It happened again this morning.
Last night was a rough night and I had incredible intentions of getting up before the kiddos and continuing on with my plan for spending time in God’s Word.
But between midnight and 6 am, a certain-three-year-old-someone woke up three times calling for me.
Eyes swollen and puffy.
Starting our back-to-school-routine-week not quite as I’d hoped for.
And then her beads came off.
Tiny little beads, splashing across the counter and under the table,
In every direction they weren’t supposed to go.
A symbol of the morning in general.
And the rats in my cellar started to appear.
But God– was good to give us a fairly cheerful breakfast and devotion time.
The car started.
The bags and lunches all made it to school.
And then He used them– those mamas-who-know-the-feeling.
Between the coffee and our drop-off huddle, I came away refreshed.
And He has used them so many times over the years when I needed someone to help me just breathe.
When I just needed to know I wasn’t alone.
When I needed someone to understand and care,
And to remind me that He does too.
“None of us are made to deal with life alone. All of us…are made for relationship, to experience God’s grace through the dearest friends around us.” ~Desperate
And I remember them all…
All those women He’s placed in my life over the years who have walked (muddled) with me through the thick of it.
The ones who have prayed for our children as if they were their own.
Those who have walked circles around the block while we talked circles around our lives.
Or the one who invited me into her hallway to watch a mama-trying-to-help-a-little-one-learn-to-stay-in-bed-during-naptime.
Or the one who took our older children ice skating because they just needed something not-sad when all we could do was weep over Selah’s death.
Or the one who brought me jello and Sprite on the day that the stomach bug hit, when our 3 and 1 year old were leaning over bowls on the couch and I was nursing our newborn while slumped against the bathroom wall in my own nausea.
Those women who have pointed me back to Christ in struggles.
Who have reached into my marriage and loved the both of us enough to encourage change.
The six of them who this very week, are my go-to-team carting children to different places because I have jury duty.
“Two are better than one because they have good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9 & 10
I just finished Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae’s new book last night:
Desperate– Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.
And this need we have for each other,
The way that God uses other women (older, younger, same-stage-er) to offer hope, encouragement, and wisdom,
Is the message that rises from the pages.
God brought Sally into my life just when He knew I needed her.
We both write for The Better Mom and I was able to meet her at a conference last year. Since then, she has been kind enough to continue our conference-started-conversations…
God has used her wisdom to help me see some areas that He wants to mold and shift and soften in my parenting.
Places where my desire to see results has crowded out real relationship with our children.
I don’t know Sarah Mae well.
But I think I know her youngest.
Because her words about their out-of-the-box-child could have flowed from my own heart.
And with her, I praise God for every. single. one. of our five children.
Each one a bit of a puzzle.
Each one helping me cling to God in a different, deeper, more desperate way.
“The only formula I want my children to tuck deep into their hearts is this: God (wove) each of us uniquely, and we are wonderfully made in His image. We have sin-tattered hearts, but Jesus mends them when we lean into Him and trust Him with our lives.” ~Desperate
This book is a call to– relationship.
Between each mama and her child.
Between each mama and the women that God brings into her life.
Between each mama and the Savior who loves her so much that He offers the rescue and redemption of her very soul.
Not a formula for community, but a nudge to realize the importance of having women in our lives who will walk with us through these mama years.
“One of the biggest problems with isolation from others is that there is no accountability–no one knows what you are doing with your time or the imaginations of your heart. No one is there to warn you or to help you in your soul struggles…If we sow loneliness without accountability or friendship, we will reap a loss of perspective of the danger of our idols and temptations.” ~Desperate
Already, I’ve seen hearts moved by this whisper.
A local friend has started a mom’s group to read through this book together and these women will meet weekly to share what God is teaching them as they read.
I plan to join in with our church’s study for the spring.
But mostly, this book makes me want to cultivate and replenish the friendships I have with the women God has placed in my life.
And I know that’s not the case for all…
To be this surrounded by relationships.
My heart’s throb after reading this book, is that the message here will sink in deep–
Permeating and resurfacing as a desire for women from all ages and stages to weave their lives together in a meaningful way that offers encouragement and that brings glory to Him.
“…there is only one voice that matters, and that is God’s.” ~Desperate
But– God often uses other relationships to help us hear His voice.
“These pages are a gift to every mother, that welcome mothers everywhere out of hiding and loneliness and into a fellowship of sisters and mentors, that will make you feel not alone, that will make you feel that there is real God-given hope.” ~ Ann Voskamp (from the foreword of Desperate)
And all week long (1/7 – 1/12) there will be many incredible giveaways offered on the Desperate website.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ~C.S. Lewis
As you draw near to God, my prayer is that He will bless you will deep friendships and relationships…and that if you are a mama, you will find refreshment and encouragement in knowing you are not alone. There are so many of us on this journey that understand the struggles and the joys. And above all, may you find strength in knowing that we can cling to our Father, who promises to never leave us or forsake us. He reaches into our moments of desperation and calls us to come to Him for real hope.