Before motherhood I danced.
Multiple nights a week I’d flip and twirl to the west-coast swing in honky-tonks, or gracefully slide and dip my way through the fox trot in jazzy super-clubs. Dancing was like breathing to me. It was my passion before children. I didn’t go to those places looking for love—I went to dance clubs because I simply had to dance.
I had to.
When my first child was born all that stopped.
It had to.
Read those last three lines again and notice the contradiction. My deep needs and the needs of my little person were now in opposition to one another. So I laid my own needs down and, in a way, I laid down my life.
“Greater love has no mom than this, that she lay down her life for her family.” (John 15:13, a mother’s translation)
There is a crazy amount of laying down our lives in this blessed season of motherhood, is there not? And it’s good and right and beautiful. But, I suggest, so are you. Your unique passions and pleasures, the way you delight in music, art, poetry, reading, decorating, party throwing, ministry, gardening … all of it is good and right and beautiful.
But sometimes they simply don’t fit together. And that’s alright.
During these early years of motherhood, they tend to contradict and collide, your needs and theirs. They rub painfully up against one another at times, and so we lay another piece of our multi-faceted lives down to care for theirs. Again, this is right and good and beautiful, however:
“To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Which means that the seasons of sacrifice will be followed by other seasons, including seasons of rebirth.
Like a seed, lying dormant beneath the dark earth, buried there awaiting the promise of spring.
I often refer to these intense mothering years as “The Dark Age,” when all the light of a woman’s uniqueness grows dim for a while. However, in the story of human history, the dark ages have always preceded a renaissance of sorts. A rebirth. A reawakening. The promise of a coming spring.
It is my heartfelt hope, if you have laid down some of the really dynamite parts of your God-design, in order to lift up the people in your home, that in the years ahead you rediscover the fearfully and wonderfully made pieces of yourself again.
God did an incredibly good job when He purposefully hand-crafted you, just as He did. Your heart that beats for hospitality, was intentionally stitched into your fibers, though you can’t imagine throwing a tea party today. Still, God put it there in you.
When God created the heavens and the earth He said, “That’s good.” He made the light to shine and said, “That’s good.” And then He made the oceans to teem with living things and, again, He said, “That’s good.” And it was the same when He created you—He looked with pleasure upon you and said, “That’s good too!”
In this present season, we are well aware of the wonderful work God did when he wove our children together. There is poetry in their upturned noses and long lashes. We delight in the pitch of their laughter and the natural gifts popping up out of them each day. However, as we join Him in the celebration, let us not forget that He uniquely wove us together too!
You. Their mom!
He did such a wonderful job when he made yellow your favorite color and hiking your favorite past time, and fresh squeezed orange juice your favorite drink. He did a good job when He made you happy in the sunshine and quiet in the rain. He did a good job when he gave you a mind for numbers and a heart for friendship and a love for conversation. He made your soul to ache, in a good way, at the sound of Ella Fitzgerald’s voice and leap like a gazelle at the touch of your husband’s hand.
All these special nuances tend to get lost for a short season, as we care for those around us. But, fear not! The Renaissance of your life will come upon you like a new dawn. It’s a promise!
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Let me affirm you: Every sacrifice you’ve made in mothering has been captured in the loving hand of your creator. Embrace the beauty of your present blessings, as you trust Him to hold all the other blessings – your talents and treasures, your passion and pleasures, your delight and your design. He is holding on to all of your dreams as you live this “dream come true” we call motherhood.
And when the time comes, and the slivers of stolen moments during naptime stretch into longer lengths, it is my hope that you will rediscover, again, all the things you laid down … for a season.
Resources for the mom who is longing for her own personal renaissance:
Life Creative: If you are a creative personality longing to dabble again in your inspired life, I invite you to join a new community of moms on Instagram. These ladies are presently blending their unique passions into the everyday ordinary moments of mothering. Come be inspired!
The Becoming Conference: Sometimes a Creative Retreat with likeminded woman is just the thing to awaken in us the long sleeping parts of our creative hearts. Join me, August 5-6, at The Becoming Conference in North Carolina for a weekend of fun. The main themes of the retreat are “Becoming more creative, purposeful, and frugal.” If this retreat doesn’t resonate with you, that’s okay, but I encourage you to find one that does. A little time away reminds us of the uniqueness of our autonomy, and that God did a good job when He made us, just as He did.
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