Living motherhood authentically With What You’ve Been Given is hard to do because we are so used to focusing on what we don’t have but today I invite you to focus on what you do have. Embrace the life He has given you today.
Dear Moms, I hope you have a few minutes. I want to tell you about a time in my life when I was a young mother and I was really struggling with all the changes that came with the role of “mom”. But first you must know I love being a mom but early on it was hard. I hope this story encourages you.
It was one of those frantic and get into everything toddler days and I was counting down the minutes to hear the muffled sound of my husband’s car in our driveway.
As soon as he walked in the door, he took a look at me and he said, “Bye!”. I must have looked like a hot mess because he knew I needed to be alone with myself. Alone with God.
I didn’t go far but I had my running clothes on so I ran in our neighborhood a few miles away. I remember thinking, “Don’t cry.” I just need to make it until it’s dark so no one can see the tears.
This is not how I envisioned motherhood. Why can’t I just go with the flow like everyone else?
The evening was muggy as most Texas summer nights are. I turned the corner of the quiet street as the sun was setting. Just as I turned the corner, it was like my whole life turned with it.
The dam broke and the tears rolled endlessly with my sweat. I stopped and I stared blankly into this field that was being prepped for a new bustling housing community. I felt a tinge of jealousy this field knew it’s purpose and plan, but I didn’t.
Wrestling with God
Not only did I have a toddler but also a baby in tow. We can’t afford a sitter so I can go volunteer somewhere a couple of nights a week.
The question that tugged at me, “Did you really think your life would not look differently with a baby or two?”
I continued to run and complain. Here I was 6 months pregnant and my heart was restless. I had this deep passion for serving Him in the inner city and making Him known to the least of these but I could barely manage to muster up the energy to make dinner. I lie awake at night dreaming and envisioning the many ideas that swirled around my heart.
He whispered, “What do you want me to do for you?”
I had so many questions for God. I yelled at Him and I pleaded with Him, “Why are you doing this to me? Why are you giving me such a passion for something I can’t do right now?
With each passing day, my passion grew to the point where I drove myself sleepless fighting with God, frustrated that He would give me such a passion and no time or energy to do it.
Dusk came and I stopped running. I leaned against the stone brick wall, sobbing out in the dark street, staring blankly into the field.
He reminded me that He’s right there with me, listening and He wants to hear my heart not just my complaints. So I answered His question–What do you want me to do for you?
The words came forth and I spoke the unspoken dreams and my passion for serving Him. I didn’t just complain as I had been doing for months. I didn’t just focus on what I didn’t have but instead, I told him what was deep in my heart and gave Him what I did have.
Freedom flowed with every spoken word.
He dared me–
…to let all the not-enough there in my open hands–let it be broken into more than enough…” ~A. Voskamp
There were remnants of a broken spirit as I ran home, there was freedom with each step. That short distance home had never been so amazing because it was clear to me–
“Mari I have a future for you. I just need you to change how you’re seeing things. You’re focused on what you don’t have. You are set on doing things in a certain way and channeling your passion and skills in this specific way. Let it go and let me show you what you do have and what you can do with it.”
The answer to what robbed my sleep for months was as simple as tweaking and shifting my perspective ever so slightly.
Embracing that my life would look different was a huge step in my freedom. Making myself answer the question–Am I just going to sit around and complain until my kid are old enough for me to go do something or am I going to give my dreams to God and let Him mold them?
Moms do you need to let go of that “ideal” way you’re going to serve Him?
I needed to stop and thank Him for what I did have. When I finally relinquished my desires and opened my eyes to see what I did have, I found freedom. But above all else I saw those limits much differently.
Sweet mama friends will you stop for a moment and list your blessings? Thank Him for what you do have?
As I conversed with my Heavenly Father about my hearts desire. I heard him say, “Serve me with your kids.”
Our limits can be gifts when offered up to God.”
I loved the idea of serving with my kids but really who does that.
As the days went by I analyzed everything and questioned everything–Who is going to let me volunteer with my 2-year-old? What can he possibly do that would be of help to anyone? How can I help anyone in my “great with child” state?
One night I couldn’t sleep and this came to me–start a Mommy and Me Mission at the church so other moms who feel as burdened as I do can also serve alongside their children. It was a successful endeavor not without its glitches. Every month a group of moms and I would go and serve in our community with our little ones.
My toddler and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves learning and serving. Oddly enough a year later, we left to the mission field as a family.
My limits became a gift!
Sweet mamas, who want to change the world like I did I hope you could find some encouragement as you read my story. Can I challenge you to be brave enough to bring your desires to God no matter how off the wall they are and let him mold them into the plans He has for you and your little ones. He may tell you, “Not now or simply “no” but listen closely because He may just have a different plan. Ask Him to turn your “limitations” or excuses into gifts? Then be brave enough to accept that gift and trust Him enough to know what He’s giving you is good.
Sincerely, A 40+ year old mom looking back!
Day 3 Challenge:
In Day 1 challenge I asked you to write down what you’re good at, what you dream of and your passions. For Day 3, today, I challenge all of you to carve out some time today and consider what are your limits in this very moment, in this phase of life, and bring them at His feet. Then ask Him to turn those limits into gifts.
Don’t be afraid to go to Him with those longings and limits. He is asking, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Even if our motives and desires are in the wrong place He wants to hear them. If you let Him then He will take those dreams tweak and transform them so He can multiply it.
Invite Him into those limits and ask Him to give you peace and ask Him to show you what you DO have. Ask Him to show you how to use what you DO have in the midst of your limits, for His glory.
Bring your loaves of bread to Him and let Him do the rest!
This is Day 3 of 6 (full schedule of posts) for our Brave Moms Strong Families Challenge that I’m doing with fabulous blogger Jenny at Night Howells blog! Join in on the fun HERE to get encouragement and free printables directly to your inbox.