This straightforward book, published by MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), is a collection of stories from several moms sharing the lessons they have learned in this journey of motherhood.
It is a quick, casual read, but has the power to challenge and encourage.
There are six sections in this book - Identity, Growth, Relationships, Help, Perspective, and Hope.
I have only gotten through the first two sections, but wanted to share a few things that have inspired me.
~ Releasing Control ~
Elisabeth Selzer wrote an essay called Control Release. She writes, "My need for control was clouding my enjoyment of one of the most precious times in my child's life." This statement rings so true in my own life.
I have found myself spending too much energy trying to retain my control over my three-year-old son and my one-year-old daughter. This leads to constant struggle of the wills that are normally not worth the fight. I am learning the truth of needing to choose my battles carefully.
My children need to learn and grow with the freedom to explore their ability to make decisions and exert their will. My job is not to control them, but to guide them and teach them how to make the best choices and to deal with the consequences.
~ Guarding My Time ~
In this same section on identity, Jane Rubietta shares a breaking point for her in the essay The High Chair Day. One rare morning where the kids were sleeping in and Jane was trying to spend a few minutes in prayer, she lost her temper at her husband over the smallest request. At that point she realized her loss of her own identity, and was drained of all her emotional and spiritual resources. Following this, she writes that "... with vigilance I guarded each morning for my soul."
As my husband’s final semester of school wrapped up this year, I came to discover that I, too, have lost my emotional and spiritual reserves. It was a hard year for all of us, and I have been in survival mode for several months.
Now that things are a little slower (though only for a few weeks), I need to learn from Jane’s example, and carefully guard my time in prayer and meditation. To be the mother and wife I want to be, I must preserve my own identity and guard my spiritual life. I cannot afford to neglect this discipline to service the immediate needs.
In addition to taking additional time in prayer, I have also begun meditating on the Psalms. I wrote a more about it in this post.
What activities or disciplines have you established in your life to preserve your identity in the midst of motherhood?