09 Apr 2013

On being a mother *and* a daughter {A Freefall to Fly giveaway}

I met her in a hotel lobby at the MOPS Convention. We walked and talked between fetching bags and sorting out check-ins and standing stranded between hundreds of people pouring out our stories as quick as our stumbling tongues could get to them.

Some women are your sisters whether you’ve known them five minutes or five years.

Rebekah Lyons is that kind of women to me.

We stood clutching our bags and sharing about the challenge to stay. To stay anywhere, in a relationship or a season, in a zip code or a calling, when running or balling up our fists or clamping our fingernails over the edge of the ledge refusing to trust someone would catch us would be so much easier.

She told me she was writing a book about it, her season of feeling like her life was in a free fall.

How the women around her seemed to be falling hard and fast to depression or boredom or the loss of their dreams, the sense of redundancy in their day in and day out. How the label “Mother” can erase any other names we’ve known for ourselves. And how it can leave us desperate.

This is Rebekah’s story. It’s also been mine at times and in seasons. I’m guessing you can relate to? So I asked if she’d share a glimpse with us. Into the story behind her new book, Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning. {And don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post.}

From my friend, Rebekah…

Before the labor pains, before the marriage vows, before the loss of innocence, did your heart sing?  Did you ever twirl in a dance of delight when no one was looking, basking in the unconditional love of your Heavenly Father? Did you lie on your back, barefoot in the meadow gazing at the stars? Did you ever feel so small on this cosmos, yet so great in the heart of God?

Peering back through the distance of pain, hurt, dashed hopes and unfortunate circumstances, were you robbed of those moments far too young? Where the wounds were too great. Where your new normal became a life of survival, and survival meant that dreams die.

On a good day, my life was ordered. Put together with a big, fat ribbon. At least so it seemed. House clean. Task list long and checked one by one. I milled wheat, tried every kind of diet, and carpooled my kids all over kingdom come. They were enrolled in ballet, gymnastics, basketball, and baseball. I hosted weekend meals, and holidays and tried new recipes. It all seemed so polished, so put together. So what everyone expected me to do.

And then the nights came, along with nightmares throughout them. The busyness subsided and I felt like a counterfeit. Something was missing. In the midnight silence, when the distraction of tasking and toiling faded I carried a cloud. My pursuits of living up to expectations and juggling schedules, without moments for replenishment or asking the bigger questions of meaning—didn’t measure up in my heart.

What part of my calling is motherhood, what part—something else?

If we are entrusted with children, we are mothers. We are all stewards of that precious gift. We take our responsibility seriously as we begin each morning armored with prayer and community to hold us accountable. Just as faithful fathers must show up, invest, educate and nurture their children, so must faithful mothers. We love it, because its part of what God had in mind for us to be.

All of us. None of us are exempt. None are more called than others.

Likewise, we are also daughters. Children of the most High that breathed life in our mother’s womb. A child that he gave good and perfect birthright gifts. Created to sing in delight of living a life using those unique gifts. To take his marching orders. To burn for the broken. Our own mothers dreamed for that future when our eyes were bright as children, yet somehow with time it slips away. Stuffing down unique talents one year at a time—being told along the way that this is best. “Take one for the team.” “Stop being so selfish.” “Be content.”

But does our heavenly Father have in mind another purpose—one that exists in union with the traditional roles of wife and mother? A calling that sees our greatest gifts converge with our deepest burdens.

All of us. None of us are exempt. None are more called than others.

This dual role is messy, but a fresh realization from the Savior at grace and second chances. Thirty-eight years and three children later I’m relearning this life of shared roles, alongside my husband. It’s no longer tied with a big, fat ribbon. No longer polished or put together. Instead, I’m more desperate for His strength than ever before, as I begin each day open-handed to receive my duties as mother, and as a daughter. Simultaneously.

Eugene Peterson says that salvation means the HEALING and rescue of a body that is brought back to the way it was intended. Brought back into right relationship the way it was designed from the beginning.

As a mother and as a daughter.

****

Keep reading with Rebekah- you can purchase her new book over here Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning. It comes with three free gifts.

And today we’re giving away the whole package

1. The book
2. An original chalk art print by chalk artist, Dana Tanamach
3. A $5 TOMS gift card, and a
4. Freefall to Fly digital soundtrack.

TO ENTER: Just use the Rafflecopter widget below for a whole bunch of entries. Easy peasy!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1
    Amy Carter says:

    I am right there. There are so many dreams and hobbies that I have shoved aside over the last 15 years!

  2. 2

    Wow. What an amazing book this is going to be. I feel as though I’ve always wanted to read it….
    When I started suffering from severe depression, I thought, this is it? This is who I am forever? I’m only a mother? Why can’t I be more?
    Then over time I learned that I HAD to take care of myself first. I had to find something outside of motherhood that also made me happy so I could be a great mom too!

  3. 3
    Angelica says:

    Sometimes I feel like I’m running towards this truth, and others, like its presence is overwhelmingly disheartening. I very much am looking forward to this read!

  4. 4

    This really spoke to my soul–thank you. It seems like balance is truly the key.

  5. 5

    I cannot tell you how many times I have felt this way. It has been so long being Mom and Wife and Grandma, I have forgotten who Pam is. This is a topic I have been thinking on for some time. This book might be the firs step in finding myself and doing something for me. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  6. 6

    Time for collecting thoughts and gathering together parts of my self that make this whole. Two weeks ago, for my birthday my husband went through the calendar and marked off one day each week for me to escape from the early morning until afternoon. Such life giving dawns these have been.

  7. 7

    I have a hard time taking time for me to read God’s word…I don’t commit, plain and simple. And that affects every area of my life. SO I am trying to change that so I can see fruit in myself and my children as a result!

  8. 8
    Kirsten L Merrild says:

    This sounds like my deepest fear, I’m not yet a mom or wife but have a fear of commitment while having a dream of having my own family, maybe this book would be amazing for me to read maybe it’ll help on my fear? Do you think it would help me to commit to a man?

  9. 9

    I would so love to read this book!

  10. 10
    Amanda Allen says:

    I am facing this balancing act daily. As God calls me to some high things that I couldn’t have even dreamed up if I wanted to… I have to make sure that I carefully balance my life as mother AND as daughter.

  11. 11

    I just finished reading the book. My response to the book is here, http://www.bystreamsofquietwaters.blogspot.com/2013/04/freefall-to-flythe-journey-to-life-of.html

  12. 12

    Mmm, yep. Learning to rejoice in the day to day. To see the joy in right now and not look at something list. To know life moves in seasons and this season with these two little girls will soon end and He will lead me somewhere new.

  13. 13

    Since discovering my love for writing…such tension…which I had fostered it before kids so that now it did not struggle for some time.

  14. 14
    Sally Andrews says:

    I didn’t realize that I had stopped so many things I loved. After high school life became work, work, work and then I became a mother and wife, moving to a new country outside the U.S.. Then one day my sister sent me a book, I loved it. As a child I would read endlessly and then with out noticing I stopped from that day I have never stopped having a novel I am reading. I am also trying to find time for art which is what I began studying at the University. Another love I’ve left behind. This book looks great. I definetly want to read sounds so inspirational. Love your blog, I always look forward to reading it!

  15. 15

    I feel the tension most in time & energy… having time to spend chasing and creating and expressing myself when I spend most or all of it on other things (things I believe I am supposed to be doing and committed too — like my family).

  16. 16

    I just became a mother, but right now I’ve torn between needing to be a working mother and wanting to be a stay at home mom so I can raise my daughter.

  17. 17

    So many moments- torn between the daily tasks, and the dream.

  18. 18

    I got married and had my son pretty much right out of college, in that after year of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. So that’s where my tension comes in. I was made a mother before I even knew who I was and what I wanted to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life–but I still am trying to figure out those questions I was starting to ask a decade ago.

  19. 19

    This is so difficult. I really identify with trying to live up to expectations.

  20. 20

    Sounds like a divine meeting and precious calling on Rebekah’s life!

  21. 21

    Exactly!

  22. 22
    Jessi Whitt says:

    I don’t have a child, but my husband and I are discussing whether or not to have one. One of my main fears is that I won’t have time to do the things I want…pretty selfish I know. I’d love to read this book.

  23. 23

    I SO need this book : )

  24. 24
    Cristin says:

    So easy to think buy in to the rhetoric “be content” and that as mothers we MUST sacrifice EVERYTHING for our children. Thanks for the reminder that I’m still a daughter! Similar thoughts were running through my mind while getting ready for work this morning…the thought of what I want for my daughter, and that I don’t want those things to be stolen away once she gets married and has children of her own. Maybe there is still a way for me to reclaim some of my dreams.

  25. 25
    Alexandra Kuykendall says:

    Lisa-Jo,

    Sweet lobby memories.

    I just finished reading the book and am already pulling quotes for a talk I’m doing in a couple of weeks on our identity development as moms. There are some scenes forever planted in my head as I struggled through those moments with Rebekah. A beautiful book that I’m looking forward to sharing with those around me.

    Here’s to our friend Rebekah and her message that your calling begins with your talent! Love that.

  26. 26

    Wow. I can’t wait to read this now… I really lost myself in motherhood, as so many of us do, and am slowly re-learning who I am as a daughter of the King. There is so much internal and external pressure on us as moms, and it’s sometimes hard to hear my Father’s voice, to see His vision. Our calling as moms is powerful and amazing, but it’s not our sole purpose. (Also — what a gorgeous cover! Love it.)

  27. 27

    That is so my season right now. I have two children, 4 and 2, who seem to take over every aspect of my life and leave no time for me. Finding the balance is hard on good days.

  28. 28
    Joanne Viola says:

    This is so right. I put myself on hold to be a mom & now a FT Mimi. Would love to read this!

  29. 29

    I don’t really know any other way at the moment! I have a 1 year old, 3 year old and 13 year old between taxing and nurturing and working, what’s left?

  30. 30
    Leah Golland says:

    I am just in the beginning stages of this: my son was born 9 weeks ago, and I left a job I loved in youth ministry at my church to stay home with him. It is incredibly rewarding to be home with my son, and yet I mourn the woman I was. It is a tug of war daily; thank you for writing this and letting me know I’m not alone!

  31. 31

    Oh goodness, that there is even a book out there like this is already filling me with hope. I need this now. I’ve been falling a year now. A slow fall, but gradually the dent has been made in my soul. Blessings to you Rebekah! And thank you, Lisa Jo, for the giveaway!

  32. 32
    Michelle says:

    In the past few weeks, I’ve seen myself dancing and twirling before my Maker. I’m being freed from the chains of expectation (others!) and learning to live fully in the freedom and grace that our Abba Father gives. Love this glimpse into Rebekah’s life and hope to read her book!!

  33. 33

    I’m not a mom yet, but I have a friend who just became a mom that i’d love to share this with!

  34. 34
    Emmalina says:

    Thank you for saying that outloud. It is time someone acknowledged what we were all thinking. This is relevant to many different roles and seasons!

  35. 35

    Oh, this book sounds perfect for the season I am struggling through now.

  36. 36

    I can totally relate! It is so hard to struggle through mothering and still feel like you haven’t lost yourself completely. FreeFall to Fly sounds like a great book for moms!! :)

  37. 37
    Emily Archer says:

    This book sounds amazing and much needed in my life!

  38. 38

    What a perfect time for me to ponder this. Thanks for sharing Rebekah with us!

  39. 39
    Melissa Torres says:

    I want to impact the world too! Both at home, with my kids and to do something meaningful where I can interact with others and reach out to the hurting and share my Jesus with them, in some sort of capacity. I want to have fulfillment as a woman and daughter and mom and wife. Balance and where that role is and how it shapes is my daily walk!

  40. 40
    Kendra Lewis says:

    Just lovely.

  41. 41
    Leslie Hawk says:

    Motherhood + Something Else. Yes. I’m thinking a lot about this lately. Finding myself bored in motherhood? At times. Overwhelmed? Yes. So how could I consider taking on more? Discontented? How selfish of me to want more! And yet… feeling like I’m made for more! Made to contribute beyond my children. Not beyond what is good for them, but enough beyond where I am right now… To bring life, speak truth, acknowledge the brokenness in the world that lives beyond my blessings. How (and when) to do this… that is for Him to answer, and me to listen for. I look forward to what He might say through Rebekah.

  42. 42
    Sarah Noll says:

    I think I struggle with being my true self and being everything my kids need, like many moms. I try to remember that when I expect too much from myself, my kids, my husband, anyone really, I end up bitter and at that point I am not my true self at all and everyone misses out. Even me. I try to relax and not take things to serious, laugh at myself and especially my kids.

  43. 43

    This looks so good. Thank you for sharing. I have felt challenged lately to seek The Lord for more, to ask Him what else He has for me beyond motherhood and being a wife, as she put it, something that goes hand in hand with those roles, but something that requires me to seek Him and trust Him more. Something that requires taking a risk. Something that is too big for me to accomplish on my own. I am excited and scared at the same time. But things like this remind me that it is worth it.

  44. 44

    I’d love to read more of this book! That balance is so difficult to find/maintain. It becomes so easy to default into activities/attitudes that numb our desire to make a difference.

    Deb Weaver
    thewordweaver.com

  45. 45

    I packed up my classroom, and prepared to be a stay-at-home mom. It was my plan and what I wanted. I remember talking with my best girlfriends (my coworkers) and making up a plan to get together every other Tuesday. If you can make it great! If not, see you in two weeks. I was not going to become “that mom” who disappears into obscurity once the baby comes. Well, that was a year ago. I can count the time I met up with some of my girlfriends on one hand. Some I haven’t seen since nearly summer. Before I even knew it, I became “that mom”. It is slowly getting better, but still very hard.

  46. 46

    Just bought Rebekah’s book this morning on Amazon and cannot wait to read it as soon as it arrives. It speaks volumes to where I am in my life right now. I am so thankful to have found her today.

  47. 47

    I have enjoyed your blog for a few months now….beautifully written and often, just what I need to hear at the moment. Thank you for sharing your heart and the opportunity to read Rebekah’s words as well. I read this post and thought, I can no longer remember what I dreamed before I became a wife and mother. I have some soul searching to do today.

  48. 48

    Lovely…I hope someday I meet you at a mops conference and tell you about my book :)

  49. 49

    I swallowed back sobs as I read the little excerpt. Hearing her story makes me feel normal. And I want this book. =)

    We are all called. Thank-you.

  50. 50
    Heidi Hunter says:

    I have only been a mom for just under 3years. I didn’t start this journey until I was 35years old so I have had much more time pursuing dreams and goals and as a result struggle to balance it all.

  51. 51

    Oh yes. I know this well. Just before our second wedding anniversary, our firstborn arrived, a daughter, two weeks late and fighting for her life. Two weeks of the scariest and most trying days in the NICU and then we were home, jumping head first into this new life, while I was still trying to figure out what it meant to be a wife. Six months later, I was expecting again and, by the time our second, a son, arrived three weeks before his due date, I was gasping for breath and struggling to stay afloat. I loved being a mom, but I couldn’t recognize ME anymore. Part of that was postpartum depression, but a bigger part was embracing my calling as both mother AND daughter and learning to use the gifts God has given me beyond motherhood. I’m still learning, but it was a breath of fresh air when I began to realize the need to still be ME, the writer, the friend, the singer, the reader, the child of a gracious and loving Father was NOT at all selfish.

  52. 52
    Lisa K. says:

    I struggle with this daily! I feel like I am just mom and not Lisa on a lot of days. I have dreams but feel they need to be put on hold so I can be a mom! I love being a mom but I also want my own identity! This sounds like an amazing book!

  53. 53
    Steohanie Bennett says:

    I feel rhis struggle everyday as a young mother. I FIND IT hard to take time for myself as a woman.

  54. 54
    Rachel C. says:

    Just asked my son on Sunday if he even had any clue what things I liked to do if I had any free time. Really struggling here.

  55. 55

    “Instead, I’m more desperate for His strength than ever before,”
    I thought you were talking about the strength of your husband.. and then I saw the capitalization.
    Then I realized.. what I’d been needing to know all along.

  56. 56

    OH MY GOODNESS – this is so me…I need to read this book before it’s too late – I have teenagers and so feel this way!

  57. 57

    Oh, this sounds like an amazing book! I’d love so much to read it!

    • 58

      aaaaaaand now I read what I was actually supposed to comment about! :) I feel this tension every time I sit down to write after I have rushed through chores, every time I study for my writing instead of planning godly activities for my little ones!

  58. 59
    Beth B. says:

    I would love to get my hands on a copy of this! I am a former teacher turned stay at home mom and even though I still “teach” my children everyday, I still feel like there is something missing in my life. I feel guilty when I am not paying enough attention to my children yet I long for them to see me doing something for myself as well…sounds like an amazing read!

  59. 60

    I have an opportunity to go to Kenya this summer, but it’s filled with mixed emotions. I struggle with the burden of selfishness for doing something that my heart desperately desires while leaving my husband and 4 kids behind & doing something I’m certain God has called me to do. I am eager to read this book!

  60. 61
    Kaitlyn says:

    The cover? BEAUTIFUL.

  61. 62

    I feel like I live in that tension right now! I have a one year old and a two year old and am just SO tired. I turned off the baby monitor during naptime today so I could have 30 minutes of silence. Bad mom? Desperate? Sounds like a great book!

  62. 63
    Jillien says:

    Thank you for this post Lisa Jo. It is an answer to prayer and I am eager to read this book. I’ve got four littles, five and under and my husband just started a new business. I’ve been struggling with God over what surrender to Him looks like in this time of constant service to my children and husband. I’ve tried telling myself to “take one for the team” and “be content” but the encouragement that I am both a mother and a daughter–these dual roles–I think this might be life-changing for me. Thank you.

  63. 64

    Wow! I’ve just heard of this book and this post decidedly convinced me that I should read it!

  64. 65

    I fully believe God is using Rebekah and Lisa-Jo “for such a time as this.” I can’t begin to describe how I feel this exact tension every day. So thankful for you ladies and your willingness to teach and encourage us mamas with your gift of words and authenticity.

  65. 66

    What a great post! I’ve been thinking often about where the rest of me has gone since I took on “Mother.” I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. Can’t wait to see if I win!

  66. 67

    Why do we think that being more than a mother is a bad thing. We can be other things along with mother and still love our children deeply.

  67. 68

    Not yet a mom, but feeling a dual pull toward and away from it–this is where I am. I have so many dreams, and “mommy” is definitely one of them, but no mother has ever modeled a mommy-hood in which my other dreams would fit. It feels like a sickening either-or, with disappointment and regret waiting for me no matter which one I choose.

  68. 69

    As a parent of a newborn and a toddler, I often feel that tug of something other, just the desire to finish something, anything: a blog post, a sandwich, a thought.

  69. 70

    I often get so wrapped up in being a mother and evvvvvvvverything that accompanies that I forget to remember whose daughter I am. If I mothered with the immediate, consistent consciousness of who my Father is . . . mmmmmmmm . . .

  70. 71

    Beautiful & inspiring words! Women have so many hats/or shoes ;) to wear…. its a struggle at times. Sometimes we just need to pause, to breathe and take it all in….each moment is a gift. :)

  71. 72

    After 12 years {this week} of mothering and 8 years of ‘officially’ home educating I am wrestling this one out! It is such a wonderful privilege, but can when it becomes all-consuming it becomes perilous.

  72. 73

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  73. 74

    It does feel like you’ve lost all chance to be who you once were. There are so many joys in having children that I just remind myself all the time that I need to be the person they need me to be. That can be frustrating at times.

  74. 75

    I see myself in this post. I’ve never thought of it as a free-fall, but that’s a great description of where I am. Falling towards something, I know, but what? And it’s hard, the not knowing.

  75. 76
    Aubrey R says:

    Yes, yes, and 100x yes. Looking forward to reading this!

  76. 77
    Diane S. says:

    Most of the time I feel like a “cancer patient”, versus wife and mom to a daughter, adopted from Vietnam at 7 months, 11 pounds, and now a 54-pound energetic 6 yr old! I think things are seasonal, though, and this Friday is my 10 year bone marrow transplant birthday! Yeah, me! I’m going to throw myself into His word,…!!!

  77. 78

    I am having tension presently trying to find out how I’m supposed to parent an adult child (while still parenting a little one). My instinct to take care of and nurture is still strong and I’m sure it’s more like smothering for her. I have been praying about this for a long time and praying for grace and wisdom.

  78. 79

    Several weeks ago I actually totally felt this way and sent my husband about a three page text about it lol….he in turn wrote me a letter encouraging and supporting me all the way :)

  79. 80

    A friend of mine said something once that really stuck with me: “God doesn’t give us children to make us better parents, he gives us children to make us better children.”~Betsy Kenney
    I think it explains itself :)

  80. 81

    Who am I while I am a mother? This tension fills up my days. Some days I feel like I’m happily drowning in motherhood, but other days I simply feel like I’m drowning in motherhood. Many days it is both.

  81. 82

    sacrificing the important for the urgent… which if I prioritized and planned better wouldn’t happen as much. I have dreams of writing and dreams of creating/crafting, but at the end of the day I’m too exhausted to think straight and I know I can look back on wasted minutes, even wasted hours… and I get stuck in the discouragement.

  82. 83

    Something I am struggling through right now! I feel like God has more for me to do…

  83. 84

    I love how we women can encourage one another. May we always be transparent and real with one another. I look forward to reading this book.

  84. 85

    Looking forward to this perspective! Trying to lay down my life according to Phil 2 yet wondering how that fits in with the passions and gifting God gives us. Feel selfish if not serving.

  85. 86

    When we decided I would quit my job teaching full time elementary art and stay home with my one year old son and move to a new state. That was a hard year.

  86. 87

    Even young grandmothers like me (I’m 55), LOVE these books and stories. :) When my empty nest welcomed two daughters-in-law it was a new place, not tension, but I didn’t know my comfortable mom “place.” Not having had daughters, it was all new to me and I wanted to be so good and so loved by them. Finding the balance was hard. But then when the grandchildren started coming…my place became established. Love to all!

  87. 88
    Joyce M. says:

    When talking with others who don’t see being a SAHM is valuable.

  88. 89

    I love this picture of being a mother & daughter and often feel paralyzed being one or the other exclusively. thanks for sharing this.

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