One of the greatest gifts I have ever received is the gift of motherhood. We had our girls very close in age - the days were long but the years were short. The older our girls got the faster life moved but in 2020 our overcommitted schedules came to a screeching halt. We caught our breath and welcomed the opportunity to spend this rare and precious extra time with our girls.
We spent time cooking slower meals, playing games, and spending lazy weekends in the backyard. We counted our blessings, soaked up all of the little moments that this unfortunate moment in history brought us.
As we settled into our new normal each day brought challenges. My husband is an essential worker so he was working outside of our home. Our girls were thrust into the world of virtual schooling. I was fortunate enough to work from home but with that, I became a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, at times IT director, and of course, the amount of cooking and cleaning tripled.
As time passed and the virus continued to rage our girls faced fears about their future. They struggled with disappointment as moments that were once a rite of passage were stolen from them. At a time when they should be spreading their wings, they found themselves locked down and frustrated at their circumstances. In the midst of all of our blessings, each of them suffered their own personal losses. The weight of each of their burdens weighed heavily on my heart.
I have the joy of serving in full-time ministry but in that arena, we suddenly faced the challenges of ministering to students in a way that we felt unprepared to do. Families were on lockdown together and many were facing crisis. Families faced sickness, death, loss of jobs or finances, racial tensions, and mental illness spiked as we were all pushed to our limits. Each one of these crises also weighed heavily on my heart.
With so much suffering around me, I kept pushing to meet the needs of those around me. As women, when we’re living out our purposes as a life-giver - leading, nurturing, caring, all too often we push ourselves beyond human limits. Before we know it we find ourselves meeting the needs of everyone around us while largely neglecting our own. Over time we begin to lose ourselves, little pieces of who God created us to be slowly slip away.
I found myself there this year. As I spent time meeting the needs of those around me and trying to meet the unrealistic expectations I set for myself I stopped acknowledging that I had needs. As I spent time with Jesus, He spoke quietly over me, your needs matter to Me.
I had been running at an unsustainable pace and honestly, I found it difficult to slow down and allow my heart to vulnerably reveal my deepest needs to Jesus. As I began to express my needs it felt like everything around me raged against it as if to say it’s not okay. Jesus reminded me of His truths and slowly I began to step towards that truth.
My heart had expanded beyond my capacity to physically meet the growing needs around me. I had to refocus and acknowledge that the most important thing that I bring to the table is not a home cooked meal, but rather fully stepping into who God created me to be. My daughters get the best version of their mom when I am living out who I am, not what I do. I’m discovering what I may need to leave behind in order to recover who God created me to be.
What is God asking you to do? The expectations you set for yourself, they’re likely unrealistic and will leave you exhausted. What were the things that brought you joy as a child or in your younger years? Go after those things and watch your passion grow! Who has God created you to be? It’s time to reclaim the unique parts of you that God designed for His purposes.
God never intended for you to lose yourself as a mom but rather become who you are even more fully!
Your children will get the best version of you when you are living out of who you are and not what you do. Spend some time with Jesus recovering your identity.
For more reflections on motherhood in the past year, read these articles from some Liquid moms: