Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Come on ride the train, and Come Be My Light

I took these pictures at the trainride at a local park recently. Fun times!

I just finished the book with Mother Teresa's private writings in it, Come Be My Light. I find myself uttery intrigued by her spiritual life, by the vows she took and by her heart's desire to pour herself out for Jesus every.single.day. I learned a little bit about the whole idea of Roman Catholic "vocation"--celibacy vs. marriage+family, and interestingly the stuff about becoming a nun actually shed a lot of light on the calling to be a mom. (Stay with me.) Because the idea of wholeheartedly committing yourself to God's work, to be refined by God and to grow in grace and in truth and in holiness is actually what MY calling should be too, it's just a different context.

Then there was an article I read recently called "The Me-Time Myth." Basically it talked about how people are always telling us moms we need to make sure to have lots of me-time, etc. etc. But then it went on to describe the potential for the entitlement mentality to creep in...suddenly the me-time you do get is never enough, suddenly your children are just plain burdens encroaching upon your life, you start to hate all those daily tasks, feel unfulfilled, the list goes on. There was much truth to what this article was saying, in my opinion. Certainly there's nothing wrong with taking a break, or having a girls' night or a date night. But I think women are being sent some really funky messages about themselves and about children and as a whole we've lost sight of the idea that self-sacrifice is a GOOD thing. Or that we're supposed to be doing that.

I'm blessed to be friends with some amazing moms, including some with adopted children, children with medical needs, and some who have several children, and I'm floored and inspired by their devotion to motherhood and commitment to their kids. Some of these moms I've met in real life, and some I haven't. They're an encouragement to me in part, I've decided, because they remind me that motherhood MATTERS. That sometimes the hard road is the blessed and joy-filled road. That sometimes life is hard, and not fun, but that there's a greater good to aspire to and that God doesn't want us always feeling comfortable and in control of our happy little lives.

Last week was a hard one. Both Kevin and I uncharacteristically busy, going different directions, three sick kids, I was having major hormonal issues (aka pregnancy hormones all seemed to hit at once and I was a basketcase), the list goes on...but...I love being a mom. I love being a wife. I don't fulfill either purpose perfectly, or remotely close to perfectly (especially with, you know, raging hormones), but somehow this is the path God wants me on, and wants to use to challenge me and make me more like Jesus. Sometimes that's all you have to hold onto, really.

If you've read Come Be My Light, then you know the depth of sadness Mother Teresa felt for decades, feeling like she was alone, and empty, and far from Jesus. But her faith was so strong that she just kept hanging on, and persevering, and trusting and believing even when it FELT hopeless. What inspires me about this woman is not so much the work she did and the legacy she left (although that is truly amazing), but the quiet, unswerving devotion to her God. She gave herself away. Less-so to the poor, moreso to God.

And I should do the same.

Those are some of the thoughts I've had as of late, and I'm sure I'll share more about the book at some point. If you've read it, I'd love to hear what you took away from it.


Mike and Rachel said...

It's so hard to be normal at the beginning and end of pregnancy. And it is especially hard when it feels like you are going in the opposite direction of your spouse. Hopefully this week will be better. Heck, it's already half over!

Joanie said...

Wow, deep thoughts. I love that about you, Brianna.

mayhem said...

I like hearing about what you're reading.

If you need something to add to your book list I'd recommend Gary Haugen's Just Courage: God's Great Expedition for the Restless Christian. I'm in the middle of it right now and it seems like a book that you'd find inspiring and challenging.

I have never read the article you mentioned but that "me-time" thing is pretty much a myth for me. I definitely like to be by myself at times, but that's mostly because I'm kind of introverted in general. Having time away doesn't make me more patient or make me enjoy my kids more.

chloeadele said...

i'll always second a recommendation to read Gary Haugen.

you never fail to inspire me and draw me closer to God. thanks for this.

jenny said...

I love what you shared about the ME-time issue. I feel like EVERYONE kept telling me to get ME-time when I first had Bella. It's something I still struggle with and am learning about now, because as I became a mother, I changed. I am no longer the woman I used to be. And therefore, when I would try and get ME-time, I would end up frustrated b/c I couldn't find the old me. I am who I am, as a mother, as a woman. And Bella has shaped me that way. I, as an introvert, need time alone and space, but I don't ever separate Me from Bella in those times. It's just time to recharge. Oh I don't know if this is making sense, but I do agree on how ME-time can eventually end up so selfish and give you the wrong perspective than what we should have as godly parents.

darci said...

I was so blessed by this post. It is so so easy to lose sight of the fact that Jesus calls us to serve, all the time, regardless of 'payback'. I've been thinking lately in terms of 'picking up my cross' (not that mine is a hard cross to bear at this point in my life)..but how it is so easy to think how I've been wronged, or I am lonely/bored/unappreciated (whatever the current complaint) instead of just 'picking up my cross' and following/serving Jesus, by serving those He has given me, kwim? thanks for this. darci

Brianna Heldt said...

I'm so loving reading your comments!!! I too love Gary Haugen and it was hearing him speak several years ago that started us on a journey that resulted in us adopting. That's the only book of his I haven't read, I'll have to do that!

Jenny I am a TOtal introvert too. I find that naptime is really good for me, and my kids go to bed at 7:30 or 8, so the time after that is great too. How do you feel like you've changed since becoming a mom?

I kinda feel like sometimes we fight against the role God is giving us and think who we REALLy are is not who we are as a mom. Like somehow our motherhood takes away from our true self. But what if we have it backwards to some degree?


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