Right now, I am in the throes of motherhood. I have an almost 2-year-old, wild little boy. My days are mostly exhausting and sometimes rewarding. He is a lot of fun. Wes is currently running laps around the house pushing his dump truck while I type.
Two years ago, my life did not look like dirty laundry and dishes piling up everywhere. My house was not covered in trucks, blocks, and Legos. My life was calm and peaceful — just like I wanted it to be. I didn’t really cry on a regular basis from sheer exhaustion — just being honest. Life was different then.
Motherhood has this way of swallowing you whole and regurgitating you into someone new. It is all-consuming, 24/7, for the rest of your life. I don’t know anything like it besides maybe being born again in Christ. You are truly never the same again. When you become a mother, there is this tiny walking, breathing part of who you are, roaming the earth beside you. Most days I have to remind myself Wes is his own person. He has his own will, desires, preferences, and life ahead of him. Especially in these early days, we’re that incredibly synced.
In motherhood, I have experienced this immense calling to lay down my life for my child. It’s a challenging, deeply beautiful call I wouldn’t give up for the world. But nothing has been more pruning and refining than constantly, daily choosing someone else’s needs above my own. Recently, I have been taking that to unhealthy lengths, trying to follow Christ’s example of humility and love, and it has cost me some of the self-care I so desperately need.
I was reading in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” As I read this, something different and unique popped off the page. “Look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
In this verse, Paul is implying that you are to look to your own interests AND the interest of others. I realized I haven’t even been looking to my own basic interests or taking care of myself in the midst of being swallowed up in motherhood. And I felt the very real conviction of the Lord. Most days I will have fed my son three times before even feeding myself. And the lives of most moms I know look similar to this as well.
God doesn’t intend for mamas to run on empty the majority of their days, striving to portray this living embodiment of selfless, perfect motherhood.
“THE FATHER WANTS TO PARTNER WITH MAMAS, TAKING CARE OF THEM, MEETING THEIR NEEDS IN THIS MESSY, WILD ADVENTURE.”
As a friend lovingly told me, “Motherhood isn’t a walk, it’s a limp.” It’s a limp where we embrace our weakness, express our needs, and lean heavily on the grace of God that fills in all the places we lack.
If your mom is present in your life, take time to really thank her. Thank her for letting her life revolve around you for all the days of your life. Even if she wasn’t perfect, offer her grace today because Lord knows she’s probably not giving it to herself. Let today serve as a reminder to take care of your precious mamas when they so often forget to take care of themselves. Find a special way to encourage her and notice something special she has always done for you. If your mother isn’t present in your life, think about the women in your life that served as honorary mothers, and find a way to make them feel special and seen today.
If you are a mama yourself, be reminded today that you deserve care and rest too. You deserve to be taken care of. Let your family do the dishes, bring you flowers, take you to lunch, whatever it may be. Run to the Lord today and see what special message He wants you to know. Run to the Lord for Him to restore and bring a little extra rest to your soul. You need it. I need it. We all need it.
In short, if Mama is taking care of everyone else, who will take care of Mama? Today, embrace the mess, the craziness and draw near. Enjoy the hand-made cards, flower arrangements and goodies. Put your feet up and be reminded today to also look to your own interest most days. Turn your heart to the Lord, and let Him tell you how PROUD He is of the job you’re doing at the call He’s given you.
You are a beautiful thing to celebrate in this fallen world – a selfless reminder of the God Who loves us and laid down His life for us.