Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, Friend!

I love a good mommy blog.  I love reading about why families make certain big decisions about education or being a working or stay at home mom. I love garnering parenting and mommy knowledge and the how to's of a simplified life.  I’m so thankful that we have access to endless information (sometimes) and that people are willing to share. I even like looking at Pinterest and pinning ideas I will never execute. It’s just fun (to me). I’m constantly learning how to be a better mother and expanding my repertoire of discipline tacticsJ (and how to take a picture of a kid that won’t sit still). With that said, though, not much compares to living out my imperfect, messy, sinful, mommy ways in community with other moms. I learn the most about being a great mom in that place, not from a blog or book.

Yesterday, I left the playground refreshed.  With each new play date, I leave with a full heart and happy soul.  I don’t intend for the play dates to be about me. I really don’t; however, just as my boys thrive with their friends wielding stick swords, getting muddy, and playing ninjas, my soul thrives in conversations with the women God has placed in my life. 

Check out that ladybug…wait…check out that spider!

 We talk in broken, soul nourishing sentences while bandaging boo boos, dishing out snacks and offering a lap for the wee ones to snuggle up on.  Often times, we have to finish our conversations later, but I know more of who these women are in those quick spurts of time. Sometimes the conversations aren’t, in themselves, really deep, but your actions, friend, speak so much louder than words. You make me a better mother and person.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:23-25

…hold fast the confession of our hope…..praise the Lord He is our HOPE…without wavering….I waver friend, I need your help to stand firm…Let us stir one another to love and good works….on the playground….not neglecting to meet together….even though our time as moms is stretched to the max…but encouraging one another….Im going to pray for you, sweet friend, and your kids because you matter to me and your children are precious to me.

[ These are my mini letters to some of my mom friends.  I definitely wrestled with just writing each of them a note instead of putting this up on the blog, but I certainly think they can make much of God, not my words, but how the Spirit is moving.]

I am so blessed to know all of you mamas. You teach me.  Some of you I know rather well, but still learning, and others not so much, but God has used you.  These qualities certainly aren’t the sum of who you are as a mom or person, but they have stirred something within my soul and I am thankful.

You’ve been there. You’ve experienced the feisty five (4,5,6,7) year old who really LOVES to have his way and his way now.  You are well aware that modern parenting tactics do/did not work on your special child and know very well what a total melt down looks like.  Your words are like a sweet balm for my weary mama spirit.  You make me a better mom because you are calm and trusting. You’re teaching me how God can use me in someone’s life just as He is using you in mine. Thank you.

You, sweet friend, are going through a painful trial, to say the least.  The physical pain you are enduring is difficult to watch and I cry out to God on your behalf because I want so much for you to be relieved of your suffering.  Through your pain you are still a fantastic mother and though I haven’t known you long, you are teaching me about endurance and perseverance in mothering and finding joy amidst the pain.

You are with your simple mom, carefree spirit.  Your frugality inspires me (“I spent $3 on my kiddos birthday present”) and reminds me that my love for my kids is not connected to my bank account.  You let my clingy kids hang on your neck and you just smile and laugh. You teach me to loosen up and enjoy the ride.

You took on classes, single motherhood (although not by choice) and a job all at once and did it well!  You inspire me to achieve goals that sometimes I don’t think are possible.  Congratulations on GRADUATION!

We’ve discussed, through laughter, on the playground how we thought in some fairy tale land that we would “Reap what we sewed” in our parenting adventures.  We were good kids, right? So what happened with our crazy boys? You are great with words and when you share them, they are a reminder to slow down and enjoy the crazy.  You teach me to slow down and savor all these moments, the good and the not so great. 

You, sweet friend, are an encourager.  We’ve discussed the difficulties of learning how to love our kids well when they are struggling with a problem that we can’t fix for them. How do we lead them and encourage them without breaking their spirit and without being overbearing? You also told me I am a great mom and I do a really great job of “letting my boys be boys.”  Thank you.  I love your happy, kind, and loving spirit. You teach me to be an encourager to my friends.

You have taught me about prayer.  You helped me search the playground for my phone that had fallen out of my pocket, but that was on silent.  During my inner panic, you stopped to pray out loud; it spoke volumes to me and calmed my nerves.  Pray even in the little things.  Thank you for teaching me about prayer.  Also, We’ll get that spin class in someday, friend.

You are walking the path with three boys too and you are so real.  I know what I’m getting with you.  I don’t ever have to wonder what you think because you will tell me good or bad if I ask and I so appreciate that.  In a world where we really love to put on faces and pretend we have everything together it is so refreshing. You teach me to be honest with myself and with others.

You are a homeschooling mama of three and I love your patience.  You are confident in your decision and do it so well.  We have children with similar personalities so I so admire your diligence to teach them well; while I, canned the idea of homeschool some time agoJ.  You exude humility and sincerity and have a gentle and quiet spirit that teaches me.

You also have three boys! And what a joy it is to do life beside you and your family.  We are experiencing all of these new seasons together, with its highs and lows.  You have demonstrated courage and dependence on God in a very real way to me this past year.  You’ve taught me about bravery, dependence on God, and being real with what I CAN do as a mom, not the things I can’t.

You have taught me that parenting doesn’t stop when my children leave my house and that their lives will always be intertwined with my own, not in a meddling way, but in a deep, caring, crying out before God kind of way.  Praying for my boys will not stop when they leave home.  Their decisions will affect me deeply but I can intercede and trust the One who is in control.  Thank you for teaching my present AND future mothering-self how to lean on and depend on Christ for all things.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Thank you for being awesome, being great friends, and being great examples for me. You are my “iron”.  I don’t have to go to the interwebs to see examples of awesome moms, because I see you. I see your awesomeness at play dates, Bible Study, and at a rare coffee/tea time.  Thank you for teaching me how to be a better mom, daughter, friend, and wife. I’m so grateful that being a mother of little ones links us, but eternally grateful that the Gospel is what ultimately brings us close. Happy Mother’s Day.

Love and Hugs,