I hope you have gotten a chance to read chapters 1 and 2 this past week.
Oh friends, what an encouragement to know I'm not alone! Were you encouraged to read Sarah Mae's words, knowing you have been there (or are there)!? Then to have Sally come in with her soothing words of comfort and encouragement. What a gift!
I especially love the letters exchanged between the two of them at the beginning of each chapter.
Let's talk about ideals for a moment. We all have them and they aren't necessarily a bad thing to have. If we are prone to aiming high, the chances of us constantly reaching said ideals is quite slim. However, having high ideals so cause us to reach and stretch far beyond what we thought we might be capable of -- because we are not alone.
I think there are a few ways to handle this issue:
- Don't beat yourself up when you don't reach your ideals. Simply keep moving forward and be content that you aimed high enough to reach further than you thought you would.
- Change your ideals a bit if missing them just completely frustrates you. Don't allow someone else's ideals to become yours if they don't fit. Family dynamics and different seasons just may not allow for it. Choose ideals that fit with your family and its needs.
- Don't be legalistic. God does not love you more, or less, when you choose to do certain things. Your salvation is not based on whether or not you get out of bed an hour before the children. This does not make someone a good (or bad) mom.
- Don't pretend you can do it alone. Call on God for help--everyday. Don't wait until things get hard or they fall apart. Pray to prevent that scenario and that God would be present in your mothering daily.
"To hear from God, we must become women of the Word and women who pray, so that His voice may lead us as we grow into this role with grace."
Remember that motherhood is a journey. Take it one footstep at a time.
We Need Each Other
We have grown up in a culture that relishes in its independence. We believe that if we ask for help, we are less than good mothers because we couldn't handle it on our own. This is a lie! We were designed to need the body of Christ. God never intended for us to walk through this life alone.
Community helps strengthen us as mothers, not weaken us. This is why it's so important to have an older, wiser woman in our lives and a few good, trustworthy teenagers to help watch the kiddos when we need a break. I bet you could find 1 or 2 more than willing and capable teenagers who'd be happy to watch your children and earn a few dollars.
Chances are, in order to build a strong support community, it is something we may need to step out and create ourselves. Invite a few moms over for coffee--including older moms. Never exclude the older mama's who have so much wisdom to glean from! I have found myself friends with several older mama's. Never let age be a barrier in your friendships!
What really spoke to you throughout these two chapters? You can choose just to mention one topic if you like.