With Child: A Guest Post Series.

The response was overwhelming. Granted, it took a few days. They are all mothers, after all. Each one has a lot on her plate. Those first few days were full of sweaty-handed waiting and continuous phone-checking that would rival any junior-high girl with a serious crush. After more than a year of praying and thinking and dreaming, I was waiting. Waiting to see if anyone’s heart had ever felt the same way mine did. All I had done for months was hope & pray, and once I hit that red send button, there was little I could do but hope & pray some more.

And then the ‘yeses’ started trickling in. Filling up my inbox day by day until there was a yes for every email I sent out.  From women I have shared countless cups of coffee with to women I know almost entirely by the words they write online.  “Yes,” each one wrote, “I will share my story.”

It has been a long time in the making- the gathering of these momma hearts. In different and deep ways, the stories these women are living flood my heart with grace, tug me closer to Jesus, make me a better mom, a better friend, a better wife.

It’s no secret that just a simple Google search will return an overwhelming amount of articles, videos, and websites that might lead us to believe being a momma is actually about the kind of diapers we use, or about how we feed our babies or clothe our babies or birth our babies, or about how many hours we spend at home or at work. I’m beginning to believe that I’m not the only one who forgets that motherhood is mainly about Jesus. How he makes us more like him. How he makes our children more like him. How he makes his name famous. How he accomplishes his mission in the world.  How he allows our families to participate.

WithChild

Over the next ten weeks, you are invited to join us as we tell a different story about Motherhood, as we look for Jesus, specifically in the journeys we take into motherhood.  Each of these sweet women are going to share different stories of the ways that the Lord has used the journey into motherhood to make them more like him, to illuminate the gospel, and to glorify himself. I am so excited to introduce these women to you and to share their stories with you. We are excited to see what the Lord will do with these stories. Each of the next ten Tuesdays, will you join us with a cup of coffee and discover the Jesus in our stories?

Wondering, Wandering, and Why I Sometimes Don’t Sing in Church.

I feel like I should be sorry, but I’m not really.

I know it might look like I’m angry or ambivalent or something, but I’m really really not.

Please don’t take my quiet consideration as judgement or condemnation, a bad attitude, or a warning sign.

It’s just that several months ago now, I made myself a promise. A promise that has changed my life, the way I think about other people and the way I think about my faith.

I promised I would start thinking and stop lying.

And that’s why, on Sunday? When we sang that sassy song about how changed we are because we’re Christians, I didn’t sing most of the words.

I’m a sassy girl. I love sass.

It just doesn’t feel right in my worship songs. I don’t like sass when it comes to the blood of Jesus. And I think it’s because it hits too close to home for me. Please don’t hear me saying this song is bad. All I’m saying is that I can’t sing it right now.

See, I know how it goes with me.  For me, that sass quickly turns into pride, into me thinking that I somehow earned or deserved my salvation and my righteousness.  Into me thinking of the world as us and them, not people covered by the blood of Jesus, but people separated by our behaviors and our beliefs.  It turns into a teenage girl who filled journals with arrogant words because she didn’t know what it meant to be grateful for the Gospel.  It turns into a woman who thinks she deserves something from God.

And that’s why, church. When we sing that song, I’m not going to sing along.  It’s because I know my own heart, I know that it’s prone to wander.

It’s because when I see the words “I won’t go back again/That’s just not who I am” on the screen, my heart breaks a little and  a tear falls down my cheek because I know that the opposite is true.

I will go back again.

That’s exactly who I am.

And Jesus knows it, too. Better than I do. And his grace extends to me anyway. His righteousness covers me anyway.

So please give me grace. Because I’m still learning how to live this way. I still feel like I’m playing “Real or Not Real” with everything I know about Jesus and the Bible and what it means to really follow Christ.  And if I’m going to be faithful to the work that God is doing, that means thinking and no more lies.

It means I don’t have to pretend that God’s grace extended to me when I “was” a sinner, but that I now keep my end of the bargain, so I’m basically ok. Because I don’t.  And I’m not.

And it means that I don’t have to pretend that my sinful heart always wants what God wants, that I don’t have the assurance I will never doubt or make mistakes or choose the wrong thing.

I am finding that to truly live in the good of the Gospel, I have to first accept the fact that I’m sinful, through and through. There’s no good in me, and there’s no use pretending like there is.

But in Jesus? All the treasure, all the good, all the freedom.

Let me be confident in Jesus, and his powerful hands to hold me, not in my ability to follow him.