What The Beautiful Mess of Motherhood Taught Me

Today was Selah’s 18 month check up (right) and the left is Jack at his 18 month appointment. I vividly remember this day with Jax, after his check up we spent the rest of the afternoon outside at the park blowing bubbles, chasing squirrels and writing with chalk, while I was feeling ready to pop, and I was because I had Selah in a whirlwind 1 hour 45 minute labor the next day!

Since that picture on the left was taken 18 months ago, It’s been a crazy/ fun/ exhausting/ heartwarming/ sanctifying/ stretching/ glorious blur of the 24/7 wrangling of my 1.5 years-apart babies, and I wouldn’t change a thing! I love how close they are and I hope their bond only grows deeper throughout life.

While I rarely get one-on-one time with either of them, I have to remind myself that this isn’t a bad thing just because it’s different than Jackson’s first born experience. There’s not a day that goes by that Selah doesn’t wake from her nap, come downstairs and say “Wha Bubba?” (Where’s Bubba) Now that’s something Jackson never had, an older sibling and best buddy, and while he did have my undivided attention, I don’t think there’s a better/worse comparison that needs to be made. The bottom line is, I absolutely adore the close bond that formed between siblings so close in age. It may have been extra work for me, but this summer I feel us stepping into new territory as we’re emerging out of the baby phase. Man, they are going to get into some adorable trouble together! (Please send coffee)

I’ve also grown so much since I snapped that picture on the left. Being a mom of two has been the most rewarding and refining thing of my life thus far, and even though it’s challenging to spend myself on them everyday, putting their needs before mine, I’m so thankful that I have the honor of staying home and investing in them through the good, bad and mundane.

I don’t want to miss a thing, despite the days I say I’m ready to send them off to school, I don’t mean it, and I really don’t want to rush these precious early years. But it’s complicated, and only moms can understand how we can simultaneously long for bedtime and then miss them an hour after they fall asleep. I know I’ll be kicking myself for wanting to rush these early years when my junior high aged Jackson and Selah are running off with their friends and not needing me in the same ways anymore. It’s so easy to vent about motherhood, I do it everyday, but I know there are many who long to be moms but aren’t. I long for that to transform my perspective on hard days.

Today I’m thankful, as I recall the pic on the left, so grateful for the beautiful mess that is also called our life. Being a mom isn’t always glamorous or easy no matter what kind of mom you swore you’d be or how lovely your Instagram posts are. It’s a calling of a lifetime that will morph and adapt as we all grow. Messy yes, but I can’t think of a more worthwhile way to spend my life, even though I can think of lots of cleaner ways, tons of easier ones, and plenty of ways that serve myself better, not to say that being a mom is the only way that pushes us towards selflessness.

Right now God is calling me to be home with my young ones, to roll up my sleeves (pants and hair too), to dig my heels and my knees into the trenches in order to raise up young hearts who love Jesus, who love people and who love life too. It takes everything I’ve got and then some more; the power finally comes when I let God fill me once I’m empty of myself with the power, grace, love and patience that can only be sourced from His Spirit. Being a mom is no small task, and my Littles remind me constantly, as they interrupt another meal with a potty emergency, or when I microwave yet another mug of cold coffee at 11:30 am- that my life is not about me.

What a beautiful calling to have the opportunity to live out the daily, sacrificial love that Jesus freely gives us. Even when I fail, and I do often, Jesus is magnified in my weaknesses, and I pray that the gospel shines brighter in the gaps that I leave.

Life is not about continually finding yourself, it’s about giving yourself away, that’s one thing that the beautiful mess of motherhood has taught me.