Somtimes You Need To Be Mothered

Somtimes You Need To Be Mothered

Hey Mama, lean in close. I have to remind you of something…

You know how you’re mothering all day long? Like there is no break, ever. And sometimes when you have little babies, or babies that are teething, or toddlers who are scared, or kids who are sick, those days run together because you mother all through the night too. You wake up the next morning exhausted from the previous day, but are still so needed for the new day ahead.

Sometimes, if you’re not careful, you forget what you look like. Or you forget what you like to do. Or you forget the last time you finished something from beginning to end. Sometimes, you can even forget who you are. I get it. It’s easy to do. Because right now, this season in your life, you are mommy. And everyone needs you, all the time.

And right now, in this season, babies need to eat, diapers need to be changed, lunches have to be packed, dishes have to be washed, and my gosh ALL.THE.LAUNDRY. So thinking about what you like to do or what makes you feel alive seems foolish. Selfish even. Listen to me sister, it’s not.

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Walking In Freedom

I grew up going to church every time the doors were open. I went to Awanas and memorized all the verses. I won the Bible drills, every time. I spent time with Jesus “first thing in the morning” because that’s what you were supposed to do. I did the whole read the Bible through in a year, every year. Sunday’s were days to rest. But really they were spent going to church, leader’s meetings, choir, Bible study, and then church again. All good things.The smell of that old building, the clanking of the air conditioner, it felt like home. It was home. I grew up there, I met Jesus there and for that I am eternally thankful. But I wish someone would’ve told me sooner that Jesus didn’t need for me to go to church, memorize scripture, or lead Bible studies. Jesus didn’t need anything from me.

Even though I knew I didn’t have to work for His love, I didn’t believe it.

I came to a point in my life, when my whole world fell apart. My mom was very sick and I was certain she wouldn’t live to see another spring. Every phone call, I would brace myself, just in case. A three year journey of infertility treatments, negative pregnancy tests, surgeries, and hormones left me with lots of questions about the God I had grown up knowing. I obviously didn’t serve Him well enough for my life to be in complete shambles.

And then one of those mornings, when I saw that lonely pink line for the hundredth time, He met me on the bathroom floor. All of the working, all of the striving, all of the trying to be enough, was just too much. My heart was so broken and so tired I couldn’t even pick up my Bible. There were days I didn’t know how to talk to Him, so I just sat with Him and He kept meeting me there.

I quit doing and just started being with Him.

He slowly began to take the truths I had grown up knowing, and lacing them with grace. All good things. All true. All of Him. But those things didn’t make Him love me. He started unveiling my eyes to look into His, and see what He sees back in me. I started learning that He wasn’t a god who was untouchable and unquestionable. He started meeting me at my dining room table and in the car and on the bathroom floor. I began to see a god I had only known in black in white, in brilliant color. I started crawling up onto His lap. I was able to lay my broken heart against His and listen to the cadence of His heart beating for me. He was near, so near I could almost feel His Daddy arms wrap around my broken body and weary heart.

I was free. Finally free.

My circumstances did not change. In fact, they got much worse before I was able to look back and see His faithfulness. But I was walking in freedom for the first time in my life, and those days, living in that newfound freedom with Him, were the absolute sweetest days of my life. After years of being bound to rules and begging Him to love me, I knew that His love for me was indescribable and there was nothing I could do to change it. Our journey together deepened. Our relationship of Him being God and me being servant changed. He called me friend. And I called Him lover.

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Photos by

Rachel Ackerman Photography

It's Only A Stage

The summer sun is out to stay, until a little shower pops up to water our gardens. Kids are out of school and running between our houses barefoot in my neighborhood. I hear laughter and basketballs bouncing right up until the time the sun meets the horizon and passes her duty off to the moon. The neighbors across the street keep their floats on the porch for easy access because you can find them at the pool everyday. Summer is finally here.

Last year this time, we had just brought home our second child through adoption. I can still see his squishy newborn face and wrinkled old man skin. His big sister was only 16 months old and conveniently decided after months of therapy she was ready to walk when we brought him home. My husband had just taken a new job and was working nights in the NICU. So it was me all day and all night with two under two. And some days it was just too much.

I knew immediately that something was wrong with my little man. By the time he was two weeks old I was already syringe feeding him and counting wet diapers. He screamed ALL THE TIME. Not like colic, but like something was really wrong. The kind of thing only a mama’s heart knows.

I was in the trenches of spit up, screaming, bottles, diapers, toddler messes, and tantrums. The baby would only sleep for 30 minutes at a time so to say I was tired was an understatement. The toddler was like a tiny tornado whirling around my house at all times. My body was exhausted. My heart was weary. I barely had time to shower, much less spend time with Jesus. My time with Him was more of a desperate cry here and a feeble prayer there. I felt like there would be no end.

When I shared my desperation, it was always met with “It won’t always be this way. Savor every second.” So not only was I feeling utterly desperate, completely defeated, but then I was feeling guilty because I wasn’t enjoying this season of our lives. How could I? I was praying for him to grow bigger and wishing for the next month to pass.

The doctors finally realized it wasn’t colic. After six hospital stays and among many, a diagnosis of failure to thrive, everyone listened to me. A few months, more hospital stays, and several surgeries later my son got a GJ tube and is growing beautifully now with our newest diagnosis of cerebral palsy. We still have frequent hospital stays, lots of therapy, and a road of challenges to overcome, but we are better. I am no longer living in that desperation every moment of every day. It was only for a season.

Yesterday my husband carried our two year old out of Target kicking and screaming like a sack of potatoes under his arm. She had already sat in time-out twice (in Target). I’m sure like you, time-out can be found in any place we go these days. I chuckled to myself as I watched all of Target’s loyal customers quickly turn their heads to get a look at this unruly toddler. I pushed our buggy (that’s what we call carts in the south), with my son in the front like we had no idea who they were.

He took her to the car so she could be contained in a small area. Then it hit me as I put a box of diapers in our buggy, that in a few months we will probably be carrying him out of stores kicking and screaming because he couldn’t run around the store like a wild horse. And it terrified me.

My husband and I both agreed it wasn’t our best parenting day. So we got a babysitter, went to a wedding, and promised to try again tomorrow. And that’s what we did.

A friend at church reminded me this morning that it is just a stage. It won’t be like this forever. And she didn’t say it in a way that made me feel guilty. She knew.

Continue reading here.


Photos by

Rachel Ackerman Photography