Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Gift of No.

Dearest Lovely Momma,

I see you. I see you extend yourself beyond what you thought you could ever do. I'm not even talking about your belly during pregnancy. The fight to lay yourself low is a daily battle. The fight, I know that you know, is worth it. It just doesn't always feel that way does it? The bending low. It's hard. It's not what you expected and I know you are quite certain that sometimes while every child around you, squeals for you to, "Watch me, watch me, Momma!" that you left quite unseen. By anyone unless you have "failed" in the eyes of those that you serve. It is easy to feel unappreciated, undervalued, left to the side, unloved even. It is easy to give in to doubt and fear. It is easy to believe that it all, yes ALL of it rests on your tiny shoulders.

Yes, I know that you know that God sees you. I know that you know that it is He that will give you the grace, moment by moment to mother the children in your home. I know that you have to tell yourself, time and again, that those in your home that you serve aren't trying to be ungrateful or unloving. That they too are learning, as you teach them with words and deeds, to die to themselves. 

You also know that what God has called, "good," the world sees as a waste of time or talent or whatever. Except you're not. You're right where you need to be, momma. You know that you could be doing something else, somewhere else and you probably wouldn't end your day with your teeth unbrushed (again) and sticky floors right after you mopped. 

I just wonder though, if some of this weight comes from all of the good things you're trying to do outside of what you have piled on top of yourself at home. I just wonder if it's all too much and that maybe, just maybe it's not going to crash atop you, leaving you wondering if maybe the world is right. I just wonder if you need another momma to tell you that being a mom to your kids is enough. That it is enough to just be a mom right now. If you are a momma who has more children than she does hands (or your hands are constantly occupied carrying a baby) and most of those said children cannot buckle themselves, are not 100% potty trained, and cannot carry a gallon of milk into your home for you, then what you are doing is enough. I just is. From one mom to another. It is. I promise.

Butttt....you say...

                               what about

                                                    ....church...outreach...poor people...racial injustice...social injustice...abortion...foster children....the refugee crisis....President Trump (kidding, (kind of)...you need to laugh at yourself, momma)....

The list of butts (insert my hysterical laughing kids here) could go on forever, but those littles (and bigs) in front of you only have one mom. Just you.

So please put down, Don't Waste Your Life, Crazy Love, or whatever Matt Chandler book you happen to be reading now because if you are raising your children faithfully, you are not wasting a single day of your life. You are exhibiting the kind of love daily, that God has for you. You love the unlovely every single day of your life. You are going against what society has said is a waste of time, and you have said is valuable because God says it's valuable. That is crazy love. That's motherhood.

There will be, Lord willing, a day when you can pick up those books again. But for right now, momma, read the Word together, memorize it together, pray for them and with them, look at your kids when they squeal for you to, play, read, laugh, sing, cry, say you're sorry when you sin and make forgiveness real in your home. Hug them often, tell them that Jesus loves them in spite of their sin, that they need him MOST of all in their little lives, that no matter what they do or who they become that you will love them always and always and forever. 

Pretty, pretty please today think about all you have to do that is a choice (outreach, serving etc.) and ask yourself why you are doing them. Ask yourself if you are doing them because you feel like you have to. Ask yourself if you're doing them because you want people to think well of you (ouch!). Ask yourself if you're doing something because you believe that no one else will do it. Think and pray through all of your outside commitments and ask yourself how that effects your children (your husband too) personally. Are they constantly cranky because you're out of the house when they should be at home napping? You might have to give yourself the gift of no. Give others the opportunity to serve. 

I'm not saying don't serve. I'm not saying don't care (obviously you do.) I'm not saying, don't go when the Lord clearly is leading. I think you know what I'm saying. At least I hope you do....

Because here is the ugly truth that the world will never in a gajillion years admit: you can't do it all, momma. You just can't.

We have only one Savior. And it's not you. His name is Jesus. Let Him do the saving. You don't have to, thankfully. You just be a faithful momma. There is a time for all things. Right now your time is to be a mom. 

And that is enough.

in HIM,

kari pope (who might have written this letter to herself. just saying')

PS: if you are struggling here. A great resource on Mothering is Mom Enough. You can buy the book here at Amazon if you enjoy holding a book or download it for free here. They are excellent, encouraging, quick blog posts compiled into a book on motherhood by godly women whom I admire.