A New Thing {Guest Post}

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motherhoodbuttonI’m happy to welcome Mandy as a guest poster for the When Motherhood Comes Softly series. You can read more by her at her blog His Song to Me. You can read more from this series by clicking the button to the left. We hope you are encouraged as you read about other woman as they struggle to grow into the role of mother by trusting in God day by day. If you would like to submit a post for this series, please read the introduction to this series and guest post submission guidelines. I look forward to reading your story!

Baby number four.

That was my tipping point.

Baby number one, precious girl, left me thinking confidently, “I could do this again, no problem.”

Baby number two, precious girl, left me thinking, relieved, “This first birthday party was a celebration of my survival of the first year.”  But then it got better.

Baby number three, precious girl, left me thinking, “All manner of dignity and grace in motherhood has completely evaporated.”  But then it got better.

But baby number four, precious boy, has knocked me right on my butt.   Flipped my world upside down.  Caused me to reevaluate everything.

And that’s a good thing.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”   –Isaiah 43:19

 God has used life after my sweet Anthony to transform me in amazing ways.

I am adjusting my expectations.  Each of these four little people require and deserve my care and attention.  So, retreat committees, monthly meetings that add up to weekly meetings, scurrying from extracurricular activity to extracurricular activity…done.  For now.

There is only a certain amount of me to go around, and I want my family to get the best of that. Radically cutting back on outside commitments also cuts back on burn-out and a grumpy mommy.

But it’s inside the home adjustment, too.  I’m learning, as Ann Voskamp likes to say, to bless in the mess.  My home is lived-in, which is putting it gently.  With the needs of four, my energy simply does stretch to keeping up the home as it once did.  And I’m OK with that for now.

And then there are other people’s expectations…

The confidence that may come naturally to some is only now cementing for me.  I am slowly healing the insecurities of my past to embrace this all-important truth of motherhood:

Just as God has created me with specific gifts to carry out a plan for His glory, so has He created my family with unique qualities to carry out a plan for His glory.

Understanding this is crucial because I can rest in the knowledge that I can care for my family the way I feel God leading me, the way that works best for them, no matter what any book or well-meaning relative says.

Expectations of family and friends are powerful things.  Opinions on child-rearing are plenty and freely expressed.  The truth is, I know my family better than those outside of it.  No family has the same conglomerate of temperaments, dynamics, and circumstances.  And even those are constantly changing.

I can’t be an expert on anyone else’s family.  No one else can be an expert on mine.  And there is freedom in letting go of the expectations of those who aren’t the true experts.

There is joy and peace in embracing the guidance of the One who is the expert.

Wear the baby.  Co-sleep with the baby.  Don’t co-sleep with the baby.  Let the baby “cry-it-out.”  Introduce rice cereal first.  No sweet potatoes.  No applesauce.  Use time-outs.  Talk it out.  You’re going to crush her spirit.  You’re going to spoil her.  Kids need structure.  Kids needs to express themselves…

See the problem?

Maturing as a mom has clarified what is truly important to me:  I want children who know the Lord and the depth of His mad love for them.  I want them to see my love as reflecting His.  I want them to love Him back.  I want them to share His love with those people they encounter.

Kinda makes the sweet potato debate, well, just plain unimportant.

When did you feel comfortable in your own skin as a mom?  What brings you peace as a mom?  How can I pray for your family today?

 

Mandy is a homeschooling mom of four, married to Mark, her Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome, for 12 years.  She is learning to invite Jesus in to redeem her mess each day and to ONLY take on the things to which He has called her.  She blogs gratitude and encouragement at hissongtomeshalom.blogspot.com.  You can follow her on Twitter here.

 

 

Linked with thanks at:
Miscellany Monday
Hear it, Use It
Playdates with God
Multitudes on Monday
The Better Mom
On, In, and Around Mondays 
Motivating Mondays 

Comments

  1. I’m so behind, but I’m so glad I read!! Thank you Mandy! And thank you, Mary Beth, for sharing your space…

    and I don’t know what to add but Amen. . . You said it so well!!

  2. Thank you for introducing me to Mandy. As a mamma of two teenage boys I think everyone deserves a boy.:) it sounds like you have your priorities just right, my friend.

  3. CrazyBlessed says:

    Amen Mandy. :) My favorite part was this, ”
    I want children who know the Lord and the depth of His mad love for them. I want them to see my love as reflecting His. I want them to love Him back. I want them to share His love with those people they encounter.” Beautiful. :) A great mission statement /reminder of our real focus! :) Time to go and hug my kiddos!

  4. Becky Daye says:

    Beautifully written and so much wisdom here! Thank you!!!

  5. Mandy, I loved this! Just so straightforward and no nonsene and filled with beauty and grace for others and yourself! I may have hit my tipping point with one, though. :)

    • Thanks so much, Amy. I appreciate your very kind words. Yep, God has a plan for us all. I’ll bet you’re blessed and awesome with your precious one!

  6. Such a good post for young moms!!

  7. Mandy this is a wonderful post! I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin until #3 came along…a boy after two girls and he was so unlike the other two. I had to thrown in the towel and go with my gut. He’s 19 now and doing just fine! :)

    • Thank you, Mindy! So there’s hope for me yet? My oldest is just 10:) I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

  8. Hazel Moon says:

    I loved your sweet story of your four blessings, each one different and all needing their Mama!

    • Thank you, Hazel! They are blessings, indeed. Each need their name in their own way, and each enriches me in ways I never imagined.

  9. Letting go of expectations – one of the toughest things to do as a mom, as a sister, a daughter, a friend, … But when we do, we find freedom. Asking Jesus for more grace… Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh, Lisa, exactly! Letting go of expectations is incredibly hard, but incredibly freeing! It’s something I’m working on every day, and it’s the grace that accomplishes it.

  10. StefanieYoungBrown says:

    What a sweet testimony and honest testimony, Mandy! I love what you said here: “Just as God has created me with specific gifts to carry out a
    plan for His glory, so has He created my family with unique qualities to
    carry out a plan for His glory.” You’re so right! I appreciate how you are embracing the call HE not has for you, but your family. What a treasure!

    Thank you for sharing Mandy, Mary Beth!!

Trackbacks

  1. New Thing says:

    [...] of my post is at Mary Beth’s. Will you join me at her place today? Let’s hop on over to New Life Steward. * * * My Eucharisteo: Jacked-Up Tennessee Toffee ice cream. The Middle Branch Country Store (in [...]

  2. [...] apologies! If you would like to read about my mommy tipping point, please try this functional link: New Life Steward. Thank you, gracious friends! And now, might I hear from you? What is it you’d like to [...]

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