Godmothers: Why You Need One. How to Be One.
Listen to me, you're doing better than you know. Yes, you've made mistakes and you will make more, but the day is coming when you will realize that God's grace for your children is bigger than your mess-ups. He will redeem your motherhood flaws. Even the worst of your flaws will serve to help your boys to turn to the flawless One.
I know you love being a mother. I know you think it is the only thing you are even marginally good at, so you throw yourself, body and soul, into it. But hear me: it’s okay to take care of yourself. There is a vast difference between denying yourself an neglecting yourself. Taking care of yourself is part of loving your children. Neglecting yourself will be counterproductive in the long run. You’re imagining that it is a form of self-sacrifice, but it is not. It is self-negligence.
Make time to stretch. A lot of your back pain and problems are due to the fact that your body has carried three children in five years. Stretching will help realign your muscles. And, you're going to need it because if you think three children are a handful, get ready-you're about to have a fourth.
Baby girl, it's time to stop tri-folding your children’s underwear. It's time to stop bleaching the white grout on your kitchen floor with a toothbrush. Streamline your life, and let some of the little things go. It is time to get better at playing. Instead of being so quick to pick up what's on the floor, get down on the floor more and play with your boys. Start enjoying your husband and children rather than merely surviving them.
Avoid gossiping women like the plague. They say they want your help, but they really don't. You will hear things you don't want to know, and then in the future, their words will act like a virus and keep you from hearing what you do need to know. Instead of listening to words that steal your strength, lean into God's Word. It is alive and will equip you with the wisdom you need to love your husband, raise your sons, and live generously.
Stop obsessing over what people think about you. A lot of them haven't given you a thought in weeks. This doesn't mean that you are unimportant, it is just that they are too busy with their own issues to even notice how you are navigating yours. Which lead me to another point. Stop investing in relationships with people who don’t even want to be your friend. Sweetheart, you need to hear this; they don’ like you. It is not because you are unlikable; it is simply because you have so little in common. Don’t let it hurt you. Move on because life is too short to do fake friends.
There are some people you just won't click with. That doesn't make either of you wrong. Look at it this way; you know how your sons mixed the pieces from multiple puzzles together only to discover later that the pieces from different puzzles don’t fit together? Even if by some crazy chance they are the right shape, they will not create the right picture. You are part of a different puzzle. When the right pieces are in their places, it will be a beautiful picture.
Baby girl, don't force yourself in where you are not wanted—and at the same time, don't hide from what you are meant to be part of. Stop seeing their ambivalence as rejection and accept it as redirection. If you continue to change so that you will fit into their puzzle ... they will lose respect for you because you were untrue to yourself and neglected developing your unique role and contribution. If this pattern continues, you are not going to like the person you pretend to be. It's time to be honest even if it is more difficult. None of the women you are so desperately trying to befriend at this time will even be in your future because you are going to move away.
Love your husband I mean really love him. He needs you. Enjoy him and stop acting like a martyr. Both of you will grow more in love as you behave in loving ways. Go for walks, and hire a babysitter for more date nights. Three times a year is not enough. Vacations do not always have to include a time of ministry. Stay home and do a staycation if that is the only way he can take a break. Even though you are tired, make sex a high priority. It is good for both of you. Enjoy that thirty-four-year-old body while you still got it.
The telephone will steal your time. Develop the habit of not answering your phone now, because the day will come when you will be more connected to a phone than you imagined possible.
Stop worrying about money and the fact that you don’t have any health insurance. The money will be there when you need it. Rather than thinking of what you don’t have, thank God for what you do have, and you will discover you have more than you know. Develop a habit of generosity with every area of your life. Give as much as you can whenever you have an opportunity.
You are stronger than you know. Hike, surf, and ski. (But don’t buy the Ninja motorcycle; that will be a mistake.) And by the way, you are going to shatter your nose for the third time, this time while surfing. When the doctor offers to fix it so that you don’t look like a boxer in the future, let him! (I didn’t do it because I was afraid of what others might think!) Nobody cares.
P.S. There will be an invention called a flat iron. Watch for it, and when it is available, buy two. Keep one at home, and put the other one in your suitcase. You won’t believe the difference it will make in your hair. When this happens, you can stop wearing the headbands that give you headaches."
Older & Much Wiser You
Bevere, Lisa. Godmothers: Why You Need One. How to Be One. Revell, a Division of Baker Group, 2020. 139-42. Print. (Permission granted: December 16, 2020)