Twice this past week, while talking to two different moms, their eyes have filled with tears. My first reaction is a bit of fear because it might be that my honest words have caused pain, but the other part of me is thankful for a glimpse into their tender hearts. One sweet mom I met at the park in my dads soon to be neighborhood. Almost immediately she started sharing with me how anxious she is about the upcoming school year. Last year was a bit of a nightmare, with one of her children being bullied and one newly diagnosed with dyslexia. Oh, how I have been there! The times we have experienced bullying was so hard. Then the early years of navigating school with a child who has been created with dyslexia is not easy. You hear all kinds of opinions and pour out money right and left just to get answers. Our hope in doing this was to get answers in order to get help. For us, it was not until we took our kids out of private school and into public that we got answers and help. In the midst of this moms rapid fire fear filled words, I did the only think I knew to do – speak truth. I told her that God had given her these unique children not by accident. She was chosen to be their mom, not anyone else. She has a choice to be anxious or calm each and everyday. Why not choose calm? I shared how I start my day with God because I can not do this mission of motherhood on my own. I have tried this approach and it was a disaster! How many other mom’s feel this way?
The next beautiful encounter was during lunch with some of my dearest friends. We sat visiting and catching up, but my eyes kept noticing a precious mom with two super cute young boys. They sat on the same side of the bench, eating their lunch, content as can be. Lunch was followed by cookies and I just could not sit still any longer. At the risk of appearing weird, I approached this mama. I asked if she wanted me to take a picture of her and the boys with her phone. She immediately started telling me how terrible she looked, why she was just in a t-shirt and more words to “excuse” her appearance. That was not enough and comparison to me soon followed. Oh, the lies satan loves to whisper in our ears and how familiar they were to me. However, I now recognize them as lies and not truth most of the time. Again, truth needed to be spoken. Reminders of how the kids are growing up fast and that hard days come. To have a picture to look back and remember a fun time, while the boys are 3 and 7, is priceless. I am pretty sure her children could care less that she had on a t-shirt and a top knot. No, they will remember their mom sitting close and laughing over lunch and cookies. They will know a mom who chooses to spend time with them and one who believes in dessert! As they left the restaurant, they stopped for a few more words and the 7 year old thanked me for taking their picture! I was thankful I took a small risk to capture a memory and to remind her of the truth.
I am just so tired of satan whispering lies to moms! Because pretty soon, he no longer has to whisper, it has become recorded and played often. The playlist of “you are not enough”, “your appearance is far from perfect”, “everybody else is way more together than you” and the ever popular “it is all up to me”, are the lies I had lived with for far too long. Have you heard them too?
The only way I have found to combat lies is with truth, but you have to know what is true. The world will shout one thing, but God’s word waits patiently for you to open it and find out for yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice to start a new school year differently? What if we read more truth and believed it? It will make all the difference. This I know to be true. Not reading our Bibles just does not make sense. The God who made you, me and our children, spoke through men He created to reveal Himself. I see His heart every time I open it.
One of the most incredible things my husband has done for me was covering my bathroom mirror with pink post-it notes, penned with words of affirmation on each one. If you saw how big my mirror was you would know this was not a quick project. This act shifted something in my mind and then in my heart. I could not see my reflection, only words of love. What if we got into our Bibles and covered our hearts and minds with post-it notes of who God is and how great His love is for each one of us? What if we let Him tell us how we are to raise our children instead of this world? What if our eyes saw other moms as uniquely created in the image of God and not someone we need to compare ourselves too? Tell me this would not make for a much better school year.
So, to the mom at the park and the mom at Bluebonnet Bakery with eyes full of tears, I see you as made and very much loved by God. If I could fill every mom’s bathroom mirror with words of truth and capture pictures of fleeting moments everyday, believe me I would. Your kids need you to know the truth and live it before their eyes in well worn t-shirts and top knots or whatever is comfortable for you.
I’ll leave you with a quote by Mr. Rogers that I recently read. “The greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know they’re loved.” Yes, this right here is my theme going into the upcoming school year!