The Brave And Beautiful Act Of Asking For Help

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Every woman must and will walk her own journey of motherhood treading carefully in faith and fragility

 

Micah was three weeks old when the excruciating pains in my body left me doubled over; just as I was beginning to recover and my womb had reduced back to that pear-like shape that the Miriam Stoppard books so beautifully describes. The bleeding and the after pain and the walking like John Wayne had diminished and then I got ill. It was a summer’s day; the warm sun was glistening and comforting on my home birthed boy who needed nothing more than a cloth nappy and a sleeveless white vest showing off his kissable arms. I traipsed my three children to numbing doctor’s appointments, chemists, blood test clinics yet no one seemed to know what was going on. I finally called in the cavalry; my mother-in-law held down the fort downstairs whilst I slept, held my stomach and cried between feeding intervals when she would bring Micah upstairs so I could nourish my son. What would be my final trip up to my doctor’s surgery with my brood resulted in two doctors trying to convince this super-woman-being-so-stubborn mother to go.to.hospital. My infection levels were really sky rocketing and my doctor commented on my obvious high pain threshold and said I shouldn’t have even been walking. I called Dave at work and all fell into place; like it should when we let go.

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I was admitted to a private room at the local hospital with a transparent cot by my side so Micah could stay with me; the interns and student doctors and consultants busily researched the appropriate antibiotics for a breastfeeding mother who refused to ‘pump and dump’ and with a final diagnosis of a major kidney infection (mostly major due to the fact they discovered one of my kidneys has been non-functioning since birth) I was cared for, medicated, hydrated and after two nights sent on my way to heal but mostly to realise that it’s ok to not be ok.

Authentic, wholehearted parenting means being exactly that – authentically you. Every woman must and will walk her own journey of motherhood treading carefully in faith and fragility. It’s that perfect place to be able to believe in ourselves and our ability to raise our children but being free to sing of our imperfections and ask for help when we need it.

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Let vulnerability reveal her freeing ways and watch; maybe a community of not-got-it-all-together mothers will gather around you.

You may not have a mother rushing to collect your washing, a neighbour eagerly ready with a casserole and home-baked ciabatta. You may not have sisters to help scrub and clean and de-ice your windscreen but you do have a voice. Let vulnerability reveal her freeing ways and watch; maybe a community of not-got-it-all-together mothers will gather around you.

It really is ok to not have it all together, to not get it right first (or second) time, to be in a mess or not quite know what your next move is. Grace is the forever giving and living hand of God reaching out and saying ‘let’s do this together’; and His grace is infectious and explosive and leaks out of us and makes us like Him. So let’s reach out to each other in heart and words and deeds and let’s ‘do this together’.

This is an excerpt from ‘Moments On Mothering’ – available on Kindle today!

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The Letter

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“Love her but leave her wild.”  Atticus

 

To my daughters,

I never imagined doing life so close and intensely with two other girls; two girls who came from my womb, whose hearts grew and beat inside me, who fed from my very body and face life, daily, right in front of my eyes.

I never imagined loving two emerging women so fiercely and at times so fearfully. Your beauty and grace exude you; your spirits are strong, as is your will. That can be hard at times.

And I have so much to say, so much I want to tell you, so much I want to pass on – from my frailties and imperfections. Not that I expect you to be perfect but I long for you to live, to be authentic you, to be free; even though you look a little bit like me.

You are incredibly unique; there really is no one like you – not just in a snowflake, fingerprint way, but in a womb dwelling, heart swelling display. There’s a place for you in the caverns of my soul that was created before the beginning of time. I was made for you and you for me. The web of your design so intrinsically connects with the threads of my twine. You so delicate, I so strong – inseparable, in harmony like a perfectly crafted song.

I see a woman in your eyes; your voluminous childhood voice gives me a choice to tame, shame and extinguish, or I can love and guide and blow upon the embers of passion, life and liberty in your song. I refuse to quash – I choose to wash over you with words of encouragement, inspiration and light.

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And here you are living in the midst of a social explosion; a connection erosion through scrolling screens and vicious teens and my inmost being wants to drag back in, like a near dead body on a front line battle, the clear and the combined and coherent process of living again. Guard your hearts dear daughters from the pressure of Pinterest perfection which leaves authentic being as just mere inflection; which leaves girls like you (and me) in a sea of correction and rejection. Lift up your eyes and see your King; the One who knitted your inquisitive soul and made you whole.

He is the mirror we hang on our wall and stare into timelessly until we no longer feel small.

See the detail in the day; His splendour on display – let your senses come alive, breath deeply daughter – thrive!

You see I could come at you with wisdom and lived advice but in the end that’s like rolling a dice; you can choose to walk my way and follow patterns of my life – I can guide you into motherhood and inspire you as a wife. But I’m compelled to show you Jesus through every season of your days so when success or favour crowns you it’s to Him we give our praise. Or when darker days are heavy like grey clouds on the horizon – I’ll teach you to kneel, and look up; there’s always a glimmer of light about to break through; a peace that helps us wisen.

My daughters you need to know it’s by grace I daily mother your souls and I get it wrong so often; I pray with every fallen word your forgiving hearts will soften.

My dependence upon Him ties me to you and to what your future holds and I guess what we’ll watch unfold. But in these days ahead I’ll love you lavishly and liberally, unhindered in peeling back the surface of your pleasing, precious, present and imperfect life.

I love you.

This is an excerpt from my Kindle book ‘Moments On Mothering’; you can purchase the whole book here – enjoy!