The long, dark, & winding road.
I was 34 when my first child was born. That is a lot of pre-mommy years to be selfish. While I love, love, love motherhood is was harder and had more adjustments than I expected. (I am hoping there are some nodding of heads and Amen’s being said out in cyber friend world.) Not only did I have a new life to care for but my identity suddenly felt all scrambled up. It took me till my son was one and a few months to feel normal again.
I was on the road to finding balance in this new world and then WHAM! I discovered I was pregnant again. I cried. And if I am honest they were not tears of joy. I hope you will give me a moment to explain. Discovering a new little person was on the way sent a panic through me. Was I going to be able to handle that wave of identity crisis again? I wasn’t sure.I was finally feeling confident in my new identity as mother, confident that I could drop my child off at preschool without crying, confident that I could go out for a girl’s night and the world wouldn’t fall apart, and confident that I could go on a date night and have conversations that didn’t revolve just around being parents.
Days after finding out about the pregnancy we had a family vacation planned to Big Bear, California. It was a six hour drive and we were making the trek at night so the little man would sleep. It was a long, dark, and winding road to Big Bear. And besides nausea it gave me lots of time to pray and cry out to God for help in what I was feeling. I am thankful He was very clear with me that evening. Here are my suggestions via God that night.
You REALLY don’t want to be around me when I am hungry. I am a total and complete grump. I found that with motherhood I was losing my ability to be fed fully with God. My alone time with Him had disappeared. I was too tired to wake at an extra early hour or I was dealing with a baby who had woken before I expected. At night I just wanted to crawl in bed. Even if I tried to read or journal my prayers I was falling asleep doing it.
God reminded me on that drive that if I had any hope of keeping my identity in tact I MUST stay full of Him. It wasn’t optional
Perhaps it was because I was older when I had kids or I am utterly selfish but one of the hardest things on me was feeling like I had lost myself. EVERYTHING revolved around the baby. There wasn’t time to take a jewelry making class, there wasn’t a weekend to take myself on a personal retreat, and because I work outside the home my child was already in childcare so the idea of doing that more often so I could have “me” time on my one day off was unthinkable. I felt like God was nudging me to use my creativity in a new outlet that I could call my own. I was already keeping a blog for my son so that family in Texas and California could keep up with him and so it occurred to me that I could have one for JUST me. My space, my place, and my outlet. And thus “With Joy” was born. I have used it as a sounding board for myself, a place to be crafty, and to dream. It was just what I needed for that season of life
Yes, I have two children and I am their mother. But sometimes I forget I am a child.I too need to be dependent on others. I have a mother who loves me the same way I love my children. And even though I am weeks away from turning 38 she still wants to take care of me. I have friends who love me and are willing to listen, willing to chip in, and willing to jump when I call. I have a husband that is more than capable of being dad and letting me escape so I can have a few hours to remember I am a human being not just a human doing. But most of all I have a God who calls me child. He created ME!!! He called ME! He has a plan for ME! He has not forgotten ME! He loves ME!
That night on the drive to Big Bear God gave me what I needed to walk into the journey of motherhood again. It was that night on that drive that the vision for this, for Cravings was given. I needed Him that night and when I called He reminded me how He needed me, how He could use me, and how I had a purpose…an identity in this journey we call motherhood.
I would love to know your story? Are you a solid rock in your identity or looking around wondering where you have gone?
Memory verse for the week is coming tomorrow.
P.S. – I am dreaming of cooler weather. Thus the nod to Christmas.