Wednesday, January 23, 2013

together we are enough

Last week I sat in a room full of mama's who had each woke that day with the very best intentions to love their children and their husband with every breath they take. As I sat, I see myself in so many faces and yet I barely know many of these women. We sit and we listen and we talk and many days we laugh or cry during this time too. We are all so different, yet one thing ties us together...the children we have committed to during their little years.  I have sat amongst this circle for almost 9 years through different seasons of having my own babies and this commitment, this desire to give these little years all our heart for the purpose of bringing up God's kingdom has never changed. It rings true for many of us. As these women have gathered rooms have changed, teachers have changed, children have changed, and faces in those chairs have changed...but the hearts all beat the same and for the same Lord and his calling for these little years.

As the years have gone by many themes seem to linger year after year. Many lessons I have learned through the hearts of these gals and I have found a safe place to feel the way I feel.  And as I have brought one and then two and then three and soon to be four little ones from my womb and into this circle of similar souls doing the same thing, I have watched as we each have walked a path of trying to be just who God made us in a world that screams at us to be everything. It is in that place of trying to be everything that so many of us come each week and sit in our chairs feeling a bit like we just haven't done enough to be who God made us to be. And in the last year I have personally stared that question in the face and asked myself...just what is enough?

It was no coincidence that after weeks of sick boys and missing this weekly gathering of similar mama's that I found my way back when the teacher for the day started off with the same question...only following with the assurance that after years in her own walk as a mama that surely, we are all enough...just the way we are.  A theme my own heart has entertained for some time now.

In this last year as I started to ask myself the questions of am I doing enough and how much can I do and what am I supposed to do and should I do this or should I be doing that? is here where I started to let myself feel like not enough and turn to the One who says...I made you to be only who you do what only you were made for and nothing more. As I started to believe this Truth that I don't have to be everything I started to feel free to be...just me. And thats all. So my list of what I should be or might be started to become a bit more balanced and it felt so good. And it was freeing. I started to believe I was enough...just the way I was.

In this place of needing to be enough I have found much peace in knowing that not everything must be done by me. I look around that room of women all bringing up their little ones and am thankful that some of them serve on the PTA and some of them head up church committees and some of them organize play-dates and some of them bake home-made goodies for their kid's classrooms and some of them plant beautiful gardens and some of them do fun art projects and some of them read 10 books a day to their kids and some of them home-school and some of them run marathons and some of them work part time and some of them memorize scripture and some of them sing in the worship band and some of them teach VBS classes and some of them play piano and some of them travel all the time with their kids  and some of them sew their kids costumes each year and so many other things too... and the beauty I have found in this last year as I keep walking along this path of motherhood is that I finally feel fine knowing I am not made to do everything. Because God made me to just do a hand full of things and do them well. Knowing He made all of us to do just a few things...not me peace as I can sit next to these other gals knowing they were made for many of these things that I can not do while I focus on doing the things that God gave just me for this time.

So I look around this room full of mothers with little ones and smile inside knowing that together, we are enough for this world and for our Creator. I hope we can walk away to our own homes feeling His encouragement to just do what we were made for today. To not listen to each other and feel less because of what every other mother is doing, but to feel like enough as we sit together each year and know we are doing what has been put on our own hearts, our own lists...written by our Creator for each of us. And I promise everything will not be on all our lists. Find your own lists today, know it is okay to cross things off because God already made another heart to fill that role somewhere and it doesn't always have to be you. God made me for my children and to walk in these little years in a way that nobody else can. He has done the same for all of you. So let that be and everyday. As we gather, our intentions are all similar, but our assignments from Him all look very different. To be enough, we must give everything to Him and only take back what He hands to us... which in His everything.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Come...sit with me

Another year is here. Another new beginning. I like new years. Some years I am sad to see it go, other years I can't wait to flip the calendar pages for a chance to start over, and other years I just roll right into the new one not much different from the day before. As I look back at 2012 the best word to describe my year is "stretch-marks". And not the kind left over from my post-pregnancy days. The kind that you can not see on me, but the ones you feel if you were to look into my heart. For 2012 was my year to stretch...far and wide...and it left many marks.

I spent much of my last year feeling the pull God was asking from me to teach me, mold me, make me more of His...and less of mine.  In many ways I feel like I slipped out of my old skin and into new, barely able to recognize some parts of who I had become along the way and oh so thankful for the chance to do better, to be better. I allowed myself the freedom to not be many things and in the process was freed to be just me in many ways I didn't know I was capable of.

So like many new years I look back and think forward for what is to come. I like to have places in my life that I am working on to better myself and often the month of January finds me scribbling some new goals down some where and making plans to plant those new goals into my every day life. Not your typical lose weight and eat better resolutions, but life growing goals that can affect me and the people around me. If you look back here, a year ago,  I had put in front of me a whole list of new goals. Those goals were good things and some of them I worked on and some of them I did nothing about except think about them. I made those goals in what I might call my Martha days. In my Martha days, I was much like Martha from the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible. I spent a lot of time preparing, planning, and trying to be ready. For what? Everything. My list of things to get done seemed pages thick and the Martha in me didn't take many breaks to be much like Mary.

In the last year, especially the last 6 months, I have grown more into a Mary. For when Jesus came calling, Mary stopped everything and sat at his feet, while Martha spent time preparing for His presence. Oh, how I have been Martha so many times. I've rose early with good intentions to be with Jesus and found I could get so much more done in my laundry room before the littles woke and skipped my good intentions of meeting with my Lord. I have let myself get lost in some tunes in the car while I drive instead of turning off the noise and talking to my Savior. The one who waits for me, always. I have put my Bible by my bed to read through before I close my eyes, only to have the TV call my name while I stared away more of His time. I have let my pages of "to-do's" get checked off as I told myself when it was done...then....later...when I had time...would I sit at Jesus feet. Sigh...the Martha in me has won so many times. But in the last year, the Mary in me as been so drawn to lead my days and start my ways. And if I could sit with Mary and Martha all those years ago, I am almost sure Mary would have felt more ready for her days then Martha did, even though she was the planned one.

So in this new year, 2013, I am not making a list of new goals. I have laid before me the only thing I want to stay with me for all the years to come. To be with Jesus.  Not just first thing in the morning or in my mom van by myself or as I lay my head down on my pillow. I want to open His word, as I have this last year, and drink in His living water. I want to be more like Mary and ignore the preparations around me enough to give Jesus my undivided attention. I want to let His word feed my soul and lead my a way I never have before. For my eyes see clearer when I have let His truth write the ways of this world to me. This year, as I turn the pages of my calendar, I leave all the lists that should be done...and in time will be...but I am telling my heart one thing...Be with Him. Sit at His feet. Drink in His living water. Let truth shine light on my ways of this new year. And so here I go... into a new year with no plans other then to find Him along the way each day and make Him wait no more while I work away. For I have been weary and it is not only time to sit, but it is time to let Him show me just what is so important to get done each day. I will sit at His feet... I will open my eyes... I will be willing when He says He is ready for me. This year and every year, I hope. Won't you join me?