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Lessons in Mamahood – I am not static.

October 22, 2018

It was the final few minutes of my barre class and I was laid flat on my back staring up at the ceiling. The lights were off, music low, and we were stretching to finish out the hour.

That’s when it hit me.

I had this odd realization that I am not the same person I once knew.

My mind flashed with all kinds of past seasons – like college days or mission adventures or newlywed months – and I became so acutely aware of how much has changed. Not only around me, but in me. I’m so different, I thought.

My friend Erin emailed me a few months ago asking the question of how I have found myself since becoming “mom.”

I thought on it for a few days and then sent back these words:

I’ve gotten to know myself today. I came to realize quickly – but also over time too – that I am not the same. Things are not as they were before. Just like my body isn’t as it was, so I think there is a part of me that is different too. Maybe the same pieces, but it all sits a little differently. The stretching, tearing, expanding of preparing for motherhood has left me changed.

So I take time to learn who I am now. I sit with my thoughts. I take note of what goes through my mind. I let me be me, as I am, in relationships and friendships even when it’s a slightly altered version from before. I decided I didn’t need everything to go back to “normal.” There is a “new” and I decided to get to know the new.

Erin later posted words on social media that powerfully summed up what I was trying to say, which was this:

I am not static. So I am befriending my becoming.

I find this realization equally freeing and terrifying.

So much of me has changed and I am thankful for that. I want the God who moves us from glory to glory to move in and through me as well. I want such moves of him to be evident and tangible. Not all of them will be, of course, but I know there is beauty in the realization that things are shifting, resettling, and redefining.

But then it’s just as uncomfortable. Who really am I, so I wondered as I stared up at the barre studio’s ceiling. What do I dream for? Who am I becoming? What stirs or frightens or activates me most?

Those are powerful questions. At times it’s easy to answer them from what I know to be true based on prior seasons. The challenge for me, though, is to consider my answers in connection to who I find myself to be today.

Allowing myself space to wrestle with those questions reveals what I didn’t know about myself — the new, surprising, and not so pretty too.

Motherhood is teaching me that I am changing. Just as I am getting to know with wonder the little ones in my care who are growing and maturing each second of their lives, so I must befriend myself.

I must get to know who I am today as I am now.

Because ultimately, to surrender to the truth that I am not static necessitates I hold space for myself to grow in the process.

The new things God promised throughout Scripture are those that begin in us. He is changing, renewing, and upgrading us. Resting into the truth that we are different today frees us not only to know who we are through past history but also through present moments.

Here is where we meet God. This is our sacred ground where where we learn what he is doing and who he is making us to be.

So allowing ourselves the opportunity to change and become keeps fresh life flowing from us. It holds space for God to do in us what we could not know or imagine apart from him. And it keeps us breathing, dreaming, and living with him what comes today.



4 Truths I’m Living by in this Crazy Season of Mamahood

January 26, 2018

“I can’t believe I said kids,” I told my husband this past weekend about a conversation I had the evening prior. As I recounted it all to him, I found myself catching up on the reality of my own life. While some moments it feels so natural and normal that we are parents of two littles, others I am left totally amazed by it.

The best word I can put to the last two months of adjusting to our new normal is that it’s been wild. Certain things have been much easier this time around – sleep deprivation isn’t as shocking and we’re not as worried by about each moan and groan our newborn makes. But having to juggle our toddler’s needs and transition on top of the typical newborn demands make for its own challenges.

In my current state of joy-meets-survival, I’ve been running over in my mind specific truths that are keeping me not only sane but actually living, breathing and enjoying the crazy of today. So in case you too are in a pressing, demanding, or overwhelming season, here are my four go-tos I’m reiterating to myself these days.


1. Grace, Grace, Grace…

…Because you and I can never extend ourselves enough grace. This has by far been one of the biggest lessons I’m learning as a mom, specifically to tap into the well of grace for myself. To drink and live from it. No one else can make me do this. Instead I must choose to extend myself the grace to live in the present and there be just as I am.

What I mean by that is that if you are weepy today, it’s okay to love and serve and live from that place. Don’t be concerned with “pulling yourself together,” but instead be as you are. Be your own offering of grace. Whisper to and remind yourself that you are doing your best and whatever that is today, it’s enough. Some days that won’t feel like much and even still, allow yourself to breathe and be as you are.

A lot changes in a day, a conversation, or an instance when we extend to ourselves the opportunity to be enough as we are.

2. It’s all a season.

At times these words bring me great comfort. As I’m currently going on 8 weeks of waking up multiple times in the night, this truth is like a gift I cannot wait to open. This will end, I remind my tired self each morning, and you will one day sleep more than 3 hours stretches again. Thank you God.

But these words are also a difficult reality to embrace because, though they are comforting, they carry the story that nothing stays as it is. As my eyes scan between my newborn and my toddler, I am deeply aware of the rapid passage of time. In a blink of an eye it all changes, and often unnoticed. I don’t remember the last time Eloise called Mark “Dada” or that her go-to was crawling. The changing was sudden, but so subtle too.

So reminding myself that this is a season allows me to access the patience and joy to live well whatever is right now, and there be present in it.

3. This is your story, so write it.

When Eloise was only eight months old I took her to a conference on faith and revival happening near us. It was three days of just the two of us. Nothing was easy about it, but I had purposed that this was important to me as her mom. It wasn’t a decision directed by someone else’s advice, which can feel like most of mamahood. Instead it was fueled by my personal desire to bring her with me into an atmosphere that would awaken her spirit.

What came out of that conference was unbelievable moments. I watched as she was blessed by one of my great heroes, prophesied by strangers about the woman she would grow into, and participated in what God was doing in the room in her eight-month-old way. It was one of the most empowering times I’ve had as a mom because it had to do with me actively partnering with God in writing the story of her life and our family.

And the unbelievable gift is that we can partake in writing that story. To make decisions that align with the desires we carry for ourselves, our families, and our futures. And so to honor the whisper we hear deep within us about who we are becoming.

4. You can always leave the cart.

The first time I ventured out solo with Eloise I texted my friend Erin telling her what I was about to do. At the time I was slightly terrified about what might happen out in public. I wondered how I would handle her screaming in the cereal aisle, or worse yet in the middle of us checking out. My mind ran through every possible scenario that could take place, all in which things went vastly awry.

But then Erin wrote back words I have never forgotten: just remember you can always leave the cart.

I read over them and couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought about that before. What Erin was suggesting was that if it didn’t work out this time, it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to force things. I could leave my food, walk out of the store with my baby, and try again another day. Things didn’t have to go a certain way for me to deem it a success.

Because the cart isn’t important and the food doesn’t matter.

I have often reminded myself of Erin’s words because of how freeing I found them to be. She reminded me to keep focused on what was important and not stress about what I couldn’t control. No matter how that excursion panned out, it was all good. Why? Because I was moving outside my comfort (and control) zone and actively participating in the story being written that day. And ultimately I’m pretty sure that’s what makes life fun and allows us to enjoy our present reality even when life is full-on crazy.

Live Here. Love Now.

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