When I first caught the hints that Lisa-Jo was writing a book, I knew... I just knew two things right away.
1. It would be for all the Mama's out there... and
2. I was going to have to have it. (and probably have to buy several copies in order to get to keep one for myself!)
However... Surprised by Motherhood... well, to be honest, I am sort of on the tail end of mothering a
My Little Fam circa 2011
(Can you even?)
There is a gifting that she has that builds up and encourages... a sisterhood in motherhood that simply lovingly just scooches on over and makes room. In her brave honesty of how she has loved and lost; how she didn't want to be a Mom and then all of the sudden she did... she was; in how she shares those wretched hard days of babies and toddler years and the raw truth of having to learn to love, and forgive, and love, and... you get it... you've probably lived it too and that is the point!
On page 30 - only page 30 - Lisa-Jo writes it clear - this ache in my heart for the season that I am in, and she is no where near it yet! I am a Mama to an Only Nearly Grown Girlie... we are in that lovely hard transition space of letting go and leaning in... the dance of becoming less Authority, more Friend. So when I read these words... I knew! I knew that whole book through would be filled with grace and knowing - even though she has yet to Mother through the latter years of childhood and teendom. She wrote this:
"Mothers may want to find room to breathe, to weep, to panic. But they don't want it to end --this delivering, shaping, cheering, loving, bringing life into the world."Amen! We don't. I don't. I don't want it to end and here is the biggest Surprised by Motherhood reality:
For better (on the good days!) or worse (on the less than good ones!) - it doesn't ever end! This Mothering that leaks out and over and fills in gaps and covers over wounds... it never ends! It has become part of who we are, it's not just what we do.
We mother because we are Mama's. We are Surprised by Motherhood because who knew a human being could have this capacity to love so fiercly... to protect and serve... to care for a tiny (or not so tiny) human, even when we feel so unable, unworthy, unqualified? Who knew God could work through a sleep deprived, cranky post pardom Mama, and rock us all deeper and deeper in love at 3a.m.? Who knew that somehow - having your very heart beating on the outside of you changes how you breath and move and changes what you hope for and cling to? Who knew staying up late, listening for a text or a front door while trying to remain calm and collected was a life skill that one has to practice and learn in order to get 'good' at? Who knew our own children would break our hearts time and time again and all the while, we bind theirs up, offer grace and a safe place to land, and point them to Jesus? He knew... that's right. He always knew!
I am Surprised by Motherhood every day - by how I know deep down in my bones that I was made for this. Whether I am mothering my Girlie, friends, family... neighbors, strangers, readers in the Interwebs... Mothering is what comes out... it is all grace and compassion and laughter and hugs... and it is Jesus, every single time.
So whether you are a Mom, you have a Mom, or you know a Mom... Surprised by Motherhood should be at home on your bookshelf and in your gift closet... this book needs to be given on Mother's Day and at every Baby Shower from here on out because what we must know... what we must remember is that this Motherhood thing? We don't have to go it alone!
He's got you. We've got you... and there is room on our bench, and we'll even share the chocolate!