This beautiful woman is my sister- in-law Stephanie. Her and I both became mommas pretty young and both discovered in our own way that the journey of motherhood is all consuming. When I took her photos, I saw in her a new strength, a new layer. She has become someone who knows how to carry it all, sacraficially. One who knows how to give life, over and over again. Someone who knows how to think for herself and for her family. She is finding her way. It made me want to write something that encourages all mommas on the journey. So if your a momma, here is my heart for you....
Let yourselves be photographed with your kiddos, often.
They need to be able to see who you were.
Play..let the dishes sit, forget about the laundry and go on adventures with your families.
Make time for yourself each week, sometimes after the kiddos go to bed, but during the day as well. Your soul needs the space to engage with life.
A deep strength will grow within you on this journey. A strength that knows when to hold on and when to let go. It will look beautiful on you. And don't worry about becoming a good mom, just be present and it will happen.
Your presence matters. It matters from day one and will matter everyday, even in all the insignificant nose cleaning moments.
Go easy on your own momma. Forgive her. Let her be her own person. She did the best that she could, traveled the journey just as you are and is a human being like you, trying to do their best. Be gracious. And as you make peace with their journey, allow yourself to travel your own. You might be surprised at how much you need her.
There will be things that happen to your children that you can't control. Invite the Holy Spirit to be with them, to help them, to guide them.
Pray that God fills the spaces in their hearts where your love is not reaching, or falls short.
Let people help you. Share your heart and situation with others. But also share your home, your dishes, your needs. We were never created to do this alone, its too much for one person, even if you just have one kid.
And Finally, embrace this time, this phase of you life. Don't climb all the mountains at once, scale them each slowly, and explore each one.
This journey is a deeply formative one. Its beautiful but its easy to loose your way. I hope you all find something to hold onto from this and carry on in your own way.
To Stephanie, well done. You're doing a great job. Love you.