This weekend closed another great summer, the end of birthday week and the end of Ezra’s first year. Birthday week is a long standing family tradition that I absolutely had to continue once I had a family of my own. It is a week long celebration of another year in the books; and last week wasn’t just another year, it was the year, Ezra’s first. There were many firsts to celebrate: first child, first boy, first time he rolled over, crawled, sat up, talked, walked and for Clay and I it was a celebration for the completion of our first year as parents (alive). We squeezed 365 unforgettable days into just 1 week of festivities, taking Ezra for a donut, ice cream, Chick- Fil-A, tacos and spent the weekend with friends at Busch Gardens. It was week for excitement and also a week of reflection. The past 12 months have sped by and in that time being a mother has taught me so much! Invaluable lessons that will continue to shape and guide me throughout the years to come. But motherhood is more than just the lessons I have learned, it is about who motherhood has taught me to be; to be still, be humble and selfless.
Along with motherhood comes a circus and most of the time I feel like the clown. Trying to juggle everything is nearly impossible and I frequently find myself overwhelmed by the never ending lists of things to accomplish, trying to maintain friendships, learning how to be a mom and a wife at the same time. It hasn’t been until this summer that I have learned the importance to be still. This stillness isn’t closing myself in the bathroom to sneak a candy bar, it is being still and present with God. Taking the time out of my day to just be in him grants me a small fragment of peace amidst the chaos. It refills everything that life empties and allows me time with my best friend. It is time where I am not a mom, or a wife; it is time when I am just me, the raw version where I can be real with God and focus on my relationship with him rather than other bajillion things that commonly run through my mind.
God tells us in his word in Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God‘. It is a verse that encapsulates all that being still means, it says ‘hey, cling to me, be still in me, I will take care of it all, I got your back. Trust me and I will give you comfort’. Shoot, as a mom heck ya I want someone else to take care of it all! It doesn’t mean God will cook dinner for me, fold the laundry and put away the dishes, but it DOES mean that he will provide my food, clothes and comforts. Being still in him is taking my worries and casting them upon him through prayer and gaining wisdom by reading the Bible. That wisdom equips me for daily obstacles I face and reminds me that I am here to glorify God, not just to fold laundry.
Ugh, I will tell you that humble pie tastes like Robitussin, thick and hard to swallow. But nonetheless has equally if not more healing properties. It is hard to be humble nowadays, when women power is on the rise telling us we are amazing, we are the future and we can do anything. While that might be true that also gives moms a ‘super hero complex’. We are pretty great, we do a lot for our families, but when we allow that to go to our heads we start to believe we are better than our partner. Here’s a bite of that pie… you aren’t. Congratulations if you got your to do list of 20 things checked off but don’t let it go to your head! Yes, you did a lot right today and good for you, but you also did a lot wrong.
Owning up to our failures is a pie in itself and admitting when we are wrong is not a weakness. Proverbs 11:2 says ‘When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom‘. Exalting ourselves as moms feeds our pride and although having pride sounds like a positive attribute it actually is something that the Bible speaks a lot against! Another verse in Proverbs mentions that pride goes before destruction. Knowing our faults is actually one of our greatest strengths, particularly when you are humble enough to admit them. Humility plays a huge role in marriage, bearing blame when you are at fault while also asking for forgiveness in those moments. Humility as a parent to a 1 year old looks different but requires that same gentle-ness. It is a wise attribute and is a characteristic that motherhood requires.
It is nearly impossible to be selfish as a mom. Motherhood requires an exorbitant amount of sacrifice, our bodies, our time, our sanity. Since having Ezra I have learned that there is not room to be both selfish and sacrificial, the two cannot coincide and to be the mother God has called me to be selfishness must go. I learned early on how important it is to lay my life down for child and husband. Being selfless is a demonstration of love, as Jesus says ‘Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends‘ John 15:13. Ezra and Clay are not just my friends, they are my family and to love them righteously is to be sacrificial in all I do.
Selflessness means putting my husband and son before myself, doing without having to be asked and not complaining about it constantly. The book of Proverbs speaks multiple times about a wife who complains and Proverbs 22:19 says ‘It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife‘. I don’t know how much you know about the desert but it’s desolate, dry and deadly. If God says that living there is better than living with a wife who complains a lot then I’ll take it that I shouldn’t complain. It all goes back to humility, and knowing that I am no better than my husband and if I expect him to sacrifice and be selfless for our family then I must do the same for him and my son.
God has used the past year to refine, shape and mold me. He has chiseled away at parts that needed to be taken away and reformed spots that required fine tuning. Who I once was and thought I liked has been transformed in motherhood. The busy, proud and selfish person I was a year ago has been replaced with stillness, humility and sacrifice.