many of you that might have come as a surprise. J In my home you will not find Elmo, legos, or
that faint scent of Johnson and Johnson/baby poop combo. However, you will find a diabetic dog that
will never die and the option of having a white couch. I do not have babies to rock or children to
occupy my time, but I do have a job that I love and the freedom to travel. I do not have a minivan nor do I care to ever
own one, but I do have a great Toyota, compliments of many supporters. PERSPECTIVE.
GRATITUDE. TRUST. OPENNESS.
All of these words are key to embracing the here-and-now in each unique and individual season of life. God has me doing the homework.
two years ago in New York City), I found
myself in the most awkward position. I was on a summer mission’s project for
six weeks and my assignment was to help mentor staff women with my particular
ministry. You see, I had done quite a
bit of homework on how to really care for and shepherd mom’s. The plan was for me to meet with two of the
mom’s on our staff team and pass off all the information and ideas I had
gathered so they could implement them.
Well, the mom’s felt that I should be the one to implement the ideas and
lead the weekly mom’s time. I wanted to
puke. Too much? How could a 35 year old
single woman encourage a group of mom’s?
I didn’t even know how the &^%$
to operate a diaper genie, and can you believe I had no strong opinion on
breast feeding versus bottle, and what the heck was Growing Kids God’s Way? Wasn’t every mama just trying to do the best
that she could do? So with great vulnerability and nervousness, I obeyed and God gently met us in our
times. Because after all, what each mama
needed was just someone who noticed and cared enough to even try to have a mom’s
time. I share all this not to brag or
for someone to think I’m special, but I share that because for a lot of my life
I just didn’t notice the needs of mom’s.
For one, I was too busy focused on my own (still am a lot of times), to focus
on someone else who I felt had gained the American Dream of family. This is where perspective comes in.
of not having a family. When you are single, most church people just think you
might be sad because you want a boyfriend, but there’s not acknowledgement that
you are grieving a whole family that you had imagined would have been a reality
by now – a strange type of infertility. I couldn’t have named it, but after my
sixth friend in a month’s time shared that she was pregnant and another handful
got engaged, I think what I longed for was some sort of acknowledgement, “Beth,
what is this like for you?” However, in
the midst of someone’s great happiness, why should they? Perhaps this is why since that summer in
2010, and especially over the past week, my mom friends have been so heavily on
my mind and heart. They live day in and
day out with little if any acknowledgement.
No one is around to cheer, “Way to go! Way to clean up your kid’s nasty
diaper! Way to expand the Kingdom!” They don’t hear, “I know you feel like you
have a second butt with that child following you around everywhere, but this
will matter in the long run.” And my
guess is that when they are up at 4AM and want to cry from total exhaustion, no
one is around saying, “These moments are an invitation to something greater and
it is just for a season.” Sigh. Mom’s, we see you. God sees you. And…..you matter.
do have versus what you don’t. Like the
first paragraph of this blog – with perspective, gratitude can come. Not sure which comes first? I am grateful that while I am not a mom I
have friends who let me be Auntie to their children. I often laugh with my sister/cousin Ami who
happens to have six kids, that when I am at her house in Texas, I don’t have
time to think about myself or be sad.
What a gift AND what exhaustion.
Happy exhaustion. A way I can
love my friends is to love their kids and to take a meal or give them a
break. Who says I can’t be a little
piece of a mom to a lot of kids? If I
continued to sit around in my house with my diabetic dog and be sad, then it is
my own fault. Jesus offers a way to get
out of ourselves as single people and be the Body to our friends. Can we put selfishness aside? Not longing, but just self-centeredness long
enough to love on those who could use a hand?
you trust God with me that He will somehow use our feeble attempts to love one
another and allow that to go a long way in the lives of those that feel
unnoticed? Don’t we all just
occasionally want to know we are not alone?
Isn’t that why people fight and argue because they don’t feel heard or
noticed? The concern is when the desire to be acknowledged becomes a
demand. Disordered desires can shoot us
in the foot and keep us from OPENNESS to what God has for us. Choosing to dream new dreams beyond what I
want in the next year is where I am.
Asking God for a dream and vision of what life could be like if I remain
open to Him…………perspective, gratitude, trust, openness. The invitation is for you too! And for all my mom friends, you are my heroes
and I love you. Thank you for teaching me about dying to selfishness.