One Year a Mama
It doesn't seem like it should be time to reflect on being a mama for a whole year. Wasn't I just standing in a tiny hospital room, with a Crawford girl in my belly, looking at my newborn son for the first time? How has it been an entire year? If being a mama has shown my anything, it's revealed how true the scripture is that says that "life is a vapor" (James 4:14). The moments pass by quickly, the days fade away, and the months have passed without my permission. It happens quickly and it's my desire for my life to be on purpose. I wanted to share a few things today that I've learned about life and motherhood over the past year because I never want to forget the beginning of this journey of being a mama!
Becoming a mama isn't defined by one experience.
I became a mama when a saw a little boy in a bassinet who grew inside of someone else's belly. I became a mama when they rushed my into an operating room, sliced open my belly, and pulled out a little girl. Both times I became a mama, both time are special and significant for different reasons. Some become a mama through foster care, some through marriage. No matter how you become a mama, it's special and sacred and a gift. It's not defined by one experience and I'm so grateful I can celebrate the joy in both experiences I've had.
I choose to love my children.
Yes, there are days that feel warm and fuzzy and like a dream. But then there are days that are hard, days that I'm tired, days that I just don't feel warm and fuzzy. But I CHOOSE to love my children. I choose to pursue them. I choose to invest in them. Motherhood is more than a feeling, it's a calling that requires discipline and choice.
There's no greater opportunity to share the gospel than with the little unbelievers who live in my home.
There are two little people in my home who don't know Jesus. I live with little unbelievers and I have the opportunity, daily, to share the gospel with them. Some days I feel like I'm missing out by not living more life outside the walls of our home, but then I remember that there's nothing small about teaching the gospel to our children, praying that the Lord would save them. This fact convicts me and makes me want to live my day to day life on purpose.
The "survival mode" days are a chance to experience the Holy Spirit more.
In those day, weeks, months that just felt like I was trying to survive it... I had an opportunity to experience the Holy Spirit more. As my own strength ran dry, I could on Jesus. As my patience was wearing thin, I could lean on Jesus. As I was overwhelmed with the task of caring for two needy infants, I could lean on Jesus. I'm learning that every opportunity in motherhood opens the door for me to cry out to Jesus with my palms up.
Schedules keep me sane.
Y'all. I love schedules. I LOVE SCHEDULES SO MUCH. Schedules give me life. Working hard when they were tiny to get them on routines has honestly been one of the biggest game changers for us not to feel so completely overwhelmed all the time. I am a schedule nerd and I love it, my kids love it, my house loves it!!! Life is just so much better for us when we live it (mostly) in routine.
Walking through parenthood on the same "team" as my husband makes life so much sweeter.
The most incredible thing that's happened to our marriage is having babies. Yes, we were a family before. But now we're a team like we didn't experience before we had babies in our home. I love that Tyler is the one I can lean on when I'm tired and I can cheer him on as a dad. When we realize that we're on the same team, reaching for the same goals, it makes parenting together so much sweeter. We have this great opportunity to experience this together and it's one of the sweetest joys of our marriage!
In a world where you can read the opinions of many in seconds, there's only One opinion that matters.
There are opinions everywhere I look and I can jump on facebook or instagram and in seconds have opinions on any question I might have. But I'm learning to stay quiet, to ask the Father what He thinks, and to trust what He's telling me. He's given ME the unique privilege of taking care of the babies He's given me. I am most equipped for this particular job and when I focus in on Him, I can rest in peace knowing that He will lead me and guide me as questions and problems arise!
Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint.
This one has given me so much grace. I so badly want to do it right. I want to give them a beautiful childhood, teach them about Jesus, and watch them grow up to be good humans who love others. But some days I fail. But, this is not a sprint. Motherhood is long distance. Doing it right will take discipline and time and learning to ask for forgiveness from my children when I fail. Motherhood takes discipline on my part and settling in for the long haul. So the days where I mess up, I want to choose to humbly ask for forgiveness and keep going. Because I have lots more days to try again.
The dishes can wait.
This is one I want to constantly remind myself of more for the next tiny baby we bring into our home. The dishes can wait, so go snuggly that baby, mama! Babies don't keep. They change, literally, every single day. Sometimes I have to choose to sit in the mess and look at my kids in the eyes. My investment in them will far outweigh the investment I could ever make in a spotless home.
Rhythms help me to stay on top of things without much thought.
This is one that really helps me with that point above. When I'm disciplined to really learn "rhythms", I'll have fewer days where I have to choose to leave the dishes in the sink. Right now we are coming out of a really challenging 6 weeks and our rhythms have been out of sync and I've felt the pressure from that. But the times where we've chosen to be disciplined to learn those few rhythms that help our home run smoothy it makes our time together as a family so much more intentional. (I'm going to share more about the rhythms we have been trying to implement in our home soon!)
I cannot be defined by motherhood.
Being a mama is not all I am. In order to be their mama well, I first need to be found in Jesus. When I'm walking with Jesus daily, that will flow over into mothering my children. My life has to be centered around the person of Jesus, nothing else.
Truly, this is the greatest earthly joy I've ever known.
The past year has been the most incredible of my entire life. The joy I've felt from loving these two tiny people absolutely blows my mind. Being a mama is such a gift and I never want to be numb to the weight of that. I'm grateful for the joy that it is of being their mama.