#findingtheheart of Mothering

Well, I know that not everyone here is a mom. Here’s the thing though. There is a “mothering” that we all, as women, possess.

You may not think so, but some of the most encouraging and mothering people are the ones who do not have children of their own.

Let me explain myself a little better.

There are multiple people in my life who have proven to be women with a mothering spirit. They do not have children of their own, but they find ways to encourage, love without restraint, extend grace, wisdom, direction and are a firm yet soft place to land when we just can’t keep on.

Sometimes, those of us who are rearing children, forget that mothering isn’t just cutting up bites to eat, wiping noses, changing diapers, checking take-home folders or doing mounds of laundry day in and day out. We get lost in the to-do’s of having children that we often forget to mother our children.

I, of all people, enjoy and NEED a tidy home. I just do. I don’t play the “we’re making memories so my house is a wreck guilt trip game either”. I have clearly told my family that I am less anxious, tired or crabby when, at least, the living and kitchen spaces are picked up. I don’t even need them perfect or scrubbed, just picked up. They know that Mom is in a better place to snuggle, read books, play games, laugh, and enjoy time together than otherwise. No regrets. I can get so caught up in the day to day requirements though, that I forget they want my heart. They want the mothering spirit, touch and attention. This is a hard thing for me. I’m sure that through the years after Noah died, I have had struggles with connection in regards to my girls. I have noticed that. It is easier to function and keep going in the chores, to-do lists and routines. But, my girls’ hearts come alive and they respond to my happiness, my desire to just be with them and the fun we have when I remember to mother them, not just keep them alive. 😉

Finding the heart of my mothering means that I let go of a lot, purposefully regain perspective as often as possible, speak clearly the things that help me be a better mom so my husband and both girls can help keep those things done, for all of our betterment. Finding the heart of this incredible adventure that is mothering takes sober self assessment, lots of apologizing to my girls when I’ve wronged them and sacrifice to put away the mindless things and focus on the important things that are fleeting before my eyes.

Psalm 39:4-7

“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
If our life is fleeting, then what are we doing? If you have children of your own, how are you pointing them to Christ, salvation, the Gospel?
If you do not have children of your own, but you are an adult and work with children, have nieces, nephews, students, Sunday School class, Girl Scouts, friends’ children, community neighbors, Boys and Girls Club, Scouts, etc.
Children are a gift from the Lord and we each have children in our life that need someone to mother them.
Be what you needed as a child. Shower the children in your life with love, grace, space to imagine and play and love. Mother them with the love of Christ.
Ladies, for those of you who have already raised your children, you either have grand kids or you have children in your church, community that NEED your love. They need your wisdom, tender affection, listening ear and gentle reminders.YOU ARE NOT FINISHED! You have not expired. You are needed now, more than ever, to gift the word with your love. Teach Sunday School, help with VBS, send encouraging notes to the schools for the students taking STAAR test, bake cookies and take them up to the schools for the teacher’s lounge, PRAY PRAY PRAY. The generations need your love and they survive on your prayers. Do not give up the ship!
Single women, YOU ARE ROCKSTARS with ENERGY and COOLNESS 🙂 Seriously, kids love you and moms adore you because you have bits of energy to come in and play Barbies for a little while, or trucks. You can entertain and monitor while she gets a nap or can run a few errands without kids in tow. You are the coolest person on the planet to the kids in your life. You have a perspective that also keeps us moms in perspective. You remind us that it is a privilege and an honor to have children. You remind us that our kids are treasures and that they aren’t the most annoying thing in the world. Your love, attention and care are LIFE to the mommas in your world. Trust me.
How do you find yourself mothering those in your life? Are you a good listener? Are you full of grace and an abundance of acceptance? Do you wish you could have a do-over sometimes? You are not out of time to love someone. You have the capacity to love, serve, mother and care for the people/children God has placed in your life!
Maybe you ARE a mom and you’re gasping for air. You are barely floating and you are in need of a refresher. Reach out! Reach out to your college or youth group at church! Reach out to the children’s ministry for ideas on how to help connect you with someone who can network with you and be community! Do not feel ashamed of this! Get into a counselor! Join a gym. Let’s help you figure out ways to find the heart of your  mothering, the heart of your home and how to keep it healthy! It doesn’t have to be hard!
Be encouraged! This life is not meant to be lived alone! You are capable and able to do what God has called you to do! In and out of seasons, God is using you to bring others to him. That is a huge deal!
Whatever season you find yourself in, know that God is using every bit of that season for his purpose and his glory!
Much love,
Shaina
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