She circled out the main double doors of the church sanctuary, reappearing through a side door and waited for me there. Taking my hand, she pleaded, “I don’t have any idea who I was before motherhood shallowed me whole.” I looked into her eyes and saw red rims. She’d been crying the whole hour I’d been speaking, that much I knew.
“You said to jot down a few idea of things we liked to do, things that we’ve put aside since becoming moms, but I don’t know! I went straight from my parents’ child to my husband’s wife to my children’s mother… but who am I? You say I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, but I don’t know. I just don’t know.” The tears started flowing again.
Turning two chairs to face one another, we sat knee to knee. Gently I smiled and said, “God did such a good job when He made you.” She shrugged, then nodded, as I leaned in and patted her knee rhythmically – the way I do my child’s knee when he’s worked up and anxious. She needed a mothering touch to sooth her mothering heart.
“Do you remember any books you read as a child?” I asked.
“Little Women,” she responded.
“One of my favorites,” I affirmed.
“I’ve read it to my girls a time or two in the past decade,” she said with a smile.
“Do they like your cooking?” I asked.
“Yes,” she answered.
“And your husband?”
“Yes, he does too.”
“Do you enjoy cooking for them?”
“Sunday dinner is my favorite.” Again with the smile.
With my left hand still patting her leg I leaned down and pulled a small journal from my purse. Opening it awkwardly, as not to disturb the pat-pat-pat, I jotted down two words:
One right over the other, begging to be made into a more extensive list.
“Tell me about your home? Do you decorate it? Host people in it?”
“I do,” she said. So I added:
“How about music?” Do you like to listen to music?” As I looked up from our growing list, I saw an utterly joyful look in her eye looked, like something broke open and light was filtering through.
“I’ve always loved music, and my girls do too. We play music in our home all the time. Mostly our favorite Pandora stations, but I play the piano too. Or at least I used to. Write that down, would you?”
So I did:
I stopped the patting and used both hands to carefully rip the paper from its shell, and handed it to the woman no different than any other woman, yet entirely unique and wonderfully her own self.
“God did a marvelous job when He made you a homemaker, a nurturer, a cook, a musician and a mother. He doesn’t want you to get lost in this sacrificial business of mothering, but to find yourself there.”
And the same is true for you.
You’re so good at making a home, don’t forget to make yourself at home there too.
Whatever your list holds, however extensive or scarce it seems upon the paper, God did a wonderful job when He designed you with your own brand of passions and pleasures and then gave you people! Of course, those people seem to take up all the space in your life, but there’s room for you in their midst. I promise you, there’s room for you in your home. Room for a chapter of a book before bed, room for a song at the piano after you tuck the kids in for the night, room for you to slather a new coat of paint in your favorite room or hang a pretty wreath upon your door, room for a dinner party around your dining room table...
There is room for you in your home if you make it – if you make yourself a priority.
This isn’t about “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” This is simply YOU, beautiful you, uniquely designed by the creator of heaven and earth celebrating your own fearfully and wonderfully made design.
Moms are so good at nurturing out the uniquely marvelous talents and treasures bound up in the other people in their home. Moms are always quoting Psalm 139, “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” But that scripture isn’t about our children, it’s about ourselves, written in the first person. This is my song, and this is your song too. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and so let’s make room for ourselves in our everyday routines again.
Weave yourself purposefully into the tapestry of your family life again!
Image Credit: Unsplash.com
Wendy Speake is a trained actress and heartfelt teacher. She ministers to women’s hearts through storytelling and life applications, utilizing drama, comedy, poetry and the study of God’s Word. During her career in Hollywood, Speake found herself longing to tell stories that edify and encourage women. Her latest book is Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom (Kregel, September 2016) written with Kelli Stuart. Speake is a wife and homeschooling mother of three boys. Learn more at www.lifecreative.me.