When my children were growing up and I was managing an “outside of the home paid job” (some of y’all will be able to relate to how I just described that), life was shall we say, often a tad bit chaotic — but in a productive way. Yes, the dishes sat in the sink a little longer than I would have wanted. The papers and books and leftover trail of projects done-last-night-due-this-morning were evident on the table, crumbs on the car mats and between the seats of snacks munched on between errands and after school practices proved we were a bunch on the go most of the time.
And I wouldn’t have traded any of it. As I reflect back on the days where I exhaled and wondered what I needed to remember to grab as I hurried out the door to meet that next targeted goal on the agenda, I can honestly say that all of it was accomplished by the grace of GOD — because half of the time I was out of my mind.
I can recall my husband saying to me, “Slow down.” And I can also recall shooting a LQQK (and you know what kind I’m talking about) back at him that would today make my face warm up with a hint of redness and embarrassment. I was on a M.O.M. — Mom On Mission, and not to be derailed or distracted by any mere human telling me to “slow down.” Can I get an “amen” so I know I wasn’t (totally) crazy? Things to do, places to go, people to see … there are days you can’t seem to go fast enough or have enough arms to wrap around the brood you are trying to wrangle in the direction you know you have to go, much less carry the things that accompany all of that. And a special shout out to the other mothers of at least three or more children. There’s a whole new level to what your legs and hips can do when your arms are fully loaded. I know you know what that means!
When they say "it takes a village," it's a straight up fact. There is no way this momming gig is remotely possible to do alone. I can't even count the number of times we've been one b link away from a full-fledged Lord of the Flies circus at my house. My village is the only thing that keeps things intact.
A village holds hidden gifts among the people affectionately named "Aunt Mandy" or "Momma B," or any of the other nicknames bestowed on those who breathe life on our babies as if they are their own. You are who catches what we miss. You love in a season we are trying desperately just trying to survive. You hold our kids accountable to become men and women, and we are all better for it. You cheer their accomplishments with us and create deep, lasting bonds. We don't say it seriously or nearly often enough, but we cannot do it without you. You are valuable and irreplaceable. ~ Blakni Riley
Blakni Riley is a Texas-born native, who enjoy a hearty laugh, a good cup of coffee and conversation that hits right to the heart of the matter. As a mom with two teenagers this side of heaven and a daughter who gets to play with Jesus regularly, she has a heart to see Jesus in all aspects of her life and encourages others to do the same.
The bonds that you indeed will form as you head out on this long, never ending, ever changing journey of motherhood — seek them out, Sister. I can tell you from the heart of this strong and independent woman that my mama raised me to be (thank you, mama) that you will need your Sisters. Yes, even those of us who think that we can conquer the Everest of laundry piles and find that specific bit of internet-only information that will satisfy your nine-year-old’s quest to get that gold star on her paper, leaping over the mound of Legos strewn across the floor you just Swiffered moments ago after putting that chicken in the oven for dinner … find them. Seek out your Sisters that have a brood of her own so that you can pinch hit for each other, uplift one another with a kind word from the Word, speak life into her war-torn days with the Word and remind each other that your work is not in vain.
We were meant for community = come in unity. There will be challenging (and that’s putting it gently) rough roads ahead. But better than Ford, you were built for this — and you and Jesus can do unimaginable things with those littles He’s blessed you with.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 ESV
Mama Friends are a Gift! The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” should also include “it takes other mamas to keep the mama alive.” This journey wasn’t meant to be done alone. You and I need other mamas to come alongside us on the good and hard days. We need to hear someone say that we are doing a great job or that we are not alone. Hearing the words “oh my child does that too” or just sitting in and crying without being judged are gifts that only mamas truly understand. Find your people, look for your tribe, and link arms with other mamas. You’ll soon see that this mama life is definitely better together. ~ Nora Tatina
Nora Tatina was born and raised in the Inner City of Detroit, Michigan. Nora earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. She also received an MA in TESOL from Biola University and has taught ESL for over 10 years. Mother of two beautiful (very) young children, she manages to find time to serve and lead as the director of women’s ministry at New Life Community Church in Brookfield, Illinois where her husband Rick Tatina is the pastor.
Motherhood is a divine assignment.
Mothering is hard and holy work but when you co-parent with Father God; He will give you everything you need to get the job done (Philippians 4:13,19).
Spend time with Jesus throughout your day.
Talk to Him as you fold the laundry, wash the dishes, and sit in the carpool line. Saturate your life with scripture. Read it, write it, or listen to it. The Word of God is your greatest resource! Worship God in joy and sorrow. Praising Him ignites the Holy Spirit and extinguishes the enemy. ~ Alison Kozlow
Ali Kozlow is a widow, chronic illness warrior, and mom to two boys and a 75 lbs. fur baby. Ali loves reading, taking nature walks, and sipping on a steaming cup of coffee. Her mission is to encourage others to put Jesus first in their lives and to look to Him for hope and healing. Ali’s life verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (WEB) She lives in Northern Ontario, Canada. You can connect with her at: https://www.facebook.com/alikozlowwriter or https://www.instagram.com/alikozlow/?hl=en
GOD created us to be in community with one another and to develop and enjoy relationships with each other. I have found that when you come to yourself and realize that you were meant to do life with other women who have “been there,” a world of exponential wonder unfolds with less frustration in the wander. And like those who have shared here today from her kitchen of well-worn wisdom (and she wears it well, Sister) and grace, you, too, will be able to experience joy in this role of motherhood as you turn around to encourage the one behind and beside you.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25 ESV
We all hope that you will join us throughout the month of May as we continue to celebrate, love on and encourage each other. Some of us here today will pop back in at another unexpected time, so be sure to check back in with us and grab a bite to eat while you’re here. There’s so much more to come … and we invite you to share a few bite-size morsels from your own kitchen of motherhood. You can never have enough Girlfriends with whom to do life!
We love you all to Heaven and Back ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary
*Thank you to Blakni Riley, Alison Kozlow and Nora Tatina for sharing on this publication of Titus-two.com and contributing to the many bite-size morsels of love, caring and doing life in Jesus. We look forward to sharing more from you in the days to come and cheer you on in this Journey of mama-hood.