The Tension of Following

The last few days have been  interesting for me. In less than a week my brand new blog has already had 400 visits. My first post I’m An Accidental Mama garnered more discussion online than probably anything I’ve ever written. It’s a strange experience to see your words dissected and meanings critiqued.

Starting this blog is exhilarating and humbling. I love it and it terrifies me. But mostly I love it because I’m up for a good challenge and the pursuit of truth is a worthy challenge.

The response to the post has varied wildly. I thought criticism would be painful, and at first it stung. I wondered what I’d gotten myself into and the urge to play it safe has needled me.  Yet I’ve found myself thankful that women are entering into the conversation. Great risk often brings great gains. I’m willing to stick my neck out for that.

While I don’t want to fall into the camp of defending myself perhaps I would do well to clarify:

I love being a mother (except when I don’t and I think everyone can relate to that, of course I could be wrong and I’m sure I’ll hear about it.)

I recognize the word calling has different connotations for different people, I’m writing from my experience with the word.

I don’t intend to play it safe on this blog or pull punches, that’s just who I am, but I also don’t intend to be disrespectful and I’m happy to apologize if I’m unnecessarily brusque or rude.

I recognize that everything I say comes through my own filter, my past experience, and you may not relate to it at all. That is totally fine.

I also recognize we may disagree, I’m also completely fine with that, let’s try to do so in a kind and civilized manner.

And lastly while what I write may come from the angle of motherhood, ultimately I’m talking about Jesus. It’s all I do, all I’m interested in, my chief desire, greatest passion, my only goal – to make much of Jesus. Jesus isn’t first in my life, he’s only in my life. I don’t understand the model of ‘God, then husband, then kids, then church,’ I don’t get that. I can’t compartmentalize breathing, or living. For me it’s all Jesus.  That’s how I’m able to love my children, husband, church, community and world. I do it for him because honestly no other way works, I’m not that nice of a person.

Ultimately I hope The Accidental Mama becomes a conversation. I hope women who have labored under the heavy expectation of motherhood will find a place of safety to unburden. I hope women who struggle with judging other mothers (myself included) will find freedom in being accountable only to God for their parenting. I hope women who have been at odds will come to together in renewed understanding and compassion.

I won’t get every post right, I recognize my own weaknesses, but I hope I will be brave. I have no doubt at times we’ll do an awkward dance of stepping on each others toes but I hope the dance will make us better people. Sparks may fly as iron is sharpened. I promise to call you out if you will do the same for me! I don’t like platitudes or Christian clichés I want a fresh, humble, honesty.

So here’s my confession, this is where my heart is now.

For years I’ve lived hungry. Dreaming of grandeur. Touching God’s glory, my passion flamed. I don’t think I’m more talented, intelligent, or creative than most. I’m just passionate. For years I stuffed the fire into the pit of my stomach. For a season my children and I have been tucked quietly into our home enjoying each other’s presence, and God with us, but I feel the season shifting. I’ve seen beauty in quiet tender moments, and I’m thankful.

Lately my ear has caught  the hum of a fast-moving current sweeping around the world. I can’t stay out, I’ve got to join into the themes of the music I hear pounding out in each corner of the globe. Mercy, salvation, reconciliation, hope, I’ve caught the notes and I need to sing them to people far away. Certainly I’ve feared motherhood wouldn’t be a good fit for a global leap, but I heard God’s voice calling and let it drown out the others.

So maybe this blog is for the hungry mama’s who know amazing beauty is found in the ordinary, simple moments but also want to grab hold of challenges, causes, and wonder outside of their four walls.

I’ve struggled with this idea. I’ve been the mama who believes we can’t grab hold with both hands in and out of the home, and not pay the price. But I’m learning that there is no one right way to be a mom and I’m shaking off perceived expectations. Certainly we must weigh the cost of our choices and live up to our responsibilities. Ultimately we must walk by faith. We must choose to follow the intimacy of the cross or the way of the crowd.

I’m learning I love a tension, an unresolved note hanging in the air, a lived in question only Jesus can come and fill.

That makes some people uncomfortable but I’m okay with untidy. I’m learning it’s all right to be a messy mama.

So if you’re a mama whose passions lie outside the walls of your home, take heart. Jesus has made you, he knows the fabric of your dreams, your talents, your desires. As long as your one true desire is him, and you are willing to submit to what he says first of all, he will lead you to places of fulfillment and promise. It may not be now, you may have other work to do first and he may use the refiners fire of motherhood to get you ready.

Serbian cross 1

Whether we’re working in the intimate days of motherhood, we’re embracing other passions, or both, let’s make sure first of all it’s Jesus we’re following.

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7 thoughts on “The Tension of Following

  1. Amen! I love this Beck… I really really really love this. I especially love how brave you are to have a voice here in this particular “taboo” conversation. It is very very valid and I am one of your biggest fans right now!

    • Thanks Kari! I’m figuring out this balance of motherhood and the dreams God’s given me. I hope I’m honest enough that other mom’s will say, hey that’s how I feel I just wasn’t sure I could say it out loud!

  2. Outside my walls are where people who need to be God-loved are found – we are called outside those walls – to learn to love those outside just as much as we love those inside – that’s how God loves – all of us outside and He brings us inside! You mention “women who struggle with judging other mothers” – I did that – and now my heart is to help those moms when their eyes are opened and to love and encourage them before,during and after that awakening. I’m excited for your journey Beck – excited about how you love and how you want to reach out to those that God loves, too!

    • Thanks Maryleigh! Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation. I love how what we were is always changing into what we’re becoming and how God can use that for the good of others.

  3. You are an inspiration. I often don’t like motherhood, because I am trying to make myself something that I am not. I work outside the home and do not know what it’s like to be with my children 24/7. Somedays I wish I did. But I know that God is with me, where I am, in this moment in time and He will strengthen me as I continue to mold and shape my now teens and a preteen for His glory! Blessings!

  4. Beck, you are on fire and it is because He has moved your heart to do this! You are an inspiration to me — a woman, a wife, a mama, a grandma and a great-grandma. There are years between us, but I feel a closeness in this new blog I’ve never felt before. I’m praying for you and this blog, and I’m praying that the message you are clearly writing here touches a heart or two or more as He intends.

    Blessings,
    Sherrey

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