Stepping Back to Lean In

Can I write a whole book entitled “Things I Once Thought, That Were Just Plain Wrong”?

The newest and latest thing on that list is believing that once God asks you to do something, its always and forever on your plate in the same quantity and capacity, and you may never stop doing it full throttle. Ever.

WRONG!

I felt God lead me to start this blog several years ago as I was struggling with recovering emotionally from our two miscarriages, and subsequently learning the ropes of being a new mom as well as starting my job of caring for another baby in our home – it was a season where God was healing deep hurts in my spirit, speaking to me, comforting me and asking me to share what He was saying. My heart was (and still is!) for other moms who may have gone through the same things, and for others who may have felt alone in health difficulties, the season of new motherhood, or were struggling with needing healing.

The newborn season is difficult in some ways, but I love babies, and I feel like that was my point where I felt most confident in being a mom. During that season, I was “on” 100% of the time keeping them alive, but my mind needed occupation, and my spirit was growing and changing and I wanted to share what God was teaching me. In my “down time” I needed stimulation and productivity and to feel connected to something greater than feeding schedules and diaper changes. I was feeling awash in creative energy, so I started painting, cooking new things, writing consistently and making things.

Now, fast forward, and our home is base for two active 3-year-olds, and another baby on the way in a few weeks, and I think that the dynamic has shifted considerably. Although the kids can be on their own for a few minutes now without physical calamity, I am now “on” 100% with things like character development, discipline, and to be honest, refereeing. At this age, it sometimes feels all-consuming and so In my “down time” these days, I need rest, soul food and quiet – there is not much room left in this mom brain for productivity or creativity these days! My meals have been my standard go-tos, my paintbrushes and keyboard are getting a bit dusty, and I am spending all of my energy growing and maintaining our family.

I have been carrying around some kind of guilt about this, feeling like I am letting God down by not going full throttle on what He asked of me right now – but He has been teaching me more and more about seasons, and that He created life to have rhythm and to be ever changing. He is teaching me that just because there was room for me to expand my mind and heart and do all of those things 3 years ago, doesn’t mean that He expects me to continue in the same way, or in the same capacity, when my family is growing and changing. I am learning that I am still being faithful, even if I step back for a season. He didn’t design life to be about doing all of the things all of the time in every season – each season holds a priority, each season has something that requires intentional focus and dedication, and each season has a mission and a lesson all of its own.

He is reminding me now of the priorities of family, of balance and rest and of really leaning into this time of littles in the house – these years are so important as we figure out what makes our family unique, what makes us strong, and as we lay the foundation for how we will grow and change in the seasons to come. I am unplugging more and more, and trying to just be present. To listen and engage as my daughter talks incessantly, to watch the kids play and encourage them to grow and change and use their minds, and through it all, to find ways to show them Jesus every day. We are growing together during this time, and I’m feeling more and more that that needs all of my focus and energy.

I am not perfect, and most days I still feel a longing in my spirit to write and paint and invent new recipes, but right now I feel like God is showing me that there is a greater need – that my ministry as a mother and a wife is foremost. That I need to be intentional about my home, my family and maintaining my spiritual health as we are about to enter a new period of straddling two separate seasons of big kids and new babies.

As God gives me things to share, I will definitely share. I will not “shut down” the blog, but I am giving myself permission to step back from this as something constantly on the front burner of my mind so that I can lean into something more right now. This mission of motherhood that God has given me is special and consuming and worth every second of my energy and emotion.

I have been reading a few books and devotionals lately that have all used the word “flourish” and it has stuck with me – that’s what I want for my little family, is to flourish during this season. And if that means that Mommy needs to step back from doing all of the things all of the time to slow down and really focus on our family, then that is what I will do. I want to soak up the sweetness and the difficulty of this time and build my spirit as God continues to teach me, and us, through these moments of growing our family.

So, all of that to say, you will still see me posting here and there, but my dedication to creating new recipes, new paintings and regular blog posts is being replaced by a dedication to the here and now in this season, whatever that holds for us. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this blog and this forum in the future, and know that He is using this season to plant seeds that will grow in years to come.

I’ll see you around 😊 I hope your season is a fruitful and blessed one as well!

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