Each day I am reminded what a blessing children are. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we never have our trying moments…we do. But, because of those moments I have realized this…motherhood is sanctifying. It calls us to look past our own desires, and put our children’s needs and wants above our own. It calls us to be the people that we want our children to one day become. It reminds us that we are their first glimpse of Jesus.
Motherhood points out so many flaws, it points out our self-centeredness, our pride, our temper, our busyness .Being a mom points out flaws, but it does more than just point out our own weakness. It points out Christ’s strength and His perfection. Our failure points us to Him. Being a Mama points us to the gospel. It is easy to wonder what the gospel has to do with our daily lives once we have already accepted Christ. We know the gospel, that Jesus was born as a man, that He lived a sinless life, that He died for us, and rose again. He did what we could not do. And every day, even after salvation, He does what we can not do. The gospel displayed the most perfect love, and everyday Jesus loves us despite our failings as mothers. He reminds us that we can’t do it all, only He can do that.
We are weak, but He is strong. When we hide our weakness, we hide His strength. When we are honest about our weakness, we let Christ’s grace and strength work through us. When we are honest about our weakness as mothers we preach the gospel to our children, and to those around us, that Jesus will do what we can not do. His power is made perfect in our weakness.
It’s been just over two months since we said goodbye to our sweet girl, and I have to admit that I have been anxiously awaiting Easter. I have always loved Easter, there is something about celebrating the risen Savior surrounded by spring flowers and little girls in pretty dresses. But this year it is so different…
I remember singing songs about resurrection, songs that asked questions like “O death where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?”. I could sing that song from a spiritual standpoint, feeling so grateful that Christ was risen, but this year the words will mean so much more to my grieving heart. Jesus’ resurrection means that we have eternal life, it means that He suffered for us, but that death could not hold Him. It means that he conquered death.
This year I know a bit more about what the sting of death is. I know the helpless feeling that the disciples must have felt on Friday, and on Saturday. My hearth can almost feel the pain that Mary, the mother of Jesus felt in those days as she doubtless wept uncontrollably. I know she felt the pain that only a mother who has lost a child knows. But, there is one thing that I know that they did not…Sunday is coming!
Even though I know I will feel the pain of Friday this week, I know that Sunday is coming, and that the pain will only last a little while. I know that weeping may endure for a night…but that joy will come in the morning.When Sunday morning is here and I stand in our church and worship our risen Savior I know my emotions will probably be all over the place. A sweet mixture of sadness and joy. I will feel sadness because I will wish I was holding my sweet Sophia dressed in a matching Easter dress as Stella as we sing the songs that I love, and worship Jesus. But, I will feel joy…because He is Risen…and she is with Him today. I will feel joy that in the same way He conquered death on Easter morning, someday He will conquer death completely. I will feel joy because it will be a sweet reminder that someday I will be with them too. I will feel joy because in that moment when I worship my risen Savior, and sing with all my heart, I know that she will be doing the same thing.
For some reason I have been thinking about modesty a lot in recent days. And I keep coming back to having a heart of modesty above all. I looked up the definition of the word modesty and this is what I found:
mod·es·ty noun \ˈmä-də-stē\ The quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities
I keep coming back to this thought. The whole point of modesty is to not be prideful by showing off our bodies in an inappropriate way, but the very concept of modesty can lead to us being prideful about the way that we modestly dress. It is equally as wrong to dress in a way that is provocative or in way that makes us fit in, as it is to dress in a way to please people for how modestly we dress, or look down on those that don’t dress the way that you do.
C.J. Mahaney says, “Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or a low-cut top; it’s the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride on display by what you wear.”
Modesty is not just a way that we dress it is an attitude of the heart that flows out into everything that we do. Dressing in a frumpy way to draw attention to how modest you are shows just as much pride as dressing in a way to attract the attention of the men around you.
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting of the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:3-4
These verses talk about where a woman’s true beauty lies. True beauty is not about what a woman does or doesn’t wear, it is about what is in her heart and spirit.
I don’t want this to come off as though I don’t think dressing modestly is important, I do! I think we as women need to take a good look at our closets and make sure that the things that we are wearing are honoring to Christ and to our husbands (or future husbands). This probably means taking a look at how tight, low cut, and how short the things that we wear are, but most of all it means taking a look at our hearts and why we wear what we wear. I do not think that modesty means that we have to look frumpy or that we can’t wear clothing that is trendy and in style. It just means that we need to examine what we are wearing and why we are wearing it. I think we should dress in a way that is polished and feminine. I think that we should dress in a way that represents Christ well. I think that our clothing should be an outpouring of what is in our hearts, and in our hearts should be a desire to please the Lord above all else. Above all Christ should be glorified by what we wear, not ourselves for our attractiveness, or for our “modesty”.
What is your passion? I checked out dictionary.com to see what the definition of passion was, and the first definition grabbed me right away. “Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling.” The word “compelling” grabbed me right away. It is easy to say that we are passionate about something, but the proof is in what we do.
We always feel like we don’t have enough time for certain things, but the truth is that we have time for whatever is most important to us. “I don’t have time” and “I am too busy” are really just the excuses that we tell people and even ourselves when we don’t want to do something, or it just isn’t on our priority list. I am in no way saying that you need to start saying yes to everything you are asked to do. I am actually kind of saying the opposite. We have to actively say yes to the things that are really important to us, and we also have to actively say no to the things that aren’t.
So in practicality what does this look like? For me it means…
Saying yes to studying Scripture, and no to mindlessly scrolling Facebook.
Saying yes to reading life changing books, and no to novels. (Novels aren’t bad, they would just suck too much of my time)
Saying yes to quiet nights at home, and no to too many activities.
Saying yes to simplicity, and no to clutter.
Saying yes to playing with Stella, and no to too much tv time for her.
Saying yes to encouraging women to love Scripture through social media, and no to using social media to fuel discontentment.
I could keep going, but I think you get the picture. I am not perfect at that list…not even close, but thinking through what we are really passionate about and what is just sucking our time helps identify what we need to change.
So what are you passionate about? And what are you going to say no to in order to make it happen? Leave a comment below and let me know!
How has it been two months? Two months since I held my sweet baby girl in my arms. Yesterday was two months since I last felt her sweet kicks, and since she met Jesus, and tomorrow it will be two months since I delivered her and held her precious and perfectly formed body in my arms. It is important to me that I am honest about this journey, and I never want to give the wrong impression. I want to be real.
The reality is…
Yesterday while Stella napped I stood in the nursery and wept. I held Sophia’s blanket, and couldn’t make the tears stop. I wanted to hold her. Last week I had a day that was one of the first days that I hadn’t cried, and then I cried with guilt for not crying. I am learning that grief doesn’t always make sense, and that it comes in waves that wash over you and almost knock you down. I miss her. I miss her thick black hair, and her long slender feet. I miss what would have been, I long to see her first smiles, and to see her discover the world.
I remember that she is discovering Heaven. She is smiling as she worships our Savior. I am reminded that there is coming a day when Jesus will wipe away every tear, and we will worship Him together. I remember that He is holding her, and He is holding me too. When I am so weak, and I want my little girl, He gives me strength. When the tears keep coming, and I don’t even know what to pray I can just say His name, and know that He understands.
My daughter is gone, and He is good, and in my heart I know that there is no contradiction in that sentence.