Looking in the rearview mirror at the roads traveled during the early days when my children were younger, I can utter under my breath the familiar, “If I only knew then, what I know today …” And not to say that I fully wrap my arms around a lifetime of should haves, could haves or would haves … I believe that when we live life with our eyes wide open, GOD can show us amazing things — even when we’re in such a hurry to rush passed them. Rather, if maybe I had slowed down more, I might have made different decisions. I hope someone can relate.
Some days were an absolute blur — especially when I had two babies sixteen months apart. Mixing up the diapers in the dark hours of the morning before dawn was common for me. Forgetting who I fed last was nothing unusual. And I’m sure that most of us can say in those early days we couldn’t remember what day of the week it was. The first born has her photos all nicely kept, ordered and organized. Cute lace and embroidery decorations on her albums (that’s what we used to have to collect our photographs — Google it), everything in chronological sequence. By the time you get to the third child, the photos are in shoeboxes, maybe they’re labeled, souvenirs of various events collected into a container waiting to be sorted and properly categorized.
Looking at myself in those young-and-haggered photos that someone captured, I see a younger mom that loved her children and did her best to be present. In. The. Moment.
And that's what I want y'all to grasp here from me today: be present. Your presence is priceless and irreplaceable. There is no substitute for you, Sweet Mama. That text, phone call, knock on the door, email ... it. can. wait. Look at the face in front of you. That's where your attention is needed. ~ Linda R. Johnson, mother of three, grandmother of one.
Don’t worry about being perfect just be present and enjoy your children. They grow up so quickly. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV. ~ Claudia Clawson, mother of two, grandmother of three.
Remember it’s just a season, so enjoy it while you can. They need to go through each season to allow the Lord to mold them into who He wants them to be. The time you have to pour into them goes so quickly. They belong to the Lord, release them to Him over and over and over again. What He can do with their lives is far greater!
Seek the Lord’s desires for your children more than your desires. ~ Sharon Lopez-Hidalgo, mother of two, grandmother of one.
If this is the early days, weeks, months, or years of your motherhood journey, we, who have walked our own, embrace you with so much love. It is too easy to neglect yourself in the process. Seriously, take care of yourself so that you can take care of your responsibilities: the tiny one dependent upon you. You will thank the Lord for all the moms in your circle of friends that are just a holler away that are volunteering to grab those groceries and diapers for you on her way home, swing through the drive-thru to pick up that craved milkshake and sit with you for a brief moment so that you can have an adult conversation.
It really is okay for you to take a nap, brush your teeth and go to the bathroom solo and take a two-minute shower. Things like dry shampoo, yoga pants, wearable infant harness or sling and a microwave are indispensable — use them in good health. Door Dash, Instacart and GrubHub are just a phone call away. There is so much more available to you these days. You would laugh yourself into oblivion if you saw what we had to contend with when we were where you are today. We laugh hilariously as we thought the same of our own mothers and grandmothers.
Read to your child everyday, no matter how young they are.
Tell them you love them daily. They can never hear this enough from you. ~ Jo C., mother of three, grandmother of four.
Sweet Friend, this is a most (if not the most) significant time in your life. You have an assignment to do something that you have no idea how it will unfold for you from one day to the next. Mission impossible? This is not scripted, but you have what it takes to fulfill this unique role by the strength and power of the One Who says you can do this. Most days are unpredictable at best. When you start to feel like you’ve got a rhythm that works, a new cadence starts up and the beat is changed. Please go easy on yourself and don’t pick up that superhero cape. In fact, tuck it into the back part of your closet — out of sight is where it belongs for now.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV
Embrace the hard moments and enjoy the small things.
This is so hard, especially when you look around and everyone you know is either already done raising kids or haven’t started yet. It can feel like the world left you behind with dirty diapers and milk-stained bras. Let’s not mention the friend whose body “snatched” back into pre-college shape. And here you are feeling the heaviest you’ve ever felt in your life. Every waking moment you’re feeding, changing, chasing, yelling, playing, laughing, and just doing all the mommy things. Yet in the back of your mind, you’re wondering if it all matters. Are you making a difference? Are you changing the world? Or are you just here keeping this little human alive and well-loved? The truth is you’re doing both, all of it matters, and you’re doing a great job! ~ Nora Tatina, mother of two.
Exhale, Sister, and know that you’re in good company. We are well acquainted with your fatigue and want to encourage you and give you hope. You can do this! We are living proof that you have the assignment that will change the trajectory of your life as you once knew it. But take courage, Sweet Friend, your Creator GOD is just a prayer away, even when it feels as though no one else is available. He’s a Big GOD and can take whatever you have to lay at His Feet. He is also a Good Father and sees, hears and knows you and what you go through. You are loved beyond your wildest imagination.
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 Claudia Clawson, Sharon Lopez-Hidalgo, Nora Tatina and Jo C. 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.