Community, Not Competition
Sitting in the office of my OBGYN for a whole hour while doing my glucose test revealed an ugly truth about women that I’m almost embarrassed to talk about!
Women are so many great things, literally built to accomplish things no other could ever do
( um, hello, childbirth)!
But many of us sadly have a flaw that I can’t seem to understand. We have a difficult time accepting each other for who they are and we find it completely too easy to judge one another based on differences- different stages in life, different beliefs, different choices....
I had this thought as I sat there in the waiting area, enjoying my one hour of silent reading as the timer ticked.
You know how you can feel someone staring at you? I had that feeling, and looked up to find another woman eyeing me. I gave her a polite smile and got back to my reading, but something kept coming to mind. I could have started up a conversation with her. Maybe I missed my chance to have a meaningful encounter with a fellow mom. I glanced around the room and noticed something spectacular. Every person sitting in the same waiting room as me had two visible things in common- we were all women, and we all clearly had a wonderful ability that God has graced us with- we were all pregnant, and even though it looked like we were all in different stages, each one of us would undergo a possibly traumatic, physical hardship in the months to come in order to bring a complete miracle into this world.
This past fall I was working on a wreath for our door, and I noticed something was missing. I needed something extra to complete the look I was going for. I thought about all the things we see during fall- orange leaves, crunchy pine cones, big acorns!
That’s what I needed for my wreath. I remembered that, as Elliot and I were walking at the park a few weeks before, he picked up this huge, beautiful acorn! Probably the biggest one I had seen. Those are the ones I needed! So this morning, Lydia and I set out to find our treasure and hopefully bring home big, over-sized acorns. I went towards the trees I knew or thought I knew would have the ones I was looking for. To my surprise and disappointment, Lydia and I could not find them! We were looking everywhere on the ground but could only find the ones that squirrels or other creatures had already gotten to.
The Big Reveal
Baby Johnson number two is currently cooking away, and it’s funny how things from one to two has already changed. When I found out I was pregnant with our first, surprised was the beginning feeling and then my feelings quickly moved into excitement with a little bit of fear of the unknown. After finding out I was pregnant with baby #2, the feeling of being overwhelmed overcame me for several days. How can I have two? What am I going to do with a second baby AND a toddler? How will I ever love another baby like I have our first??
Many questions flooded my mind so much so that I actually lost sleep pondering the answers to all my questions.
Then one night as I was laying in bed, something came over me to go to the Word with all my questions, and here is what I found. God reminded me that He’s got everything under control. When I went to Luke 12, I was quickly calmed by these words-
“Jesus said to His disciples, 'For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span?
Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you?'"
LUKE 12:22-32 AMP
How comforting it is to know that the same Father who cares so much for His flowers in the field, cares a greater amount about me!! How beautiful that is!
It's a complete understatement to say that parenthood is one of the most difficult things a human being can face. Not even considering the daily tasks our jobs as parents require, the fact that we are responsible to bringing an entire human being into the world and then taking care of them, teaching them, training them and loving them unconditionally is a pretty daunting task. I think its amazing how God designed parenthood. Some days you may feel like you are a superhero, getting all the laundry complete before the little ones wake up and then getting a head start on dinner before dusk. Other days you may feel quite the opposite, but, regardless of how the day went, being a parent brings you this unexplainable joy and happiness that nothing else can cause.
I remember thinking as I held our little one for the first time that nothing can top the joy I felt that very moment, but then she smiled at me for the first time and my heart melted all over again. Just like it did when she said, "mama" for the first time or when she grabbed my face and planted a big, juicy one right on my lips. Parenthood is full of the things that bring us to what feels like our breaking point, but I encourage you not to focus too much on those times. Hang on the heart-melting, watery-eye making, over-joyed times. These experiences is what parenthood is all about, and these are the times God designed parenthood to be about.
When I was pregnant with Lydia, a couple gave "advice to The Hubs and I. The advice was a little disappointing, especially to someone who was having a baby for the first time. Without going into their exact words, this couple, being parents themselves, explained parenthood to be almost a regretful thing. I walked away thinking that I am not going to regret this gift from God, but I am determined to face every challenge, every joy and every overwhelming moment with God's grace, and enjoy my new identify called Mom.
And this is exactly what I am doing!! Day-by-day, breathing in the meaning of momming, and being proud of motherhood, yes, even the ugly parts! This is what I want to share with you. I can't promise perfection; actually I can promise quite the opposite, but there is comfort in knowing that I'm not doing it alone!
Author- Marianne L. Johnson
This is a blog about my journey and adventure of being a mom. Let's be honest! Motherhood is nothing but an adventure. Some days you roll with the punches while other days unfold to be little specks of perfection. With whatever kind of day I get presented with, I always find God's glory, grace and blessings.