Last night as I lay in bed reading, Jonathan crawled in with me and said, “I want tomorrow to be wonderful for you but I don’t know if it can be. I’m just not sure how I’m going to watch Anna to give you time away. I know you’d love time away.”
I did want time away. But I understood. Things are different this year.
So when Anna woke up at 6:00 am this morning, this Mother’s Day, I got up and we journeyed out to buy pastries, leaving Jonathan asleep in bed. When she eventually went down for her nap, I ate alone and perused Facebook. Like most days, I couldn’t help but notice all the perfection to be found in my feed. Pictures of perfectly cute kids and perfectly cooked breakfasts in bed, and perfect Tiffany blue jewelry boxes.
I had a moment where I felt a little sorry for myself, eating breakfast alone on Mother’s Day.
When Jonathan woke up he surprised me. He did some conspiring, and with Shane’s help, I would get an afternoon away with Anna Q. We spent the afternoon laying out with a magazine, getting a pedicure, perusing Thriftown, and grabbing a burger and adult beverage.
It was everything I needed…sunshine, time to relax, and time to be listened to by a good friend.
And really that would have been the end of my day except that I came home and listened to Shauna’s Mother’s Day sermon at Willow Creek this morning, and now I have things to say about it.
By now you’ve probably figured out that I really like Shauna’s books. It’s starting to feel a little stalkerish so I hesitate to even admit this all…but…Shauna often says what I’m thinking but in a much clearer and tidier way. Today’s sermon was no exception. She spoke about Romans 12:15– “Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” She talked about how important it is for women to have community with each other no matter if you’re going through a season of joy or a season of pain. Here are a few snippets of what she said:
“It’s better together…the experience of mothering is so much richer and deeper if you’re doing it with a little tribe who tells you the truth, helps you, prays for you, bails you out, gives you grace.”
“It’s important to tell the truth to other moms…it’s easy to pretend to have it all together…to only give people your fancy Facebook self.”
“Some of the relationships I have, the deep kind, didn’t get there because we had play dates together. They got there because one of us needed serious help.”
“I believe that telling my story will make someone feel less alone.”
I suppose that last quote is why I’m staying up late and writing a post that may or may not make any sense. I’m trying to tell an honest story right now on this blog, today and everyday. I’m trying to tell people when things are good, and when things are messy, and when I hurt, and when I rejoice. I’m trying to be honest about my expectations, and my guilt, and all the good and bad that comes when life is a bittersweet season. I don’t want to put on my fancy Facebook self everyday–only showing the pretty parts of life and none of the tough stuff. When we are honest with each other, when we share our pain, our experience as mothers, as women, life is so much deeper. It’s true! Shauna is so right!
Today Jonathan gave me time away for a little bit to be with a friend who let me talk about where I’m at right now. This really is one of the greatest gifts a husband can give his wife. After listening to Shauna’s sermon, I am even more grateful for his incredibly appropriate and necessary gift.
In the sermon, Shauna interviews a few women about their mothering experiences. One of them, referring to a hard time in her life, said, “God was my rock, but he brought people.”
I am grateful for you, my people, for letting me be honest in this place. And I hope that my stories make you feel less alone–whether you’re a mom or just someone who needs to feel understood. We’re in this together.