Now Moses was tending the flock…There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said…”I am sending you…”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go…?”
And God said, “I will be with you…”
Exodus 3: 1-12 (Paraphrase)
No matter how many words I spill about how we mamas don’t have to be the perfect heroes, because we have a perfect hero in Jesus… No matter how I breathe in freedom that God chose me and delights in me and offers me his never-ending, ever-sufficient grace… I still rise in the morning and sit to this keyboard, feeling like I should offer strength, bring wisdom, do it better. I wish I could tell you how to make it all easier. I wish I could tell you that I figured it all out.
But truthfully, I grasp for my own encouragement as I sit with a heavy body, a burdened soul, a fickle heart, a cluttered mind. Perhaps you feel the same as you grasp for a quick minute to read words that you hope can encourage you for your day.
I used to think being a mom was just about making good decisions, about doing it right, about meeting needs and saying “I love you” and guiding and disciplining with wisdom and patience and grace. Yes! To all of these things, yes….
But it felt so straightforward.
And then I stared back at these little eyes staring at me. Eyes that didn’t look like mine and needed me to tell them who they are. Eyes that longed, wondered, tested, and needed more than I could give. I looked at a little body that was sick or hurt, and I couldn’t fix it. I saw these eyes that stung when I was not patient. I watched my unique children experience the same events, transitions, words completely differently — one laughs, and the other runs and hides. One has days of tears and irritability after a change, and the other seems to have only relief. I peered into little souls that were afraid of things that we could not control. I have sent my heart out on legs into unknown places and watched them be scared, face hardship, get hurt, feel confused. I faced eyes of tiny people who just wanted to know I was pleased, and I sometimes felt my face contorted into a scowl that I never wanted to have on my face.
At some point I was faced with the question that perhaps parenting was about something other than doing it all right?
In the midst of my soul searching God’s over the mystery of having children — a road of failure and uncertainty and giving beyond my limits and letting go beyond my comfort — I have become aware of a quiet invitation. This invitation was set ablaze in me. And in these wildly arduous and agonizingly beautiful days with little ones, I want no mom to miss this thing that now burns in my belly and drives me to keep spilling these words.
I hear a voice calling — in the middle of deserts of inadequacy and invisibility and uncertainty and mind-numbing repetitiveness – God’s voice is beckoning me to come closer…
When I feel weak, He says “Come, let my power be made perfect in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12: 9)
When I feel invisible, He says “Come, let me tell you how I see you…” (Psalm 139)
When I feel tired, He says “Come, let me renew your strength…” (Isaiah 40: 31)
When I feel pressure, He says “Come, cast your burden on me, and I will lift your chin and lighten your step” (Matthew 11: 30)
When I feel ashamed of my failure and inadequacy, He says “Come, let me cleanse you in my grace, and you will give away what you receive.” (1 John 1: 9(
When I feel worried and anxious, He says “Come, let me give you my peace that passes understanding.” (Philippians 4: 6-7)
When I feel worn by the dishes, laundry, diapers, arguments, words, He says “Come, whatever you do, do it all unto me. The work of your hands is as a song of worship to my ears.”
The very things that make me feel like I have nothing to offer…these have been a door to find God’s heart for me in motherhood. The very things that stretch us beyond our limits and make it feel just too dang hard…these seem to be a key to unlock the elusive joy and peace and freedom we all know we should have. When I feel like I’m wandering the desert, the Lord says “Come. Draw close. Fear not. I am calling you. I will be with you. Though you feel weak and unimpressive and never enough — I am sending you to be my ambassador to my people…these tiny, adorable, royal bearers of My image. To these, you will be a vessel of MY love, a mouthpiece of MY truth, a fountain of MY grace.”
Take off your sandals, Mama. You are on holy ground…
My friend, whether you have little ones or grown ones or simply dreams of a full home in the future, listen today for the voice that beckons you through the things that you might think are in your way.