It happens to me often.
The doubt that creeps in out of nowhere.
The unwanted thoughts “am I doing enough?”.
The constant striving to be more when there is nothing left to give.
When I first became a mom, I thought I had arrived. “This is it,” I thought. It is smooth sailing from here.
Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a mom. And one of my greatest fears was that I would not be able to have children.
So once I started having children, I felt like my life was complete.
But you know what?
I still yearned. And wanted. And was lonely. And felt like there had to be more than this.
The Piece I Was Missing
Looking back I realized that an integral piece had been missing in what I call “my quest for motherhood.”
I had lost sight of what was really important. I had lost sight of my priorities as a Christian and a wife.
I put motherhood first, and it did not take me long to realize that there was no way I would feel peace until I started digging deep into my faith.
As a woman who has spent several years struggling with depression and anxiety, I know that it feels like to “barter” with God.
I have spent days praying “Just take this away”, “just make me feel better”, “I will do anything to feel normal again.”
But you know what I have learned:
I have misunderstood prayer as a way to control God rather than a pathway to surrender to Him. ~ Almost There – Bekah DiFelice
When I look back on my hardest points in my life and motherhood, I was not able to move forward until I surrendered.
When I finally would let go and let God take control of my thoughts, I felt an unshakeable peace.
It was a hard lesson for me to learn that striving and working hard was not what God wanted from me. He wanted me to surrender.
In today’s culture, I feel that there are so many things that moms need to surrender.
Control being the biggest.
I know as a mom of young kids, I felt like my job was never completed. And it really frustrated me.
I wanted to check my day off. I wanted to have a neat list that I could mark off as I completed each item.
But being a mom means your job is never done.
Parenthood might be the most meaningful work of our lives, but it’s also the most exhausting. So it becomes harder to neatly sort work from rest. The two commingle together like piles of unfolded laundry. ~ Almost There – Bekah DiFelice
I realized that this is where my thought process had been wrong. I had to surrender to the fact that motherhood is forever. I had to let go of my to do list and my expectations and just surrender.
Once I surrendered to the mess, the chaos, the volume, the laundry, the Legos, I was able to finally see motherhood in a completely new light.
I wish I could tell you that once you surrender and have this “epiphany” about motherhood, that it is smooth sailing.
But it is a daily struggle. A daily reminder that we have to stop looking for what’s ahead and just be in the moment here and right now.
Even in the times that I feel the most connected to God, I still sometimes want more. I still feel that longing to do better and try harder.
Then, I remember those little ones watching me.
The time with our children is fleeting. We have to stop looking at the horizon and look directly in front of us.
I do not want my kids to try harder in their faith, and I need to model surrender to them, as well.
I think one of the reasons I have felt the need to strive harder in motherhood is due to the loneliness.
And it seems strange that I would feel lonely when there is someone always hanging on me, but it is true. There have been many seasons of motherhood when I have felt lonely.
But what I do need is people to show up in my life and testify that I am seen and heard, that I matter. ~ Almost There – Bekah DiFelice
I know that motherhood has changed my view of hospitality. It isn’t to show off my clean floors (they are never clean!) or to show someone that I have it all together (I do not!) rather to just do life together. To yell over our children and laugh together and form friendships that will last even when our kids are out of the home.
Hospitality as a mom changes, but it makes our life so much richer.
When I let go of trying to be perfect and have everything be perfect, our home became a place of hospitality.
It became a place for lifelong friendships to grow and for our lives to matter to one another.
Where Do You Go From Here
If you have ever spent time wondering when you will arrive or feel completely satisfied, I highly recommend you read the book Almost There.
I have quoted the book several times throughout this post. As a mom who sometimes feels like there is more over the horizon, Almost There was the ticket I needed to remind myself to stop striving.
As I have lived away from home for over 15 years, I needed this book to remind me that home is where you are.
Almost There helped me to stop wishing and start enjoying.
My Hope for You
After reading this, my hope is that you will stop the striving, and just start being.
Let go of Pinterest and Instagram and just be.
God created you to be unique and the exact mother your children need.
Stop striving and be that mother. Be the mother God created only you to be. That is the ticket to peace.
When we are being the person who we truly are, we feel peace within.
I pray that you will find ways to let go in your own life. To stop striving and start living.
Trust me. You can find peace in the trenches of motherhood.
You can stop feeling like you are almost there, and just be.
Just be the Christian, wife, and mother that God created only you to be.