Thursday, August 5, 2010

Moms and More

This summer I attended a bible study through Greentree Community Church called Moms and More.  I cannot say enough about this program.  It is a group set up for moms with kids five and under.  We would come in every Wednesday to an awesome brunch put on by a different small group every week, have a "snippet" during brunch.  A "snippet" was a little informative piece on anything from organization, to safety, to bread making (I actually led this snippet).  After brunch and the "snippet" we would head upstairs to the sanctuary of the church we met in and hear out speaker for the week.  The speakers were amazing this summer.  All of them were mothers speaking on issues close to their heart and how God used them, changed them, saved them, encouraged them, taught them.  Then after the speaker we would break off into our small groups and discuss what we had heard.  I have to say the best part of this group was there was no homework, perfect for mom with small kids.  
Today was especially close to my heart.  It was our last Moms and More meeting for the summer, and we had a large brunch with beautiful tables set up.

All types of good food.

We had a speaker from Little Rock, AR Camille Richardson talk to us.  My friend Heather, the leader of M.a.M, is from Little Rock and participated in this group when she lived there and Camille was the leader when she was there.  What Camille said completely resonated with me today.  She talked about being the mom you were created to be, that you are the mom that was created by God for your family.  I have all of these thoughts swirling in my head about my role/identity as a mom lately.  I love being a mom.  When I had Sonya and started staying home with her, it was the first time, ever, in my life I had felt like I was good at something and truly enjoyed it.  I knew that having a child would change me as a person, but I didn't know how much.  Having Sonya was a tipping point for me to grow up, become a little bit more comfortable in my own skin, and gain some confidence.
After I had Teddy there was a little bit of a let down, of not having some type of paradigm shift.  It was just more of doing the everyday mom things times two.  I started to feel a little lost and I needed something that was just for me.  That is where the whole obsession with baking began, if you follow my blog you know what I am talking about.  While baking has been a great hobby and fulfilling (and fattening).  It wasn't enough, I was still looking for something life giving.   
Then came photography.  This is another hobby I LOVE, again as you can tell from blog.  I have zero aspirations of being a professional, but would love to improve.  I don't mind lending what little talent I have to help some people out, but the pressure of being "real" photographer is too much for me.  Again, this was not making me feel whole. 
As my search for life giving activities continued through out this year, it made me begin to wrestle with my role as a mom as it was quickly evolving with two very different children.  I realized I am constantly comparing myself to other moms.  I read all of these blogs, I will be honest...some of complete strangers, and other moms that I know or kind of know, and think I will never measure up to these women.  The crafts, the home-schooling, breastfeeding, organic cooking, being green, bible school, I could go on and on.  The pressure I put on myself to be all of these things is ridiculous.  All of that pressure turns into jealousy and envy and I just spiral from there, to where I honestly become paralyzed, and do nothing at all.  Which then leads to feeling of inadequacy and inferiority.  Really questioning am I really supposed to be doing this with my life. 
Enter Camille's words.

There are too many great things she said and I won't give her words justice if I try and repeat it, but my biggest take away from her talk was to work in my strengths.  As moms we should be working in our strengths.  Not worrying about what everyone is doing.  That is something I have been struggling with over the past year, my identity as a mom, and what are my strengths?  When I really thought about it  I am always wanting to be something I am not, thinking that my gifts are never good enough.  But that is the thing, my gifts are good enough.  They are the perfect gifts for who God created me to be and to be able to take the best care of my family.  I don't have crafting bone in my body, but I can cook a good meal.  As silly as it sounds caring about making dinner is gift for my family (not that I do this every night), as much as I would love to be able to create beautiful things out everyday items, I can't.  When I really think about Sonya and what she loves, it is not crafting.  The girl loves to run, jump, dance, swing, flip on the bar and I need to fuel her body so she can do all of those things well, and as we say in our house she needs to, "eat her foods that make her strong." 
So maybe my paradigm shift came year a year later than I thought it would.  The Lord needed me to be feel a little lost, to realize he made me perfect for my family, and for that I am grateful.
Sorry for the scattered post, Camille's words are still rolling around in my head, but I wanted to get some of this out before I forgot it.  
Check out Adriane's blog, she nailed what I am trying to say.
Thank you to the leadership team at Moms and More, Heidi, all of the child care workers, all of the speakers, and my awesome small group.
Here are a few more images from the morning.
The book table sponsored by Lay Renewal.

Encouraging words.

The mamas.


Adriane August 5, 2010 at 4:40 PM  

Love your post! Thank you for sharing your heart and your story. It was a great summer, wasn't it? PS - I love your pics :)

Cary August 5, 2010 at 10:43 PM  

Love Kelli's belly!

The DeVries' August 6, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

Love your post. Loved Moms and More, and wishing it was year round. I feel exactly the same way you do, as I'm sure millions of other moms do as well--I think that's why I loved this so much; actually meeting moms that didn't seem to have it all together, but loved their kids the way God intended them too. :) You're an awesome mom, Missy! (and your photography's not too shabby either ;))

Greta August 6, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

So I think deep down we all struggle with these same things (don't have a cooking or photography bone in my body.) It is amazing how we all have our own path and timing to learn who God created us to be. Love you


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