Ok, Mamas…it’s about to get real honest all over this page. Are you ready?
Between the hours of 2 and 4 pm, I can be a complete Mama monster. Unless you’re a huge piece of chocolate lava cake or an episode of the “The Office” then…Mama NEEDS. HER. SPACE. I mean it can sometimes be like Mama “Jekyll” and Mama “Hyde.” I can’t be the only one, right? (Oh no, please tell me I’m not the only one!)
But you know what? It’s good to know yourself. In fact, I think there is strength in knowing yourself. It’s only when we know and begin to understand how we tick that we can be proactive in praying over ourselves…and catching the crazy train before it leaves the station on a bad day. And sometimes we even have to be honest about taking steps to harness the Mama beast…I know I do.
Yet there is also such freedom in being raw and real. Digging deep and getting answers…some that we like and others that might make us cringe. Motherhood brings this raw realness out in us doesn’t it, Mamas? I’m mean I knew I was imperfect before I had kids but now…I have no doubt. But motherhood has also grown in me a gritty strength that I never had before. I find this newfound strength inspiring but also confusing…how did it even get here? How did it grow? I really don’t think I took too much initiative to grow it…did I? Do you understand where I’m coming from, sweet friend? Can you relate?
The Process of Finding Strength in Knowing Yourself:
I’ve learned I can stretch my body and mind farther than I ever thought possible to bring life into the world.
I’m talking about pregnancy, birthing, and the journey of motherhood that follows. Having children is life-changing (obviously) in an overarching sense but also in a bodily sense. You get me right, Mamas? This is where I’m learning God’s emphasis on inward beauty over outward beauty.
Raw Mama moment: It hurts sometimes to not feel like I get ‘looks’ like I used to pre-babies (ok, ok don’t judge…be honest…you were probably thinking it too). I mean most days I have one baby strapped to me in a carrier, a toddler on the verge of a meltdown, and a 4-year-old who thinks she’s 14…I do get ‘looks’…just not that kind.
But it’s only when I seek to have a heart that is beautiful to God that I find the right perspective on physical beauty. Yes, our bodies change and along with it comes wisdom and experience that we can use to encourage and that is far more beautiful (and lasting) than having hair, makeup and clothes always on point. Besides who doesn’t love sporting a messy bun and clothes sprinkled with the fragrant perfume of baby spit up?
I’ve also learned how intensely introverted I am but yet how desperately I need relationships to speak truth and love into my life.
Now that’s a fine line. Too much time alone = loneliness. Too much time in a social setting = exhaustion. Do you where you land on this scale? Both settings are so important for us, Mamas, regardless of your introversion or extroversion. One setting recharges us and one setting challenges us. You can decide which that is for you…it’s different for all of us. There is strength in knowing yourself in this way.
I would just encourage you not to rob yourself of precious quiet time that you need to recharge. I’m learning it is ok to say ‘no’ to social settings in order to reset and rejuvenate. But also know that we shouldn’t neglect to maintain and enjoy the beautiful friendships and relationships that you are blessed to be part of…they are a gift from above. We were not made to do life alone.
I’ve also learned how desperately I need Jesus to be with me every hour.
Now that life lesson takes the cake! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried out for Him to empty me of me and fill me with Him because if I’m not filled with Jesus…I’m going to be a mess.
But it’s in those moments of exhaustion, frustration, sleeplessness yet in full surrender to Christ, that I find strength like no night with a full 8 hours of sleep could ever give me. Without Christ filling us with His strength, His truth, His purposes–we are just empty vessels. My family, my friends, the people God places in my path, they don’t need me empty…they get enough of that from the things of this world. We can only find true satisfaction when we are filled to the brim and overflowing with God’s grace.
Gaining His Strength in Knowing Your Weakness:
So maybe there’s where the confusion ends over this newfound strength I’ve found in motherhood. What I’ve really discovered is that I’m weak on my own. I’m desperately weak…and needy…and I require an insane amount of maintenance and upkeep on an emotional level (really all the levels).
But it’s when I rest in His grace, His strength grows in me.
So, Mamas, let’s rest in Him. Rest in who God has created you to be. Rest in what He says about you. Rest in who He says that you are. He says that “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Even when that shield covers us from ourselves.
So, learn about who you are and what makes you tick. Know those things that are strong in you. But also don’t shy away from those raw truths about your weaknesses either. Pray over them and find freedom in letting go of perfection. Find strength in knowing yourself, sweet friend. I promise what you discover will come as no surprise to the One who breathed life into you and I promise there is no judgment there either. He has always met me with lovingkindness and covered my undeniable weaknesses with His overwhelming strength.