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Surprised By Motherhood

Today is April Fools...and today is the day that Lisa Jo Baker releases her book Surprised by Motherhood
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I love this author and I love all of the honest and up lifting blogs she writes.  I wanted to participate in her book release by doing what she invited us to do...write a snippet of...what surprises me about motherhood and link up with her website...Please check out her new book!  You can pre order her book at her website....http://lisajobaker.com/surprised-by-motherhood/


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What Surprises me about motherhood?...that question makes me smile...mmm...what doesn't surprise me about motherhood?  I laugh. 
I was a very young first mother...in todays standards anyways...just 22.  And let me tell you the surprises of motherhood happened immediately upon arrival...because the arrival of my oldest girl was nothing like I had pictured or "birth planned"....it definitely wasn't natural...it was an emergency cesarean, unplanned and literally done in 7 minutes.  It wasn't that moment of final push and first cry and cutting the cord...it was people racing you down the hallway and going under a bright light...and then blackness....waking up to a baby that you can barely remember first seeing because you were so groggy....instead of being the first to hold her, you were the last of about 20 family and friends to hold her
So you see when the question was asked...what surprised you about motherhood.... I laugh because my initiation with mama hood was nothing like I had planned....

Things have settled of course and I'm three kids later....none of my births were the way I planned and I'm okay and so are they...sometimes I wonder if motherhood is really supposed to teach you how you are never really in control...of anything...only God is

Here's a pocket full of surprises in my mommy moments, surprises that I think God uses to shake off the shallow and teach me things...down deep, where the real stuff of life is made and built

I'm surprised how often I get ready to go and arrive somewhere just to look down and notice that I have chipped nail polish all over my toe nails that is in desperate need of a redo...there they are half red peeking out of my sandals planted in playground mulch....
I'm surprised at my shower routines...i try to get them early, early while no one is awake....but sometimes that doesn't happen and my shower is sped through while baby girl throws toys, books, and towels into the ankle puddles and I am shampooing my hair while oldest girl brings in a math book and is asking questions...yes the lack of privacy in motherhood is surprising...all my flaws for my kids to see, uninhibited by the running shower water...and all my soul flaws that come out for my kids to see...the things I've said that I shouldn't....they've had a front row seat to the best and worst of me....
And that leads me to the next surprising truth about motherhood...I've learned to walk in the freedom of apology...I bend my knee and look deep in the child eyes and say, "Mommy's sorry.  I should've d played that game with you" or maybe..."Mommy should not have been on the phone that long. I'm sorry." ....I've learned that saying I'm sorry to my kids is the key to their hearts...its become surprisingly easy and I'm pardoned quickly...I want my children to be able to say they are wrong ...and how can I expect that of them if I can't give them my own gifts of apology?...I'm surprised how important "Mommy is sorry" is to the heart of a child...how a wilted face comes alive again, when she knows, that I know that I was wrong....
I'm surprised at the lengths moms will go to make it happen...the hours spent on birthday parties, costumes, or projects...or even the bathroom stall or car to feed a crying baby that refuses to wait...I'm surprised at the willingness inside of a mother to say "I'm okay with life interrupted." 
I'm surprised that God has used motherhood to teach me that being a beautiful woman isn't just about my figure...my stretch marks have stretched my view of my worth...how my size two's got traded in and that's okay...because my concept of life was just too small...

I'm surprised at what a treat it is to go somewhere with just one child...when daddy or grandma watches the others and its just one on one as we speed down a grocery aisle...I know I look strange among the tomatoes and avocados with a radiant smile as I peacefully maneuver the grocery store...yes...in motherhood its surprising how you appreciate the little things

In motherhood I'm surprised that I'm the real student...don't get me wrong...I know I must teach my kids how to live, but for me...I believe that I'm really the one learning the most....motherhood its a continuing education or a reeducation

In motherhood I'm surprised at the lavish displays of love and affection that are waiting for me...weeds on my window sill pulled up by little hands, a bazillion pictures drawn out for "mommy" and even that girl that offered me her pennies and dimes....
I'm surprised at the love found in the simplest of times...me washing dishes..
"Mama?"
"Yes, Madelyn?"
"I love you"
I smile, she is always telling me this at the most poignant times, like God's little messenger letting me know through the tiny pink lips of her kiss on my cheek...I'm loved today
I'm always surprised at the innocence and purity I get to behold ( okay sometimes its all amuck and people pulling hair, but most of the times its not)
I'm surprised at...
Me pushing the swings and glancing down at a girl crying..."Whats wrong little girl?" I lean down close
"Mama?  Will you wipe my tears with your hair?" she asks quietly...
I'm all choked up..."Of course"...I stoop down and pick up my split ends and wipe those beautiful big eyes.....
And I'm surprised by truth...
"Mama, Heaven is the most real place."  just stated like a fact as she's laying on her tummy looking at books.  I nod and am amazed at how many times God's truth is confirmed in my life out of the mouths of my children...

I'm surprised that motherhood is not about achieving, going, doing more, getting things done, checking off a list.... as much as it is really about sharing the moments of every day life with a little person...
I'm surprised that real motherhood done well can't be done always in the hurry...it's best done with full attention  and lots of quantity...there can be no real quality of relationship without quantity...
More than anything real meaningful motherhood takes...time
I'm surprised that my kids actually want to know me, know about me, play with me, and be like me...if I only have the time to give them...I give them time now so they will give me time later. And to conclude this little peek into my mama memoir....i'm surprised that motherhood can really make a 'hood' of mothers...i know that sounds ghetto...but motherhood can draw all moms together... we can all relate even if one of us works and the other is at home, one of us homeschools and the other doesn't...one of us is crafty and the other can't color in the lines (like me...) We need each other in motherhood...we need other mamas old and young to pour into our lives and to help...All mamas can relate to the Heavy, weighty...Holy task of shaping hearts, growing minds, tending our heart gardens that will bear the future....
Motherhood how you have shifted, stretched me figuratively and literally and made me a better person.  I'm so glad God gave women this unique ability to change the world by
wrapping a new life in mama skin
then wrapping new baby in blankets and in arms of love...
and then watching and helping this new unique person spend their life unwrapping the gift of who God made them to be for the benefit of all of us...

I'm  a mother...and so I'm surprised that God chose to show up in this world in the womb of a mother...to entrust a mother with the weight of Deity...

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Comments

  1. thanks for sharing your story! motherhood has taught me too that only God is in control. I love this because it is so true -- "what doesn't surprise me about motherhood?" xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad to be in your hood! There is nothing like motherhood to make your heart grow, grOW, and GROW! I was delighted by your daughter's words - girl words - so incredibly sweet!
    ~maryleigh

    ReplyDelete

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