Writing in early morning is my favorite place to embrace the stilled moments. Colors of sunset hues are bursting thru my window panes and ushering a readiness for introspection and for inspiration. This has become my sacred place of respite and of retrieve for I know that it fuels my spirit with perspective for what awaits me in the day. I began thinking about how the last moments I had prior to becoming a mother was carving out this moment of journaling and of prayer while overlooking the Ngong Hills in Kenya, Africa. The pages were marked by an overflow of how the circumstances called me to arise in either doubt or faith and also spoke of gratitude for life-changing experiences of feet planted among the soil. I glance down at my journal on this particular morning and see the similar marks of calling forth faith and gratitude in the here and now.
In this quiet morning, I thought of how I felt alive and purposed pouring out my heart on those beautiful hills and the comparative pull of now years later, three children added, and how I can feel purposed in my position, yet ache with longing at the same time to be back among that place: a place where the wrestle of not enough and of inadequacy did not attack my soul in the same ways I can be tempted with today.
It is in this moment of process that I write this letter to you as we sit upon the hills and the trenches of motherhood together:
I have been listening to the hearts of a wide range of stages and struggles of mothers and even amidst the differing details found within them I hear a repetitive theme of wrestling with the present. You see Africa is my experience of when I last felt the wind of independence upon my spirit and I hear mothers struggling thru the guilt of finding themselves on the hard days going back to their own moment as well.
Becoming a mother changes your responsibilities in such specific ways. It is a road of journey where the moments of doing things with an audience is part of your daily functioning for quite some years. For example, it seems that an invitation is extended for a mother and child in bathroom visits, when to drink that hot steamy cup of coffee, how to find exercise regimen, how to engage with friends and community, and the list continues. Becoming a mother is the deepest gift of the heart, yet what I have encountered is that if I hold too tightly to “my africa hills moment of freedom” then I quickly see all of the child moments as interruptions rather than world-changing opportunities.
I want you to think of your “Africa moment” and the time that when you struggle you sense your spirit going back to that time when you once had more freedom and felt a sense of thriving in your independence.
I wrote down these two lessons I have learned within my 7 years of motherhood that seem to be on repeat teaching mode to my spirit and wanted to share them with you.
If you focus too heavily on the doing, then your being will suffer the impact of never being enough.
Mama, know that the be it all things mother amidst a fast-paced culture is not a marker of your success. There will be days that the laundry will be piled higher than the sky, dishes overflowing on countertops in your kitchen, school papers forgotten, intense reactions to attitudes and stress and anxiety may become you. It is never in those moments that your presence as mother is defined. I see you rising above the laundry the next day, showing up once again to the meals and the dishes, remembering the papers, responding in grace, and then calm and gratitude fuel you. It is about the ebb and the flow. Allow those “never being enough” moments to not define you, because it is in this time that you are changing the world by how you show up, despite the hard. Your children are learning resiliency thru you and that will teach them how to trudge thru the hard parts of life because they have you right there with them.
You are a world changer in being true to your calling.
Dreams are powerful and can lead a heart down adventurous roads, yet never forsake the dreams found within the home in order to get there.
Mama, I am a dreamer and my dreams travel me around the richest of experiences in the world. There are days that I can become so connected to them that the day in tasks of the mundane defeat my spirit because I long to be there. There will be days that you wrestle with “if I could just be there or do that” then I can feel myself at rest and in thriving mode, yet I am here to testify that if my heart cannot find the dreams fulfilled of answered prayers in my home then I will wrestle just the same on the other side of the world. Allow those dreams to be a place included within your calling, not a place of opposition against them. Your children are learning opportunity of investment thru your heart desires and it’s in those moments that you are changing the world by how you speak belief and confidence into them. Dreams deepen in how we wait for them.
My affirmation: I carve out my independent moments of fuel for my spirit and I dream bigger than seems possible. I am voicing gratitude for how being mother teaches my spirit the power of the here and the now.
May your season grant you peace to your calling.