There’s a special invitation at the end of this post…..be sure to keep reading.
Perhaps what mothers struggle with the most is the feeling of insignificance.
So much of what we do is simply a repeat of what we did yesterday. The dishes, the laundry, the bed making and toy picking up. Making the meals and cleaning them up again, waking kids up and putting them back to bed.
It’s life stuck on repeat.
Where’s the significance in that?
My story starts there – with a belief that to be significant you needed an important job title and business card and preferably no kids messing it all up. I trained as a corporate attorney and then spent two and a half years working as a legal specialist in an anti-human trafficking program with the UN in Ukraine.
I had arrived. I mattered. I was significant.
And then the most unexpected thing happened – God called me out of the work I thought I was born for and into a passionate desire to encourage moms. And in the process I’ve become convinced that the work of a mother who’s up at 2am with a puking child is just as significant to God as the work of rescuing women from human trafficking
We are raising tiny humans. We are modeling sacrifice. We are championing the next generation. We are showing up when we don’t feel up to it and we are brave because of it. Motherhood is a kind of super hero power. Perhaps all the more so because it is so seldom recognized as such.
We don’t get business cards or monthly raises or year-end bonuses. But we do get to document a lifetime of transformation – we are witness to first steps from toddler years all the way down the aisle of marriage and beyond.
Maybe the most important thing I’m learning from motherhood is that there’s nothing routine about the routine. In the dark and the tired and the everydayness of a life lived on what feels like repeat I have started to feel it —the weight of glory, the glorious ordinary that is a gift to us who are knee deep in a world where it can sometimes feel like we have lost all the parts of ourselves we used to know the best.
Enter the God who names every part of who we are and what we do significant. Because “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
In the eyes of that God there is no part of our everyday, wash-and-rinse-and-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and fights and worries and play dates and aching budgets and preschool orientations and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime marathons that Jesus doesn’t look deep into and say, “That is mine.”
In Him all things hold together.
I’ve got it wrong a hundred times.
I’ve caterwauled and threatened to quit and wondered if I was up for the challenge when the finish line keeps moving and there is always one more load of dishes to do.
But we do what we do. We load those sippy cups and the words that need to be said again and again and again. All the “I love yous” and the “I’m sorrys” and we start over and we forgive and we bend lower and remember that leadership in a family is uniquely tied to followership of a Gospel that says the first shall be last and comforts mothers when bad days happen because His mercies are new every morning.
What you experience as the same thing day after day after day is every brand new morning and new memory and new start for your kids.
And you are mighty because you mother.
Because you mix raising tiny humans into the chaos of a life spilled out on business development, or your etsy store, the law firm you started or the art studio you opened. You say yes and open your arms and create wonder for a five year old the night before you have to be at that big presentation.
You go all in even on the days you are right done in.
You are the deeper meaning in the rut of routine.
You are the art in the landscape of ordinary.
And this makes you super extraordinary.
And incredibly significant.
Your exhausted, brilliant, beautiful, ordinary, amazing love.
Today I’m joining with singer/songwriter Cherie Norquay to recognize that love. To capture that love. To bottle that love for the days you feel anything but lovely. She’s written a song called, “Your Love,” that is based on the text from the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me”… in fact her youngest daughter sings the chorus near the end of the song in the recording. You can listen by clicking here – or on the special preview she created for us below.
To kick off the album in early 2014, she’s creating a music video using photographs that depict the kind of love that is “priceless”… you know the kind of love that we all long for… unconditional love …so close to mother love, parent love, family love. The love that is always an ever echo of Christ’s love that first loved us.
Cherie’s a long time blog reader here and a new friend. She’s a mama and an artist and she asked me if I’d invite you all to consider sharing your photos, your Jesus loves me this I know – because of how I love my kids, my husband, my grandpa – kind of photos in the video.
As a reminder to all of us, that there is nothing ordinary or boring about that kind of love.
Click here if you’d like to share a “this is what love looks like” photo for Cherie’s “Jesus loves me this I know” video project.
You’ll need to add it to a special Flickr group we created and you’ll note there’s a release for permission to use the photos in the rules to join the group.
And the first 50 people to upload a photo and leave a comment below telling me they did will receive a coupon code for a free “The Art of Motherhood” DayBrightener from (in)courage (does not cover shipping).
I cannot wait to see your photos and how Cherie’s celebration of your ordinary, extraordinary love turns out!