Saturday my brother married Superwoman.
This 22-year-old fashion plate can sing, sew, cook, paint, draw, and has read 85 books in a summer. Thick books. Did I mention she’s a black belt?
She converses intelligently on any given subject. We had Spotify going the day John first brought her over, and the song “Baby Elephant Walk” came on. Seriously. Who knows this song? We discovered it by accident.
Wouldn’t you know? She nods and says, “Oh! Baby Elephant Walk! It’s from a John Wayne movie.”
As a homeschooling mom myself, as the wedding approached you can imagine how pumped I was to get to meet the mother of this…Superwoman. Especially as I’ve been feeling about as super as a stale dishrag. Maybe her mom could impart some pearls of wisdom to transform me into exactly what my children need me to be.
This lady. She faced me head-on, smiled, and asked like she meant it. “How’s life?”
Such kindness. Such grace. So I confessed that I’ve been doing a lot of writing, and I feel guilty about it. I want to be what my kids need me to be, but I have this love of writing and design, and it is financially profitable.
I was not prepared for her reaction.
I held my breath, expecting an interrogation. I had it all played out:
Do you spend time with the little ones? (Yes) Do you get X, Y, and Z done every day? (Hmmm…) How is your laundry room? (Noooo!)
Instead, she glowed. “You write?! That’s so wonderful!”
My mouth fell open as she encouraged me with her story – which was almost word for word what a writer friend had told me just a couple days earlier.
Life-changing stuff, and their stories were almost word for word!
“If your cup is full, only then can you fill the cup of another. If you are only giving and not refilling, you will fall apart.
“Our cups are filled by God and spending time with Him but also by doing the things He gave us individually that make us happy. I always told my kids that God packed our bags for us before He sent us down here, and they are all different and unique for us.”
The full gist of Lisa’s encouragement was captured in this message from my friend Kathleen.
From my friend Kathleen in our writer’s group:
“I understand guilt, especially when it comes to our children.
“I put everything I had into my children. I never went to school when they were home. I never graduated college. I was their mom and my husband’s wife. I lost me. I became everything I said I would never be.
“Then they moved out, started their own lives and I realized I forgot who I was, what I wanted, if I had any passions, and in some ways I was incredibly lost. I’ve been incredibly lost for many years because I lost my identity.
“I want to make my own money. I’m tired of not helping my husband financially. I need to contribute to the family budget, and my cooking classes could help me start my own little business to do that.
“I went to see your blog, and I have to tell you: this is what you were meant to do. It’s going to be hard, not everyone is going to agree, but you are building bridges and being a light in this world.
“And your writing, right now it seems you’re doing it for financial reasons – you’re being torn between writing and the children. But I see it as planning for your future and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“When the kids are grown, you’ll have your writing. This medium will allow you to not feel so alone. You will feel you are giving something back to the world because you started something when they were young. Your writing is a blessing in disguise.
“You set out to help the family budget but in the end I think it’s going to help you. I think this is your gift. Like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, this is going to ease your pain when you’re older. This is going to get something for you that will benefit you and your family.
“We’re called to love our children, to train them up, be there for them. No one ever said we lose a piece of ourselves so that could happen.
“Every good mother feels guilty, and if they have nothing to feel guilty about they will find something. Please, sweetie, remember: you are important too. You only answer to God, and He’s got you on the path you’re meant to be on. He will get you through the hard days as well. You just have to stay the course.
“Rebekah, Be Still and Know…”
I’m still figuring it all out.
If you are a young mom, I hope Lisa and Kathleen encouraged you.
If you are an older mom, I’d love to hear your story.
What have you learned? Do you have any triumphs or regrets you can share to bless those of us coming behind?
Thanks for reading, and thanks if you choose to comment. God bless! 🙂