my dear friend barb sent me a book yesterday that i started this morning, tender mercy for a mother's soul by angela thomas guffey. barb, a woman of deep insight and wisdom, and her husband bob are on staff with the navigators. they served a purdue for most of michael's college career, moving to wisconsin after we'd been married about six months. bob specifically had an impact on michael's life, but they both invested in us before we were married and then specifically during the first few months of our marriage, when we were just beginning to understand the adventure upon which we'd embarked. we played many games together and they suffered through my first (burned) crock pot meal, laughing with us and imparting truth and loving us when we were struggling to learn to communicate with each other. they are dear, dear friends. and, have lived long enough to have perspective.
one chapter in and i'm already in love with this book. i long to live a life of depth and passion, yet somehow motherhood has made thinking and processing life a million times more difficult than i thought possible. i'm not sure if it's the lack of sleep or the insane pace that a nine-month-old keeps. heaven help me if we ever add four more arrows to our quiver!
i want to one day be a woman like barb, offering deep insight and wisdom to young women coming behind me. i know barb's life has been lived walking closely with her Savior, and i long to be able to model a similar life to my children. but, it's TOUGH when babies cry and laundry calls. how can one young child take so much energy?!
what hope there is in knowing i'm not alone in this adventure of motherhood, that i'm not the only one facing these joys and struggles. angela writes in a way that gives me courage:
mothering is about giving. we give at every level of emotional, mental and physical enegery. we give until there is nothing left. learning to give without hesitation has transformed my life: it has redirected by selfish thoughts and made me more other-centered. it has realigned my priorities and my motives. but to give and give without be replinished is to eventurally become barren and dry. i have struggled mightily with my spiritual life since becoming a mother. in consistency gives way to frustration, and eventually the whole effort can seem hopeless.
but this, my sisters, is the place where we must summon every ounce of courage we have left. this is the battle we must fight. it is the one that really matters.
i look forward to continuing to walk this path, hopefully a little more poetically than i have already -- writing about the intense joy and difficult struggles in a way that brings peace and hope to my soul, and yours as well.
i'd love to hear your thoughts, whether or not you're a mother. what about your current situation makes keeping your relationship with Christ a foremost priority? what area of life do you need to summon courage?