Yesterday we had our first Moms Encouragement Group! This is so exciting for me, as I have wanted to do this for a long time. I'll work on another post soon about making dreams reality, but this is a summary of the talk I gave yesterday to this group of 17 amazing ladies!
I have a confession to make. I am a fan of The Biggest Loser. You know that reality show where they take obese people and put them through grueling workouts and they lose weight? Yeah, that one! Last year when Adeline was taking long naps and I was pregnant with Zoë I forced myself to lay down for an hour each day and watch The Biggest Loser. And I was sucked in. These amazing people pushed themselves to the limit, and it was worth it. They saw amazing results.
One guy in particular, Jackson, was a quick favorite of mine. Growing up bullied in school and picked on for his weight, he never felt good enough. One particular Biggest Loser challenge was a relay race through a bubble gum pit. As soon as Jackson jumped in you could see his struggle. He was surrounded by waist high Bubble gum on all sides. His face grew pale. We knew what was about to happen…Jackson was notorious for throwing up. But all of a sudden, his face changed as he looked up and saw his team cheering him on. Then, with determination, he pressed on through the bubble gum and made it to the other side.
Thinking about this episode made me realize that this is a lot like being a mom. Lots of days seem like I am struggling just to lift my feet off the ground and make it one more step. The laundry. The dishes. The messes. The poop…ohhhh the poop. But in this pit is a blessed place of growth. It will stretch us and change us and grow us like no other.
Here are three lessons I have learned while in the pit.
1. We Are Not Alone.
Doing this thing called motherhood day in and day out can be isolating. Few adult conversation. Lots of time with small people and little time to yourself. The mundane chores. You can feel alone.
But it's not true. You are not alone. There is a team of moms all over the world cheering you on. You can do it! It is possible! Keep running through the bubble gum! You're going to win! More than that, there is a God who loves you who is not only cheering you on, he is in that pit with you. And on the days you feel you can't lift your leg, He is carrying you. He rejoices when you choose the right choice and He redeems the mistakes you make. There are daily failures and daily victories and each one of those is not unseen by the One who created you.
Action Point: Connect yourself with a group of other moms. Ask nearby churches if they have support groups (MOPS, MomHeart) Ask God daily (and moment by moment) for strength in this journey of motherhood. He is right there waiting for you!
2. See Beyond the Gum
Jackson's perspective changed when he looked up and saw that team cheering for him, depending on him, encouraging him. Then, he saw past that pit. He did whatever it took and found a strategy to get through it. And not just to get through it, but to enjoy it and overcome!
In this journey of motherhood, it sometimes feels like there is gum ahead of us, to the side of us, and behind us with no way out. How would life look if we didn't see the pit as just that…a pit? What would we do differently if on the other side of that pit there was a great treasure? Proverbs 14:4 says "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox." I'm sure a farmer caring for the ox doesn't get excited about cleaning the stall. But he rejoices at harvest time, as that ox's strength is what brings the harvest! At the other side of the pit is the precious treasure of our children's strength—world-changing strength. And you, Mother, you are the one who built that into them. Wether its a small pit (like potty training, learning to drive a car or helping study for a test) or a big pit (sending them out into the world) your influence on your children builds strength for eternity. Press on!
Action Point: Create a personal mission statement. Resources (Inspired to Action Motherhood Mission Statement and Franklin Covey Mission Statement Creator)
3. You are a Big Deal.
I love to listen to Kat Lee's Inspired to Action podcast. I highly encourage subscribing to it. After each episode, I'm inspired to be a better mom. At the end of each podcast, Kat closes with "You are a mom…you're kind of a big deal…now go be awesome." It's true! You may feel like you are "Just a Mom." But you are the primary influence in your kids' lives. They need you. They will learn how to live in the world through your words. CEO's are replaced daily and forgotten. But mothers can never be replaced and will never be forgotten. To those children you are their world. So take heart, weary one. What you are doing is of great value.
So if you are in the pit right now, you aren't doing it because you love the mess. You are doing it because there is a team beside you (and God is with you), there is a great treasure on the other side, and what you are doing is the most important job in the world.
Now go do it. Be that mom God created you to be. You are awesome!