So, I’m changing it up a little bit this Mother’s Day. Instead of posting perfect pictures of my breakfast in bed prepared perfectly imperfect by my 18 month old and her dad, I’m sharing the real, raw, vulnerable side. The side that every one tries to sweep under the rug, or tuck away in those dark corners, and pretend it doesn’t exist. The side that will overtake your life if you let it, and how motherhood has taken my life back…
I’ve always been plagued by that little nagging voice. The voice that is sometimes so quietly chanting negative mantras at me. The voice that at other times is screaming at me and throws me in a panic. Growing up, it was called “perfectionism.” It’s what made me a straight A student and always kept my room clean. Now, as an adult, it’s more pinned as “anxiety, worry, fear.” “Will they like me? Will I be enough? Will I be accepted?” It responds back so confidently, “No, no, and no.”
Fighting back is something I’ve done better at different seasons in my life. The fighting seems to come when I’m down on my knees left with no other choice. Fight or die.
For so many years I’ve listened to this voice feed me lies that I accepted as truth. I’ve let it knock me down, strip me of all I have, and then take the little that I had left. I’ve listened to it tell me, “You can’t, you can’t, you can’t.”
In college I learned about these little neuro pathways, or something, that we have in our brain that build roadways, or something, of consistent thoughts. The more we replace those negative thoughts, the more the old pathways will become grown over and new, positive pathways will be paved. So fighting is the act of replacing the consistent negative thoughts with truth. Refusing to listen to the lying thoughts that come flooding my brain. Filling my mind with positivity. It’s when my Dad use to tell me as a child, “Would Jesus say that to you?” Or when Scofield tells me now, “We take every thought captive and teach it to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).” The mental fight isn’t the easy way out…it’s exhausting, the road less traveled, and just plain hard.
But it’s worth it. So very worth it. And until Piper was born I didn’t understand just how worth it it was.
As I look at that bright smile, the beaming ray of light that she is, it crushes me to think that light could ever be snuffed out by lies and negativity. It would break my heart if she were to think the things of herself that I have thought of myself. As she’s learning to talk, she starting to repeat everything we say. I mean everything. What if the things she started to repeat were the negative things I say … “I’m not pretty enough, my teeth aren’t straight enough, my hair’s not thick enough, I wish I was different.” It would crush my soul.
I look at that little face and cheesy smile, and think about just how much she’s taught me about who I am. This child loves me. Like, LOVES me. She doesn’t care if my hair is greasy, what I ate that day, if I worked out, if there’s food in my teeth, if the house is a mess…basically if I’m less than perfect ;). We laugh together and play together; she begs me to hold her and demands we snuggle during episodes of Clifford…and it has nothing to do with how I look on the outside. But has everything to do with the person that I am … my spirit … my love … the comfort I provide for her, the care and love I give to her. She’s sees beyond the surface, and loves me, needs me, wants me. If my child can love me the way she does, it gives me just a teensy tiny glimpse into the love my Creator and Savior has for me. And understanding that love is the kind of stuff that transforms your soul. It’s the stuff that slays those negative voices. That changes you forever.
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
So Happy Mother’s Day my fellow Mama’s. Keep fighting. They’re worth it … You’re worth it.
photos by sophie brendle photography