You don’t even know how much you encouraged me.
I don’t even think you were trying to encourage me.
What you said was so just truth-speaking that I don’t think you meant it to be life-giving.
But it so was.
As we both held our newborns in the cry room at church and we talked about the “heck of a morning” we had had to that point, you looked at me with your wise, experienced mama eyes and told me that I had an excuse because I only have littles.
‘Only having littles’ is something that I’ve thought about tons over the last couple of months with the arrival of our baby girl.
I’ve done the math on having a baby every two years and how many babies we’ll have before we actually have some big kids.
I’ve contorted my arms to make sure everyone has a hand or arm or wrist or something to hold as we walk across the parking lot.
I’ve gotten all three kids down for a nap just to have one pop up and cry. And then I’ve just gotten that one back down for a nap to start the process over again.
I’ve gone to bed with a dirty kitchen more nights than I care to admit. And I’ve warmed up leftovers without shame.
And while the list could literally go on and on and become a litany of my daily life, I know I’m not the only one.
I certainly wasn’t looking for an excuse that morning. That morning, like so many others, things had happened way outside of my control and we had been late. It wasn’t the first time and I sincerely doubt it will be the last.
But through your simple statement you acknowledged something I knew to be true but desperately needed to hear : that having just littles is hard.
Moms, mommies, mamas, mothers – whether you have one in the oven or many encircling your kitchen table, or whether your children are young or grown, what you say to other moms as they walk through these hard things mixed in with the everydayness can be so life giving.
Acknowledging the truth in someone else’s everydayness is an unexplainable gift. Seriously. Even now as I try to put words around how this mama made me feel, I can’t find a simple explanation.
Instead I keep thinking of the feelings it evoked. I felt:
Less like I don’t know what I’m doing.
More like I don’t have this figured out but that doesn’t mean anyone else does either.
Moms, our words have great power. And with great power comes great responsibility. I pray that we would all learn how to use it well and to speak life into one another.
P.S. Comment time! What’s a way you speak life into other moms? Or what’s a time that life was spoken into you? I’d love to hear about it!