Today's my second post in a 31 days series about Practicing Messy Motherhood.
This past weekend when I spoke at Influence, I breezed through some points from Nehemiah about how to build. The session was specifically centered around building God's Kingdom rather than our own. I'd studied that book of the Bible a good bit in preparation for my session and my first point that we could gather from Nehemiah was this: good building starts with brokenness + burden.
In Nehemiah, we find a prophet just weeping and weeping over the state of his city and from there, he goes on to do something much bigger than himself with the Lord's help. I wish that motherhood wasn't so much like building, but the longer I do it - the longer I find that my version of what will help me "start" rarely works. Pumping myself up and telling myself I'm a GREAT MOM rarely works. Chest bumping with my husband and telling each other WE GOT THIS rarely works. Trying harder doesn't work. Reading all the books doesn't work. Getting wisdom from Facebook doesn't make me a better mom. Even sleeping more, praying, and drinking coffee only gets me so far.
So instead, I'm starting with brokenness. I'm admitting to the Lord - here is where I feel really broken and inept. From there I'm moving on to letting myself feel genuinely burdened for my kids and our family and our future. Tomorrow I'm going to talk a little about the burdens I have, but today I wanted to create a space where I could genuinely do a little confessing and maybe allow any of you readers to do the same. I shared yesterday that I rarely blog about motherhood and I think in doing that, people have put assumptions on me that I cannot keep up with. I'm a messy mom. And here are my confessions.
- I didn't ever have deep desires to be a mom. I don't know why God was so gracious to me in spite of my lack of those desires, but He was. But I've never seen it is as my highest calling (I think following Jesus is my highest calling) and in some ways, I feel like I've never caught up to the mamas who always longed for it.
- Noise overwhelms me in a big way. I feel like I'm constantly saying "shhhhhh" and I hate it.
- I have a temper. And I'm a yeller. When I watch Michelle Duggar quietly bend down and whisper gently to her 18 small boys as they're wreaking havoc, I feel so broken. I don't want to be a yeller, but I have been in the past. And some of my kids are yellers to boot.
- We use paper plates almost every night for dinner, WHEN I make dinner. That just felt important to share.
- My kids see me use my iPhone and my computer fairly often and due to that, they enjoy using my iPhone and my computer fairly often. I wish they saw me use both less.
- I love going on dates and weekends away with my husband. I don't feel super sad to leave for date night and I get itchy if we don't get one each week. I'll call every single person I know and ask them to babysit if our regular babysitter is gone.
- We kind of sit out of a lot of "rites of passage". Our kids don't get money from the tooth fairy and we don't have big kid birthday parties.
- Our baby-toddler seems a tiny bit spoiled.
- Baths, teeth brushing, doctor's visits, and room cleaning. None of these things are super rhythmic for us, though I wish they were.
- I wish I prayed for and with my kids more.
Now! Let me say this. Some of these things I feel actually convicted about, some of these things I feel cultural guilt over. BUT I know that I know that God made me to be these particular four kid's mom. I know that there is hope. I know that they see Jesus in our home.
I'm ready to stop mourning over the messy parts of my motherhood that don't hold eternal weight and I'm ready to let myself be broken over the parts that do. I'm taking today to REALLY confess, to cry out to the Lord and hold my hands open. For me, this 31 days is not so much about writing for 31 days but about taking this time to ask God to move in my messy motherhood.
If you need to confess here, you go for it.
Repentance leads to refreshment (Acts 3:19-20) and there's no judgement here, friends.
Thanks for joining.