I laid in bed thinking, “That was the last time I’ll look at her as an eleven-month-old.” I purposely stared at her before I went to bed so I could memorize her little self with the covers kicked off and her thumb inches away from her mouth. My daughter is turning one and I’m wondering where the time went and how being a mom has changed my life.
365 days of so much fullness.
I was reflecting on the past year and gathering my three biggest lessons. But what I found, more than anything, was one thing that helped keep me on the narrow path. What I learned was this: to not try and be a good mom. To not read books about being a good mom. To not identify as a “mom”. To not look at Claire and see “my” daughter. And to not look at Tim and just see “Claire’s dad”.
This all seems a little backward. It’s not!
The biggest thing I’ve learned as a mom (and wife) is that being a mom is not my identity, it’s a part of my assignment. I am, and will always be, God’s daughter. My entire identity is wrapped up in Him (not in Him “first”, in Him wholly). If I identify as just a “Christian mom” raising her babies, when those babies leave the nest I may end up having an identity crisis, “Who am I?” “What am I even passionate about?” “What do I do now?” “How can God use me now?”
If I am fully possessed by Holy Spirit, then I WILL BE a good mom. I don’t have to strive for it. If I’m fully possessed by God and who He declared I was, then I will raise Claire into the same identity-agreement…instead of an identity-crisis. I see her, not as MY daughter, but His. The way I raise her is not solely MY choice. When I see Tim, I don’t reduce him down to the “provider and protector”, I see him as God’s champion on assignment. We become a family of the Kingdom, instead of a family of worldly stereotypes that meet people at flesh-level instead of spirit-depth.
If we do everything as unto the Lord – even momming – we have to remember that He is not a hard taskmaster. He is full of grace and mercy toward us, and He is willing to lead us by His Spirit in E V E R Y T H I N G. So, pressures off.
Are reading books bad? No. Listening to podcasts about motherhood? No. Reading blogs, watching vlogs…etc…? NO. But all of that should be secondary. What is self-care? Getting your hair done, your nails, a massage, hot shower or bath, or girls night? And when those things don’t get done do you get frustrated, depressed, irritable…etc. What if, instead, we started seeing self-care less about flesh and more about our spirit-woman*. If we take care of her, our flesh is gagged, and we can approach life with Kingdom perspective. Then, even if we’re walking around the house with snot on our pants, our hair greasy and tangled, and leftover makeup from three days ago – we can still be full of Joy.
No matter what, Jesus still died for us. When we start slipping into JUST seeing ourselves as slaves to toddlers, remember – Jesus isn’t going back in time and getting off the cross – He chose to die for you and the baby God entrusted to you. That is GOOD NEWS!
You are not just a mom. You are a Warrior Queen Mother on assignment. You are not just a wife. You are a Skilled Swordswoman on a joint-mission. Your husband is not just your friend. He is a Warrior King on a joint-mission with YOU.
Stop TRYING and just rest in who God already paid for you to be. Be encouraged! Look in the mirror and see your true identity – a DAUGHTER OF GOD who is raising sons and daughters, who is loving a SON, and who is destroying hell for a living.
Daughter, Intimate Ally, and Mama
*GO DO THOSE THINGS! Just don’t make it something that makes-or-breaks your joy 🙂