In Which I Write a Letter to the Gypsy Mama – Behind the Scenes

So the time moves quickly from week to week and I just can’t believe that it’s Tuesday already.  I’m linking up with one of my favourite community builders today, Crystal Stine, for her Behind the Scenes link up.  The one where we tell you the story behind the photo.  Won’t you join us over here and read some of the fabulous brave?  

The Photo

Dear Lisa-Jo,

You inspire me.  Plain and simple.  
And I just love how God works in those mysterious ways. You’ve talked about how your man married you knowing you never wanted children and I can tell you that mine married me knowing I wanted nothing more than a big family. There would be those who would say that we have nothing in common.  That our different stages of mothering would make it so we don’t “get” each other.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

I gave birth to two babies and with the last, my son, a notion that I was done.  You see, I was in love with the idea of motherhood but had a hard time with the concept of mothering.  I was in love with the notion that a tiny child, one that I carried under my heart, could do nothing but love me and that is what I craved and longed for; to be loved and linked forever to a tiny heart that needed me.  A baby to fill a void of love and belonging that I was desperately seeking. 
You gave birth to three beautiful babies, and with your daughter who just turned two, you’re still feeling the effects of the wonder of birth and relishing in each first, because before you know it you’ll be counting her lasts.  Her last day when she wants to hold your hand, the last time she’ll hug you tight in front of her friends and the last time she’ll need you to tuck her in at night. 
I’ve got memories of firsts along with the memories of lasts and this past year I’ve been wrestling with regret as my nest is slowly emptying. 
And through your words friend, I have watched you mother, watched you raise these tiny children with mighty courage. I have seen you pull open the edges of your heart for community to glimpse at the not-so-perfect moments when mothering has run you right round the the bend and you wonder whether or not your sanity can be saved.  You have fearlessly shown the world that being a mother is not perfection but it is a holy calling and we do it strengthened by the grace of Christ. 
Not so long ago,  your words would have undone me because I would have let the lies whisper doubt and guilt.  They would have prompted me to look back at each of my own mom moments and see nothing but the carnage that my anger and selfishness left in its wake.  Not so long ago, I would have closed my laptop, along with my heart, up tight.  Not so long ago I would not have been listening for God to show me how He used your words to bring healing. 

Since Allume, in fact before that,  your words have undone me in another way.  Sharing the same space and hugging your neck tight and even shedding tears as you held my hand when I whispered my regret in the hustle and bustle of the Dayspring Lounge I have felt God gently nudging me to the notion of redemption. 
You see God has used your words this past year to heal places in me that I had long since buried in the darkest depths of my heart.  As my children are preparing for this big wide world and yours are still close to your wings, He has shown me that nothing was left undone in the raising of my children.  Along the way and through my missteps, and sometimes misguided, attempts at parenting He has covered my children with His grace.
This community that He has raised up along side you, it is doing some holy and mighty work as mother after mother, daughter after daughter, sister after sister answer the calling of grace.  Grace in all we do.  
While I may be long past the cheerios ground into my carpet, red lipstick smeared onto the white ottoman, or struggling with the sleepless nights that come with tiny humans I wanted to let you know right here in this space that I am with you.
I am proclaiming solidarity right along side you and countless other mothers as we find the grace of what we have left undone in our mothering there between the nails of a Saviour on a cross.

I got your back. 

Readers: Did you know that this coming Spring will see the arrival of a printed and bound book-baby by Lisa-Jo Baker. Won’t you slip on over here and take a sneak peek at Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom. 

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