07 Jan 2013

What mothers can do for one another

Holding up the arms.

Rubbing the tired shoulders, folding the laundry, sharing the recipes, reminding each other about free donut days and birthdays and showering grace when we’re late to the preschool pick up.

Not comparing our kids. Celebrating the victories. Weeping the pain. Delivering the casseroles. Sharing more than just fine. Rocking the collicky babies, offering the girls nights out, teaching the best teething gels, powders, rings.

Sending the cards, loaning the good boots, complimenting the jeans. Sharing the best books, driving the car pool, ignoring the squabbling kids, making time for the catching up. Coming when she calls when her man’s out of town. Showing up with the Starbucks and sticky buns. Telling her, she can. Especially on the days when she’s still wearing her pajamas. Telling her to be kind to herself, and that comfy clothes are always the right choice.

Not comparing.

Not comparing houses or laundry piles or kids’ behavior.

Cheering.

Cheering for each others’ dreams, kids, work, art, new hair cut.

Crying alongside. Holding on. Hoping. Passing the tissues. Buying the chocolate. Holding the hands. Opening arms to the grief. Patiently walking the valleys, flash light packed, stop watch left at home.

Believing the best, giving the benefit of the doubt, calling. Complimenting.

Spending time in each others’ kitchens, laundry rooms, living rooms, cars. Meeting up for breakfasts, sending notes just because. Praying. Cracking knees to the mat and praying for her story, her life, her rabid fear of parenting.

Sharing the mess ups, the upside downs, the glimpses into your chaos. Not cleaning up before she comes over. Being OK with being seen just as you really are.

Welcoming her.

Welcoming her into your real life. So she can exhale.

And you can be encouraged.

My friends Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson have a book launching today that I think does just that. Truly, wonderful, tenderly – click here to see the trailer about their new book, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. I’ve read every word and if you don’t have time for a break or a friend who lives close enough to come over, this book might be the next best thing.

 

Comments

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  1. 1

    Loved this post! It applies to being a teacher, too. The fact that this didn’t happen while I was teaching is one of the main reasons why I burnt out. Thank you for your encouraging posts.

  2. 2

    Please please please don’t ever stop writing this blog. You always know just what to say!

  3. 3

    Absolutely – friends!!! We need them. I think we often think we can do it alone, but honey… NOT TRUE!! Thanks for this.

  4. 4

    Everything in my heart, written in this blog post. Thank you for putting the words to my thoughts!

  5. 5

    Thank you, Lisa Jo. God used your post to answer specifically a prayer I prayed this weekend. Thank you for encouraging us and reminding us to be Jesus to each other.

  6. 6

    Thank you Lisa Jo , this is the first time I comment. But know that an Israeli mom drinks up your words deeply. I read this with tears in my eyes. As I am reaping that blessing of friendship today, as my neighbor friend is watching three of my babies whil I do some school with my i oldest baby. As she SMS me in the morning that we can do all things with yeshuas help like getting out of bed on a cod rainy day and greeting our kids with a hug and a smile. Like another friend who prayed on the phone for me while I was feeling depressed, or dropped me a meal, or how I sent a bowl of soup to my friend today… A soup that took me four days to make. Or how I stayed up till the whee hours of the night folding laundry, cleaning soiled underwear while listening to my dear friend overseas share miracle after miracle of God’s provision. How my honesty, openness , willingness to ask for praye help, willingness to watch her kids while she goes shopping for both of us. Yes, ladies this is right on, make the first step , make that call saying hey can you pray for me, hey I am in a cooking rut any recipes to share, hey your kids are so cute, reach out there are lonely women all around and it doesn’t need to be so, stop trying to be perfect and just be real. Stop letting fear rule your life. Yes. This is right on and the way we are meant to live in community, sharing pain, joy and sorrow and if you live I the middle of no where with only old men around pray ask god for breakthrough or reach out to that one old lady and invite her over for a cup of tea, and yes don’t clean your house just for you let her see your dishes, laundry let her fall in love with your noisy not perfect kids and in return two lonely people feel a bit more loved. Step out – reach out this can be your reality.

    • 7

      Dear Ellie, I am moved by your comments….my children are long grown and I will be blessed with my 7th grandchild @ any moment. I am sorry that you are in a challenging and sometimes lonely position. You have just what it will take to turn the deficit into a profit,love of community and hospitality. We can live below the line or above the line , in God’s grace and supernatural reality….alas, I learned this late in life but I thank God that I learned it and I thank God that you , as a young mom know this……May you have a Joy N th Lord Day…..

  7. 8

    This is such an awesome post. My children aren’t so little anymore, but it would have been great to have a group of ladies around me committed to doing these things for each other.

    Sophia
    twentyfiveseasons.com

  8. 9

    Got to do this yesterday and it was amazing. The next door neighbor with the newborn walked over with her two year old. We all just sat on the floor surrounded by toys and little bits of dirt and goldfish crumbs dropped by her little. It was wonderful. We learned more about each other in those 20 minutes than the last 3 months!

  9. 10

    Thanks for this! So true and such a good reminder to look for ways to be supportive of each other as mothers.

  10. 11
    Karen Looby says:

    Hey Lisa-Jo! I love these thoughts. Thank you for being an encourager and saying what we all know to be true. Having someone say these things ‘out loud’ kind of gives us permission to accept ourselves as we are and be real with each other. I wish I could have you over for a cup of tea and a chat! You would be a wonderful friend. I think you are beautiful, sister, inside and out. You have a beautiful smile and a very nice nose! ;-)

  11. 12

    How I miss the days of tumbling toddlers and running children. My “babies” are now 14,14,18,20; some off in the world at college, some home doing school work yet they “need” my regular attention considerably less these days. But oh! I remember…
    days of laughter
    dirty boys hands lifted up to my face holding a collection of “flowers”
    Little girl coming in dressed as Laura Ingalls insisting I be “Ma” for the day!
    I remember too, the
    exhaustion
    feelings of inadequacy and doubt
    frustration that caused{I allowed} me to yell a bit too often
    the cost of all those “kids” 7 and under 0_0
    the clothing needs
    Your post reminded me though that what I remember most of all is the camaraderie of 7 or 8 amazing families in our lives during those first 10 years. We were all pregnant and learning at the same time it seemed!
    There was little judgment {except what I recall went on in my own heart…blush} and we called one another for advice, help, a shoulder to cry on. We watched one another’s children for bible studies and date nights.
    Your post also reminded me that even though life has made so many changes and shifts in friendships over the years, I need to be open to opportunities NOW for me to encourage other mothers with young children. “Pay it forward” you know?
    Maybe i will speak with the local MOPS leader and see if they could use a sitter :0).

  12. 13

    Oh now this, this had my heart singing. I have known this… this bond of sisterhood and motherdom. I have known this with my own immediate community and with the wonderful online community that has welcomed me with arms wide open… Thank you for reminding all of us that we all have what each other needs – LOVE!

  13. 14

    And still doing it now, right now, when we’re in our 50′s and they’re in their teens and the nights are no shorter and the needs are no smaller and the laundry’s still stacking, the crumbs are still falling and these other moms and me…we’re t.i.r.e.d. But they’re sitting there behind the wheel and their feet reach the pedals and they’re ready to GO….We’re tired. We’re not done. Ever done? So we buckle up again and get them ready to go again. Get us ready to let go again. And pray thanks for tired moms who still know. And the Father who holds it all.

  14. 15

    You know you are that mom, right? One on one, in a group, in this space. You walk the walk, and we are all the better for sitting with you.

    Love you forever and ever.

  15. 16
    ro elliott says:

    The one word that comes to mind when I read this….Authentic…to be our authentic selves with each other…and then provided the grace and mercy God provides for us. beautiful lisa-jo

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