the call to the One Thing that I thought I was so awesome at... and oh my stars how I needed an encounter with Wisdom and Grace Himself and He never ever once loosened His grip on me! I can assure you - that if He was there for me... He is there for you, friend! He will not let go!
Graduation 2013 (This is real life, ya'll... real love... real heart-to-heart connectedness!)
He sees us through and lifts us up! Jesus is ever interceding on our behalf and we have a choice to look for Him and find Him... or to harden our hearts, play the blame game, and pull away. Can I whisper truth to you? Even then... He will not relent!
This family thing - it was His idea. He is so relational and He gets it! He is both a Father and a Son... I may go as far as saying He is also a Mother and a Daughter - as He is both Male and Female... and no matter what angle we are coming from... He gets us. He knows and sees the ups and the downs - and there is never ever one split second that He considers cutting and running! He is in this... and we are grafted in. We are family... He and us... you and I...
So let's look for Him on the good days - when we celebrate wins and good grades and the making of memories... and let's look for Him on the bad days - when the future is uncertain, choices are questionnable and hearts are breaking...
Let's purpose to Speak Life... to Be Love... to Shine On - in our homes with our families... and out loud - in real life and online - because this parenting gig is tough on all of us and we are Family, ya'll! We're in it together! And I've read somewhere that whenever two or three are gathered... well - there He is!
Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
...and of course, over at The Nester with 1o00s of other #31Day Bloggers!
So... how can I pray for you today? What do you need to
know be reminded of when it comes to parenting? It would be my honor to take your requests right on up to Him... to sit in His lap where He and I... we will pray for your family!