Last week I sat in the small room with twelve or so women. One of the very best of the bakers among us had brought scones and a hand-made cream cheese spread with craisons and probably crack mixed in. She was, of course, serving that cream cheese in squatty etched glass mason jars. I love women who can even make their snacks beautiful, even if a secret part of me is contemplating grabbing one of those mason jars and sticking my fingers straight into the cream cheese/crack mixture.
You may groan at the thought of a Mom’s Group. I get it. After about one month of motherhood, I was so over the talk of breastfeeding and child development and discipline fads and preschool research. And if Mommy Talk were all I’d find at my church on Wednesday mornings, I’d never show up.
If I’m going to get myself to that room with the makeshift table—the room that also doubles as a storage spot for the Sunday School supplies—I want it to be a place of laughter, not guilt, a place where my fellow moms talk about the moments in motherhood when we hate ourselves, moments when we can beg one another to tell us we can do this thing day in and day out: we can love our kids. I want to tell the truth.
See, the truth is that the easy stuff of motherhood is the breastfeeding and diaper changing and the preschool research. The hard part is the daily, over and over and over of tantruming kids and disappointment with ourselves as moms. It’s the days when you your boy refuses to put his pants on and you’re fifteen minutes late because he’s been doing everything but what you’ve asked him to do, and you feel your rage swell inside your chest until it spills out in a demon-voice you would never-in-a-million-years use with a stranger, and you’re grabbing him by the arm and begging yourself not to squeeze. That is the moment you need to confess: I am in need of Jesus. That is the moment you long to hear someone to say Grace is there with you, Micha, in your rage.
I need to hear a friend confess the way she judges other moms by their kids’ behavior, while hers are outwardly “good” by nature. I need to see her weep over the darkness inside her for that judgment. I need to witness her humility and learn that it is only in this recognition of our need for grace that Mommy Wars are brought to peace.
What I need is to see Katie speak about the Great Story, how we are image-bearers of a Creator God, how we are offered our places in the tapestry of this world and given charge to bear that image. I need to see her tears at the beauty of such a thing, at the sheer power of it.
I know what I’ve found is rare. We can’t all find it. We don’t all discover ourselves in a community that is learning how to remind one another that the gospel is real and true and good. But, on Wednesday afternoons, as I drive my tired boys from Mom’s Group toward August’s preschool, I think about how I want this blog to be the same sort of place for you.
Thankfully, you’re not all moms or even all women. But you’re like me, I think. You’re begging to know that there is grace for you too. You’re longing to hear that in your rage, your fear, your doubt, your faithlessness, there is hope for you.
I can’t offer you the scones and creamy spread. (And even if I could, you’d be disappointed in my attempt.) But I can offer you this desire: I want to be honest here. I want to bring peace. I want to tell you that we are forgiven and made new, over and over again. I want to tell you we are called to something marvelously big in our beautifully ordinary lives.
This is just a reminder.
Image credit: SweetOnVeg at Flickr