This is not all there is to my testimony, of course. There are the "spicier" sections, like how I went to college and did some "living." How I got pregnant when I was 19, got married and became a mom at 20, got through engineering school with a toddler, and ended up with a career and two kids by age 23. Then there's the part about how I got laid off, cried a lot, feared being home with my kids, grew to love being home with my kids, and took a step of faith into the adventures of homeschooling.
That's where I am now. That boring mom stuff.
In a separate, unrelated event last night, I was lying in bed reading a book that I "purchased" on my Kindle. (This means it was a Kindle freebie thanks to one of half a dozen blogs I read advertising said free e-books. Because I'm cheap. Have I mentioned that before? I almost never buy books for my Kindle.) The book is called Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess. Am I a weary mom? Not always. On occasion? Most definitely. At least once daily? Probably. But at least I'm not chronically weary... Okay, actually, I might be.
I got to a quote that I absolutely loved, attributed in the book to author Emily P. Freeman,
I believe women need to talk about the ways we hide, the longing to be known, the fear in the knowing. Beyond that, I believe in the life-giving power of story, in the beauty of vulnerability, and in the strength that is found in weakness.Mom stuff isn't just boring. It's life. These things we hide from our FB wall posts, our insecurities, our real lives - these are other mom's experiences too.
Other moms have poop-smeared toilet rugs and shattered piggy banks dropped from the top bunk at 11pm and a 9-month old with a mouth full of Goldfish thanks to a generous older sister. Okay, maybe not exactly, but close. This is real life and when we fool ourselves into thinking that the mom with well-done hair, cute heels, homemade goodies, and a clean minivan actually has it as together as it seems, we are only hurting ourselves. Here's a secret, she's just really good at faking it. And that's fine. We just need to remember that before we use her as our standard.
I have met some incredible people in my lifetime, and even more so in recent years. These people are the ones who aren't afraid to be honest. The ones who share their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The ones who know that God's strength is made perfect in their weakness. These are the women who make me feel normal. These are the women who admit things like the fact that their kids miss the toilet when they pee, and that they are a terrible cook, and that they yell at their kids all the time. These women know the need for grace and forgiveness. These women know that without God's provisions the boring task of motherhood would be just about insurmountable otherwise.
God doesn't call us to be perfect. In fact, He relishes in using the imperfect and unlikely to accomplish His purposes. When things seems impossible for us to handle on our own, that's our cue to fully rely on God.
Let me be the first to tell you, I am imperfect. I am not the mom with well-done hair, cute shoes, and a clean minivan. I lose my temper. I yell. I'm endlessly impatient and only slightly less sarcastic. I pitch fits that make my 3 year old's tantrums look like the work of an amateur. My kids act up too. They climb things. They chase and touch each other incessantly in public places. They are not boring. Neither is motherhood.
The story of my mundane life as a mom has life-giving power. Vulnerability is beautiful. Christ's strength is made perfect in my weakness. He is strong when I am weak. My imperfection requires grace. Thank God He provides me an endless supply of it.
That is my testimony.
(From the book...)
But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10We pour out our miseriesGod just hears a melodyBeautiful, the mess we areThe honest cries of breaking heartsAre better than a hallelujahBetter Than A Hallelujah, by Amy GrantWhen we pour out our miseries, He hears a melody of us needing and desiring what only He can give. Our honest cries and breaking hearts are ripe for Him to do a hallelujah kind of work.