When you're "just" a mommy

10:45 AM

I told my three-year-old that it was not okay to call someone "stupid." 

"Not even a snake that's eating you?" He responded. 

Preschooler curve ball. Adjust.

"Ok, I can understand why you would call a snake that's eating you stupid. But you never call a person stupid." 

His face curled into his best ornery grin. "But what about a mommy?" 

"A mommy is a person too!" I said with a little laugh.

He smiled big like I was the silliest. "A mommy's not a person! A mommy's just a mommy!" He exclaimed.

And it feels that way sometimes, doesn't it? A mommy's not a person. A mommy's just a mommy. We give our bodies, our time, our energy, our patience, and buckets and buckets of love so that these little people can have life. So they can be known, seen, loved and nurtured. And sometimes it feels like we're lost in the process.

Our bodies don't quite recover. Other passions are tabled. We spend hours that turn to days that stretch to years with our children's needs in focus.

As hard as it can be, I think the sacrificial nature of motherhood is pretty beautiful in how it teaches us a little sliver of Christ's heart. Jesus didn't model a life of following his dreams, pursuing success and enjoying his favorite things. He didn't live a life focused on family, career, happiness or personal growth. 

He lived a life of sacrifice. He was the Light, the Word, in and through and above all things, but he chose to be "just" our savior. The one to take our place. As Ann Voskamp puts it in The Broken Way, Jesus was broken and given -- so we could learn to be broken and given.

When we're really living in our calling as mothers, we pour out every drop of ourselves because Jesus poured out himself for us. And it's in the pouring out that we give life. It's in the emptying that we're able to make something whole. The gifts we're giving our kids in these young years, they're big and they're small and they stretch, quietly, over time. And we won't get filled up from all that pouring out by withholding those gifts from them, by giving begrudgingly, or by looking for those sweet kids of ours to do the filling.

Christ is the master of being poured out, and that means he pours into you -- into your weary and unseen heart -- until you have an overflow again. You can be poured out for your family because it's not you they're taking from. It's Christ in you.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
JOHN 15:4-5

My mama friends, you are a person, dear one. But you are also "just" a mommy. And that is a sacred place to be.

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