How Do You Raise A Miracle?

Our babies did not come easily to us. We had to wait long, soul-stretching seasons for them. We cried, and prayed, and waited.

But after many long nights, and months, and years, they came. At just the right time.

God gave them to us.

They are miracles. 

Both of them.

And sometimes, as they are falling asleep in my arms, I just stare at them.

These babies I once only dreamed of, only whispered prayers for, only sang about with tears running down my cheeks at the piano–they are right here, now on my lap. Running the halls. Climbing on the couches. Playing the very piano I once cried at. 

If you are a mom today, especially a “post-infertility” mom (whether by birth, or adoption), can you relate?

You pray and wait so long.

You dream and you plan.

And then one day, by some miracle of grace, God gives you this child. 

There they are, plopped on your very lap.

This miracle.

Given to you. Entrusted to you. 

And your realize then, the birth you waited so long for, is not the end of the story…

it’s only the beginning. 

I remember those first fragile days I held Selah in my arms. It seemed like she would last forever, just like that. This little porcelain doll.

Our days were slow and simple, with eating and sleeping as our only big, tenacious goals for each day. But soon, that tiny, baby girl, the one who was so small and delicate, I feared her legs might snap when I was dressing her, grew into a bigger, little girl. Who had blonde hair, and big blue eyes, and an even bigger vocabulary.

And the little years sped faster and faster. And suddenly, this little person, this little lady, is in front of you, telling you what she thinks about things, all things. Like which dress to wear on your date tonight, and why it’s the most beautiful one, and, “You really shouldn’t wear that one, Mom.” (And she can’t understand why I don’t want to wear the “beautiful” (old) bridesmaid dress from my closet to dinner.) And she’s watching me curl my hair, and asking me question after question. And staring at me, like I’m beautiful.

And telling me that I am.

And I don’t know when my little baby transformed into this little lady, but I love her.

And I’m glad she’s here. 

Last Spring, I had a big decision staring me in the face:

Where will she go to Kindergarten next Fall?

Now, for most people, this probably isn’t that hard. But for me it was.

It was insanely hard.

My mind typically changed every day–depending on which moms I was hanging out with, what I saw on the news, which articles I read, or which opinions I picked up on from other people.

(This is no way to make a decision.)

It was no wonder I felt “all over the place” for months. One day, I’d be set on sending her to the public school. Then, it would flip to Montessori. Then, I’d ask my husband to crunch numbers for the expensive Christian school. And I’d start this cycle again and again.

There was only one schooling option I refused to consider. And that was: homeschooling.

Until one morning…

One morning, Selah came into the kitchen and asked me if she could record her new song on my phone. “Your what?” I asked. I opened the voice recorder on my phone, and handed it to her. Then she disappeared for a good 15 minutes, and when she came back, she was glowing.

“I made a worship song,” she said bashfully. “Oh,” I paused, “Can I hear it?” She nodded and handed the phone to me, smiling.

I pulled her up in my lap and we sat at the counter together. I didn’t know what to expect as I pressed play and we listened. But, I never expected what emerged from that tiny speaker.

It was the softest, most high-pitched voice you ever heard.  But it was her song, it was her words, and I could tell, she meant it. Every word. It went like this:

“Oh, Your love comes crashing down,

Oh Your love comes crashing down, on us, 

Every moment,

God, Your love comes crashing down.”

 

The song played on, but something paused in me, right then and there.

Selah. 

Where did you come from?

 

And I felt the weight of her then. The weight of raising her. Like a holy burden. 

In that moment, I could see a glimpse, into her gifts. Like sunlight pouring through a little crack in the wall. Not because of something she could do, or become, but because of something inside of her. Something precious.

Like a little flame.

Something that could be so easily, and so quickly snuffed out by this harsh world we live in. But something, that could grow so strong, and so bright if gently fanned into flame.

It made me step back and really think about who she was, who God created her to be. It made me think,

God, this is Your daughter, how do You want me to raise her?”

That was the day, I became willing to do “anything” God called me to do. (Even homeschool, if He asked me to.)

I wish I could say the answer came loud and clear that day, but it didn’t.

The following months, I was a mess.

I did not expect this to be such a hard decision. Just pick a school, right?

You know in the Book of James, when it talks about the man who is tossed like “wave of the sea,” “driven and tossed by the wind”, “double-minded,” and “unstable in all his ways”? (See James 1:6-8) Yeah, that was me.

I was a swirling tsunami. 

And on one particular day, I just crashed. (Mentally.) I had “decision-fatigue.” (Yes, it’s a thing.) I heard about it on a podcast, so I know it’s real. (Just kidding. But, if it’s a “thing,” I definitely had it.)

I felt like curling up under my covers and crying. But instead, I somehow worked up the courage to drive to my friend’s house, where I sat on her couch and cried. I told her all my troubles and fears and questions, while she nodded gently and handed me tissues. “I know how stupid this probably seems to cry over,” I told her through my tears. But the look on her face didn’t tell me it was stupid, or that I was stupid.

She listened with her whole being. And looking through my tears, and hearing through my questions, she heard me, and she saw me. My very soul. The part of me that needed to be seen, and heard.

And then she spoke.

“No, it is hard,” she assured me, having two daughters of her own. “You don’t have to minimize how hard it is.” I sniffled and wiped away tears and mascara. “You pray for this miracle for so long, and then finally…at last, they come. God gives them to you.  And you feel this burden of raising them. Not a bad burden, it’s good. Like, how do you take care of them?” And then she said something I will never forget,

“I mean, how do you raise a miracle?” 

 

Her words went deep in my heart.

“How do you raise a miracle?”

 

 

You pray and wait so long. And one day, they arrive. And there is a living, breathing miracle on your lap.

And you know, deep down, they’re not “yours.” They are His. These are His children. 

But He gave them, to you. He entrusted them, to you. 

And one day, you will answer to the King. 

 

And, how do you raise a miracle?

 

When it comes to schooling, I have heard every opinion under the sun. And I’ve learned something: opinions do not bring peace.

But Jesus does.

 

He gives in such a way, that the world cannot give. And when you are making a decision on behalf of your child, you really don’t need other people’s opinions.

You need Jesus.

He is the only one, who knows the way. Who speaks the truth. Who is the life.

And He never intended us to parent without Him.

 

He doesn’t give us children, and then walk away, saying, “Here you go, you got what you wanted.”

He doesn’t leave us as “orphans.”

He comes to us.

And he invites us again, and again, and again, to come to Him. 

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

How do you raise a miracle?

I don’t know. But I know you don’t do it without Jesus. 

Because it is impossible to raise a miracle, apart from God, the miracle maker. 

And the hands that formed that miracle, are the same ones, needed to lead that miracle. 

The breath that gave life to that miracle, is the same tender voice needed to speak life that miracle.

Day after day.

 

Raising miracles is hard work. It’s a weighty thing. It’s actually impossible–without God.

But the God who entrusted the miracle to you, is the same God that will give you the wisdom, the peace, the strength, and the love to raise that miracle, every single day you get to have them.

Just because they are a miracle, doesn’t mean that you won’t have hard days, or that you won’t struggle, or cry, or wrestle over decisions.

And it’s hard, and it’s humbling.

Parenting exposes more in my heart than I ever thought was there. The fear, the pride, the shame. The selfishness.

I need Jesus more than I ever have. I mean that. My children and my husband need a little more of Him, and little less of me, every single day. 

And some days I fail at it. But Jesus is gracious. Just like He invited those little children up into His lap, He invites the little girl in me, up onto His lap, still.

He listens carefully to me, He listens with His whole being. Like my friend.

And leans in, and speaks to me, softly.

He speaks to the wind and the waves swirling in my mind, in my soul.

“Why did you ask them, when you could ask Me?”

 

And it’s only at the sound of His voice, that my heart becomes still again. Like glass.

 

I’m happy to say, God did give us the wisdom we needed about where to send our “miracle” for school this fall. And, for us, that was: no where. We felt led to “homeschool” her for this year of Kindergarten.

It’s something I vowed I would never do, but somehow, I feel total peace about it. And something else, joy.

I don’t know if we will just do it for this one year, or continue. I think we’ll just take one year at a time.

But that’s one of the reasons I decided to do it. I don’t know how much time I have. (None of us do.) And spending a little more time with her, is something I will never regret doing, no matter how long, or short my life is.

I will write another (more detailed) post about the reasons that led us to homeschool this year. But, for the very curious, it’s because I was inspired by Sally (and Clay) Clarkson, and captivated by the ideas of Charlotte Mason, and the “wild + free” movement. We will be using “The Playful Pioneers” curriculum this year.]

In our school room, I made a sign, that says, “Raising Miracles.” It’s a reminder for me.

Because that’s what children are. Miracles. They are gifts from God. And not just the ones that are born from infertility or barren wombs.

All children are miracles.

All parents are “raising miracles.”

All of us.

What a high, and holy calling.

And yet, He never meant us to do it without Him.

And none of us can.

I did not write this to preach that “homeschooling” is the answer. It’s not. And I don’t even know how it will go for us. We might love it. We might hate it. I could be hooked up to an IV of caffiene by Christmas. But, that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

I wrote this post mainly to ask one question, one that I have been wrestling with for months now, and will continue to wrestle with for the next twenty (plus) years. And I pray you wrestle with it, too. Because these children are precious, and they are worth wrestling over. They are worth pausing sermons over, like when Jesus invited them into His lap. They are worth running to Jesus, and weeping at His feet after, like the father with a sick daughter. They are worth a little more than we can ever comprehend on this side of heaven.

So, I ask you,

“How do you raise a miracle?”

 

Go ask the One who made her. 

He is the only One who knows. 


 

Look for future posts under the “Raising Miracles” tab, or #raisingmiracles, to hear more about motherhood after infertility.

If you are currently (TTC) trying to conceive, you can find Biblical encouragement here, “When God Takes You From Barren to Beautiful.” or under the “Trying to Conceive” or “Infertility” tab.

You can also follow along at the Barren to Beautiful Facebook page. <3

Top Photo credit: Rachel Lusky

When God Slows You Down

Today I am sitting on my bed with a big ice pack on my foot.

It’s not what I planned on doing today. But here we are.

How did this happen? Was I running a marathon? Or, carrying something heavy through the garage?

No.

I was taking a shower.

I was simply taking a shower this morning, when a big bottle of shampoo fell directly onto my foot. (It hurt.) And there was an instant golf-ball-sized lump. What on earth?

So, I had to cancel all our plans today, and instead, I’ve been hobling around, chasing my 18-month-old son off the counters and out of the bathrooms. I only had to call Poison Control once, after he got the vanilla scented plug-in out of the wall and sucked on it. (But, they said he’d be fine! Thankfully.)

Overall, today has had a rather lousy vibe, as I’ve been moving through the house like an invalid. And feeling rather bummed out about my foot. And all the things I may not be able to do today and this week. And I was just wondering…

Do you ever feel like that? Like you have these ambitions and plans and then suddenly something…like a shampoo bottle knocks you out?

It kind of makes me laugh. (And cry, haha.)

But as I’ve been resting, elevating, and icing my foot, I’ve been thinking.

If God is sovereign over even a sparrow falling to the ground, then He must be sovereign over a shampoo bottle falling to the ground. And landing on my foot. And canceling all my plans. And stopping me from doing anything I had wanted to do today.

“Just rest here a while,” He says. 

 

And the tears come.

“Are you not of more value than they [the birds]?

Oh you of little faith?”

 

Lately, our schedule has been jam-packed. All good things, but still crazy-busy, as summertime can be. I didn’t feel like I could take anything off the schedule. Until the shampoo bottle fell this morning. And I literally couldn’t do things I meant to do.

 

Sometimes, God slows you down. And when He does, I have to believe, He does it out of love. It feels like a curse, but actually, it’s a blessing.

Because deep inside of me, underneath the surface, there’s this undercurrent of noise. Constant noise, of voices chattering, with fears, opinions, self-conciousness, worry, and dread. 

It’s so loud sometimes, I can’t hear my Father. 

But today, after the shampoo bottle fell, I heard Him.

I was in my daughter Selah’s room, telling her what clothes to wear, and what toys to put away, when she came over to me and said, ever so gently, “Shhh, Mommy.” I paused, surprised by her interjection.

“I want to pray for you,” she said.

She came and hugged me as I sat on her bed. Her hobbling mama. Tears filled my eyes.

She tenderly placed one hand on my back.

“Jesus,” she whispered, “Please heal mommy’s foot.” And she prayed more things in her soft, five-year-old way. And then she finished.

“Thank you, Selah,” I whispered, and I meant it. I hugged her again.

And every once in a while your child comforts you. Instead of the other way around. And…

It’s moments like this where all those voices inside become quiet. 

And He quiets me with His love. 

And I hear my Father. I hear His love. He is here. Right here. Nothing is outside of His control. Nothing.

 

Not even a sparrow…and not even a shampoo bottle…falls to the ground without His permission.

And so, as I lay here, even as I lay here icing my swollen foot–

I am wounded, but blessed.

I am slowed down, but held.

And in the end,

what more could I really want?

 

He quiets me with His love. 

And rejoices over me with singing.

***

Have you ever been slowed down by God? Has He ever taken your big plans–and broken them? I’d love to hear your story in the comment section. Or, has the bottle of shampoo ever fallen on your foot? I’d love to hear that, too. 😉

On Loving Your Actual Life

I had just gotten the kids to sleep when I walked downtstairs into the kitchen. Dishes were scattered and stacked on the counter. A half-eaten hamburger was on one of the plates. Ketchup had dried on my son’s highchair tray. And sippy cups and bottles and a box of Lucky Charms.

Ugh.

Maybe if the day was a little easier, or my daughter didn’t cry for the last hour that we weren’t having movie night tonight (because we went to Daddy’s softball game instead), and I hadn’t just bathed the kids while she blubbered in the tub on and on, and if her baby brother could just be still during his diaper change, and not kick like a wild man, and turn the evening into a wrestling cage-match whence I try to attach a diaper on his naked wild bum–I would have had the strength. I would have had the joy.

But I didn’t.

It’s moments like this, with my messy kitchen when I start thinking about other moms. They must not have to deal with “this.” They must have it together. Tidy Mom probably has a system that she effortlessly brushes through her house and it’s always clean. (And I’m barely keeping up with the “Fly Lady’s” emails.) Or, Minimalist Mom, who I really aspire to be, and watched her webinar, probably only has like 3 dishes, so she never even has a stack of dishes, and when she does, she only has 3.

Fitness Mom probably has boundless energy from her work-outs and protein shakes, while I’m here wondering why my stomach is still squishy after 18 months post-partum. (Must be that darn ab separation.)

Have you ever tried parenting from the tread-mill? I tried today. I ran one full mile. Barely. Because my daughter kept diving on the excercise ball and crashing into the piano or the window, and I quickly learned yelling + running= instant cramps. So, about those abs.

As I stared at my messy kitchen tonight, just wanting to hide from it, I remembered a message I got from my Dad-in-law today. He said he was praying for me. And he said that he was proud of me. And he said, he was praying that whenever I felt stressed or scared–that I would remember to pray about it. And when I prayed, that my worries and fears wouldn’t steal my heart and mind anymore.

And so, I did. Right there in the kitchen tonight.

I just invited Jesus into my actual mess.

I asked Him for help. For strength. For love.

Because some days, like today, I run out of it. I’m bone dry.

And I’m reallizing, it’s not about perfection, it’s actually about imperfection.

And my plans and my goals and the woman I aspire to be–gets wildly wrecked every day.

But this makes me, it forces me, to lean harder into His grace. 

And when I’m weak–He shows me how strong He is.

And tonight He helped me do the dishes, and wipe the counters, sweep the floors. In Him, I found the strength I didn’t have.

(And I also found the Triple Chocolate Geradelli brownies in the pantry. And this too, is grace.)

I thought I would be better at motherhood by now. I still run around like a mad woman. I still yell. I still cry. I still am bad at a lot of things. I still have to apologize to my husband for saying rude things. And to my kids. I get angry. I get grumpy. I have to start over a lot.

But for some reason, He loves me. Right here, right now.

He delights in me. And He is here. In my actual house.

In my actual life.

And He’s in yours.

He’s not waiting for you to achieve something, or be better than you are right now.

He’s not waiting for the Pinterest-you to emerge from the shadows and finish all the to-do lists you’ve ever written, and fulfill all the dreams of who you wanted to be.

He loves the real you.

(Something Satan does not want you to believe.)

It’s okay to struggle.

Because when we struggle we just have to lean harder into His grace.

And it’s our weakness that drives us to His strength.

There’s a story in the gospels where a Pharisee thanks God that he is not like “that sinner.” And talk about how great they are, how successful they are. (Something we hear a lot of on Social Media, right?)

But then, there is this other man. Completely broken before God. And he’s desperate. He prays a simple prayer, “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Which man does God delight in more?

The broken one. A broken and contrite heart is what He delights in.

Isn’t this encouraging? I think so.

Because this is a prayer I can pray. And this prayer moves the heart of God.

You can keep chasing the “perfect” unattainable life. But your heart will become hard like a stone.

Or, you can love your actual life. Because it’s the one God gave you.

Love your actual energy level. Because it’s the energy God gave you.

Love your actual house. Because it’s the home God gave you.

Love your actual husband. Because it’s the man God gave you.

Love your actual kids. Because they are who God gave you.

You can love your actual body. Even your squishy belly. Because God made you. And you birthed out miracles through that belly. And would you trade them for the world?

See how Jesus wants to be invited into your actual life? 

The one with dishes on the counters and crumbs in the highchair? And arms not big enough to hold all the laundry? And energy not big enough to pin down the toddler during the diaper change? 

And a heart not big enough to hold all the love?

Because look around at the beautiful life He has given you. 

Your actual life. 

With cups on the counter and crumbs on the floor. Crumbs that stick to your bare feet.

Invite Him there. Right in the mess of it.

Jesus has walked through more than a trail of crumbs to get to you. He steps on serpents heads–and crushes them–to come close to you. He moves toward you, right there in your kitchen. When your heart is tempted to go a million miles away–because you want to be different than you are. And you think you need to be different than you are for Him to love you. When really, He invites to come right there in your brokeness, and just pray, “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”

And you look up, and it’s like He’s standing with you barefoot in the crumbs.

Because He’s real, you know. And so are you.

Little Boy,

I still remember when I saw it. The blue dust that burst out of the sealed container, and fell on our heads, and in our hair, and on our skin. My hands covered my mouth. My husband’s arms shot up in the air like he just scored a touchdown. And our daughter, Selah, who was 3, covered her eyes with her hands.

Our family cheered wildly.

We kissed and hugged. The blue smearing, spreading on our clean white shirts.

This was the actual moment.

We served cheesecake, and laughed and chatted about how different boys are than girls.

But inside, my head swirled with the blue.

It’s a boy. 

I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I mean, there was a time when I couldn’t get pregnant at all. So, I was thankful to even have one child.

But I had become familiar with her pink world, her fragile frame, her delicate nature. She was just like one of those porcelain ballerinas that twirl in a music box. I remember being afraid I would break her tiny legs, when I changed her tiny newborn diapers and slipped her into the tiniest footie pajamas. This little Tinkerbelle creature, but now…

The dust was blue. 

I knew everything would be different in the world of “boy,” I just didn’t know how different. I honestly thought it meant I’d be trading in the baby dolls for monster trucks, and princess dresses for LEGOS.

My son, Jesse, is almost 18 months now. (Which, in my opinion, is the most trying time to raise a child. And looking back, it’s the same age Selah was when I wrote this post, “Am I Enough?“)

And my 18-month-boy has me gasping for breath. Every day.

If it seems like I haven’t posted anything in a while, it’s because I’m busy: saving his life. 

Multiple times a day.

In the briefest moment, when I’m in the bathroom, or giving his sister a pony-tail, or changing the laundry…

He climbs the dining room chairs and stands on the table.

He climbs the kitchen stools and walks on the counter.

He presses every button, and switches every light switch, and turns the thermostat to 90 degrees.

He plays in the toilet water like it’s the best splash pad you’ve ever seen. Or tasted.

He scales the side of his changing table and looks for the petroleum jelly to stick his fingers in. And sample. (I’ve had to call Poison Control.)

And he tries to escape to the outdoors.

His world is full of grand adventures. 

Wonder. And…

Risk.

And mine is full of constant panic, and helicopter-like rescues from the tables and counters.

He does things his sister never thought to do. 

Like sitting on kitchen counter, feasting upon the fruit bowl. Biting through the manderin oranges, eating whole bites with the skin on.

Or, climbing the shelves of the pantry like a brave fireman. (Searching for the Reese’s Puffs.)

A few weeks ago, Selah had left her water glass on the end table. While I was in the bathroom (I promise it wasn’t that long), I heard a clinking noise–and thought he was just playing with his little instruments. When I came out, I saw what was making that noise…

He was banging the glass on the end table–which is made of stone tiles. He was banging it so hard, the glass was breaking. There were little glass shard’s everywhere. On the table. On the carpet.

I was horrified.

“No, no, no!” I gasped and whisked him to the kitchen sink. I quickly brushed off his hands and face with a kitchen towel. Checked his mouth. Checked him all over for cuts. And to my surprise.

He did not have one scratch on him.

I say this with tears.

He did not have one scratch on him. 

 

That night, as I rocked him to sleep, feeling his baby smooth skin in my arms. I remembered the glass. The broken shards that covered the table, and the books, and the carpet. I remembered the horror I felt, when I saw it, when I saw him.

And there in the dark, I whispered, slowly, meaning every word,

“God,

Thank you, 

for every time

You kept him safe today.” 

 

And I cried. For not being enough. For not seeing him. For not being right there.

And I thought of the angels. The angels I ask God to surround him with. Every night, and every day.

I felt him in my arms. My little boy. This gift of God. Felt his gentle breathing on my chest. And let out my own breath, slow and deep.

 

Dear little boy, 

Sometimes I wonder,

if even the angels

break a sweat

Keeping up with you.

Because, I do. 

 

Do the angels perspire, as they hold you back from fire?

Their hot, and sweaty, feathered wings,

beating hard

To dash, and fly, and swoop, 

a heavenly troop,

to keep your baby toes, and fingers

safe?

Do they bear you up in their arms,

keeping you from harm?

That I may hold you each night,

holding little fingers tight,

Your head lying on my chest, 

arms wrapped around my breast,

Such a mama’s boy, at rest.

 

Little boy, you won’t be little long. 

Soon, you’ll be a man. 

Not just exploring dining room tables, 

but distant lands. 

Seeking out God’s wild plans. 

 

From now, till then, 

my little one, 

my darling, daring blue-eyed son, 

I’ll pray for you,

and be there too,

I’ll try my best to rescue you. 

 

But when I’m not, 

When I can’t see, 

When you wander far from me…

 

The One who made you,

sees you, too,

Near and far, across oceans’ blue,

He’s the One protecting you. 

And at your whimper, at your cry,

He makes His angel armies 

fly.

 

Love,

Mom

 

[P.S. Now, please get off the counter.]

Motherhood Is A Beautiful Calling, But It’s Not The Only One

I remember feeling like I was waiting for life to start. Like it couldn’t start–until I saw those two blue lines on the pregnancy test.

What I didn’t realize, what I had become blind to, is that…

it already had. 

This was the life God had given me. Whether it involved babies, or not. 

 

Sometimes, when you want something so badly, it can make you become blind to the things that God has already put right in front of you.

It wasn’t wrong to desire a baby–God sympathizes with the barren woman all throughout Scripture. He speaks tenderly to her, comforts her, validates her, and speaks of her preciousness to Him. (See Isaiah 54.)

Still, barren women can become blind. And I had become blind.

All I saw was what my life was lacking–not what God had already given me. 

Not the people God had already placed in my life for me to love.

 

 

One day, while I was praying for a baby, God whispered to my spirit,

“How well are you loving the people I have already given you?”

I thought of my husband.

My friends.

My students.

He was whispering,

“How well are you doing with the things I have already placed in your life?”

 

It wasn’t that He was trying to get me to “do better,” or “love better” as a prerequisite for giving me a baby. (He doesn’t work like that.) Instead, He simply wanted to open my eyes–to what He already put in my life. He wanted to open my eyes to the beauty He already placed all around me.

(Pause right now, and think of all the beauty, all the beautiful people, He has already placed in your life.) 

At the time, I didn’t know He would heal my womb. I didn’t know six years later I would have the two beautiful babies I have today.

I had no idea what He would do.

All I knew was what He had already done in my life.

And this. THIS is where the power was. To stop and thank Him for what He had already done.

Looking not to what I did “not yet” have. But looking to what He had already given me. 

This is where the power is. This is where the JOY is.

Throwing off all those whispers of Satan–who says,

“You don’t have this,”

“You’re not this…”

“You’ll never be this…” 

“You’ll never have this..”

 

 

Satan is always trying to make us forget the power and beauty already at work through Jesus Christ within us. Life begins with Him.

If you are waiting for a baby today–you don’t have to wait for pregnancy, or adoption for life to start.

Dear one, it already has. 

Right now, today, God has placed you EXACTLY where you are supposed to be.

He has gifted you EXACTLY the way He has desired.

He even formed your body EXACTLY how He intended.

He delights in you, rejoices over you, sings over you…

And He will fulfill His purpose for you. (Psalm 138:8)

He will not forsake the work of His hands.

 

Motherhood is a beautiful calling, but it’s not the only one.

It’s not the only calling.

 

It’s not the only place where beauty lives. Beauty lives anywhere God is.

And God is everywhere.

Sometimes we make so much of motherhood, we forget to honor the other callings of women. Which are just as important in the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes we make so much of motherhood, we forget to honor the other callings of women. Which are just as important in the Kingdom of God. Click To Tweet

As wonderful as motherhood is, mothers are not the crown of creation.

Jesus is. 

 

Children and husbands are wonderful gifts to be cherished and loved, but they are not the crown of creation.

Jesus is. 

Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can satisfy our souls, in the way we crave to be satisfied, day after day, and hour after hour. Because He is the only KING. The ONLY one.

“Whether we have children or simply hope to, children are not the fulfillment of our identities, and they should never be asked to bear that weight. The Christian identity can stand on no person–spouse or child–but on Jesus Christ alone.”

–Sharon Hodde Miller, Free of Me

You may be called to motherhood. Or, you may be called to something else. Whatever He calls you to, He will equip you for, and bring His glory and light through you. And if you are not called to motherhood, and called to something else–it’s not a “lesser” calling in the Kingdom of God.

You are not any less of a woman of God. You are not any less of a wife. You are deeply and profoundly loved by God, and set apart for His glory on this earth.

I don’t know about you–but some of the women in my life who are “not moms,” (my single friends, my friends that are married, but never had kids, my aunts that never married, or had kids) they are some of my favorite people on earth.

Let me just talk about this kind of woman. No, for whatever reason, she never had kids.

But her laughter–could light up the coldest of rooms on the darkest of nights. I mean that.

Her joy is like a spark–that starts a fire, not the burning kind, but the warming kind, you feel it from your head all the way down to your toes. (Her laugh is contagious, like scientifically contagious.) And though she’s never been a “mom,” she knows how to love. Fiercely, compassionately, and tenderly. With every fiber in her being. She celebrates your victories, mourns your losses, and somehow shows up (with take-out, and party supplies) to cheer you on–your whole life. She’s the aunt that was there at your kindergarten play, and your bridal shower, and somehow now is rocking your baby and playing peek-a-boo with him–the way she did once with you. And looking back–you can’t even imagine your life without her. Because she loved you, with every fiber in her being–with the life that was given to her. She gave it all away. Dumped it out like a big bottle of champagne. 

Taught you to dance in the rain.

This kind of woman–who never had children–is still a “life-givers.”

She still fuels her world, her people, her workplace, her atmospheres with LIFE.

Because, you don’t need to push out a baby to be a life-giver. (You just don’t.)

You become a “life-giver” the moment you are connected to the Life-Giver, Jesus, and share that life with others. You only produce “fruit,” lasting fruit, when you are connected to the Vine. (See John 15.) And when you are connected to Him–JOY inevitably flows out of you.

And you become the kind of person people want to be around. (Especially when you bring the take-out and party supplies.;)

 

 

Motherhood is a beautiful calling,

but it is not the only one.

 

We have a big world. And we need moms. But we also need aunts, and sisters, and friends, and women who will embrace us on our worst day, with a big bear-hug, even though she isn’t our mom, or even related to us.

We need life-givers. All kinds.

And if you just aren’t sure, if you’ll ever be a “mom,” I want you to know, not matter what: He has an adventure for you.  He has a plan for you. It may be more wild than you ever dared imagine. Or it may be more simple. But, does it matter? As long as He is there?

So, just turn your face, towards the Life-Giver. Turn your face, towards His wind, until you feel His breath again.

He is the adventure. He is the way, and the truth, and the Life.

He is the Life. 

Giver.

And all of life is found in Him.

“You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 ESV

 

Photo Credit: Ivana Cujina – Unsplash