Yesterday I celebrated 9 years of being a mother! It’s been quite a ride. Here I am sitting in a hospital room awaiting the birth of our sixth child. One more to add to the quiver, one more to crown me with the title, mommy! I have been in the hospital on bed rest for the last two weeks (story to follow). I have been in great spirit feeling encouraged but the day before Mothers Day I broke. The tears flowed and sadness overwhelmed me. why? I missed my children. I missed the younger ones slobber kisses. I missed their hugs. I missed the older ones going on and on about what happened in school. I missed their sweet smiles. I missed the noise that is inevitable in a house with five children. I missed making them dinner and hearing, “oh mommy this is even better than the last time you made it, or…this Is yuck, did you use a lot of coconut oil in this?” I missed smiling at the compliments or sternly reminding them they didn’t have to cook it so don’t complain. I missed their attempts at telling jokes and I missed making my laughs at the punch line believable. I missed the whispers and chuckles that I heard at night when they were supposed to be sleeping. I missed them more than I thought I would.
Now before I get carried away with being sentimental and looking through rose colored glasses, I recognize that the tears I cried before Mother’s Day were not for all of the moments with my Five rewards. I certainly didn’t miss the mad rush we have to make to the bus stop every morning while operating like a sergeant in the army. I didnt miss reminding them over and over again to clean up, the fights, the loads of laundry they created. I didn’t miss the way they wait til I get on the phone to try to engage me in conversation. No tears were shed for those moments.
But hey like anything else motherhood is a package deal. And yesterday on Mother’s Day all five of them came to visit me with homemade crafts, poems,sweet words, and slobber kisses. It was a happy Mother’s Day indeed !
Some days I just don’t want to be a mom…HONESTLY! I want to quit cause its too hard, too demanding, too emotionally and physically draining, too much repeating myself, too much giving. Just too much. I want to get back in bed, pull the covers over my head and pretend I don’t hear them screaming “MOMMY!” But you cant exactly say to a one year old go and change your own diaper and leave me alone cause I am tired. What am I to do when everyone is asking me where is dinner and I want to say, “I am hungry too, why don’t you all figure it out and let me know when you have the answer.” Then there is the training part. I have moments of thinking, “God how can I teach my children how to be organized when I cant even remember where I put my cell phone.”
Its in these moments of desperation and feelings of inadequacy that I have to be reminded of the TRUTH. God is not asking me to be mommy of the year. He is not asking me to do this on my own. He is asking me to surrender it all to Him. He is lovingly inviting me to trade my weaknesses for His strength. When I do this, He alone will get the glory from the mighty harvest that comes from me being a godly mother. Ok. Pass me my mommy hat and by the way we are having chicken for dinner tonight.
“…My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
I am bald but my baldness doesn’t define who I am. I got it. Today I embrace me, all of me. Laying aside the shame, the insecurities and I am choosing to begin the journey of being confident and joyous in who I really am, bald head and all. Today I did something that I didn’t think I would have had the courage to do before. I got up in front of a room of about 50 women and as the warm tears flowed down my cheeks I took off my wig and showed them ME . They didn’t laugh. They didn’t whisper and tear me down. Instead they cried. They cheered. They embraced. They praised God. They spoke life. THEY LOVED ME, the real me.
This was a defining moment in my life. I took a stance against the enemy and my actions screamed at him, letting him know that I choose to no longer be bound by the shame he wants me to have. In that moment I unlocked some of the chains from my past that still had me bound and I CHOSE TO walk in another level of freedom that Jesus has already purchased for me. In that moment there was a greater level of death to the old me and birth was given to something new. I am not saying that I will never wear wigs again as I wait for healing to manifest BUT I now have a new perspective!
I have always been overly concerned with what others think of me. I always have to put my best foot forward. I have to please. I have to be liked. Filled with pride. The same symptoms that lead to my very bald head. I began to loose my hair because I put too much stress on it with chemicals and weaves. When I first began to loose my hair, the thought of giving up chemicals was not even an option. Why? Because the real me of course was not good enough, not cute enough, no way could I let others see me in my natural state. Deep rooted insecurities birth from past experiences.
Hear me when I say that this is not about whether or not you should put chemicals or extension in your hair. Doing these things pointed to a deeper issue FOR ME (this may not be the case for everyone). When I was told by a dermatologist to stop putting chemicals in my hair, I scoffed at the idea. Go natural and show everyone me, absolutely not. Driven by insecurities and pride I continued the vicious cycle of destroying my hair follicles until they shut down and well, I was left bald with no other option but to wear wigs.
BUT MY GOD IS SO AWESOME. Through a chain of painful events, the healing process began. I have prayed and stood in faith believing the Lord to supernaturally restore my hair. Its nothing for God to just touch my scalp and have hair appear. However, I recognize that God is more concerned about me getting the lesson than the blessing. The blessing can be fleeting but once I get the lesson its lasting and can be applied to other areas of my life guaranteeing more victory. Unveiling my bald head today was necessary for my healing. It went so much deeper than taking off my wig. I was taking off the shame, the hurt from the past, insecurities, conflicting thoughts. I now have even more faith to believe the Lord for restoration of my hair because today inward healing took place and I rejoice!
What is it that you have to take off for healing to begin? A new level of freedom awaits you when you do.
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36
It is so easy for me to get distracted. I start cleaning my living room and go to the kitchen to get something and before you know it, I start cleaning the kitchen, forgetting about the living room. I go on the internet to google great colors to paint your kitchen and also begin to look up colors for the closet. There are times where I am “accidentally” distracted. However, most of the time I am actively looking for a distraction in attempts to avoid something that needs to be addressed.
The other morning I was exhausted and desperately needed to clean my house but I was LOOKING for something to distract me. I didn’t want to think, I didn’t want to move. Then it happened. I heard the Holy Spirit whisper ever so gently inviting me be distracted by Him. Now there is a thought for you! What if in my moments of fatigue, desperation, and despair I run to the Lord to distract me? This is certainly not a novel idea. The Lord has already made this invitation to all of us in Mathew 11:28, when He said, “…Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
We look for distractions because we don’t want to deal with whatever is before us. When I allow the Lord to be my distraction, He gives me rest and I don’t become overwhelmed or consumed by the very thing I am running from. When I sit in His presence, I get refreshed, gain wisdom, find peace and abiding joy! Very much a worthwhile distraction!
The other morning I was having devotion with my five children. Let me rephrase that, all five of them were in the room but only 3 were paying attention. I read them the story of Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones. Then we got to the verse where Ezekiel calls God sovereign. Of course inquiring minds wanted to know what sovereign meant. I tried my best to explain to my young children the meaning, then the light bulb went off for my 8 year old and she said, “Oh so God is a know it all!” EXACTLY! Yes He is a know it all because He is in control! The two go hand in hand, being in control and all knowing! In her 2nd grade world, being labeled as a know it all is right up there with being called a tattletale. But she understood that God’s label was a bit different. I absolutely love the way God reveals Himself to children. Simple yet very profound.
I am so happy that I know THE KNOW IT ALL GOD! If I rest in the fact that God is in control and He knows it all, would I worry so much? Would I question His plans for my life, wondering if He may steer me the wrong way? Would I fight with everything in me to have control? I mean really. I should be floating through life in the arms of my in control, know it all God, rejoicing that He knows the end from the beginning and ALL (I mean ALL) I have to do is TRUST HIM! So refreshing to be reminded of this truth. Life is unpredictable. We will have seasons of joy and others of great struggle but relax our know it all God is in control.
Read the story of Ezekiel and Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37). Great source of encouragement!