I see you at the park, with your camera slung around your neck, capturing the art of motherhood, one frame at a time. The Christmas card you sent in December was skillfully designed, and the invitation for your child’s birthday party was handmade too – the cupcakes… confectionary works of art.
At Bible Study last Tuesday, I looked over and saw your beautiful doodle doodles in the margins of your Bible. Before I could say a word you were called out of our fellowship to grab your toddler who was melting down in childcare.
You hustled from our gathering in your faded yoga pants, your hair thrown up in a messy bun, crying child in your arms, and your car in need of a wash.
And yet, somehow, in the busyness of family life, always pouring yourself out like a drink offering for others, you are making things of beauty in the cracks and crevices of each mothering day. Turning the ordinary into something extraordinary – one naptime at a time. And I’m inspired by your inspired life!
Your home is your canvas, and your family are the recipients of your clever creativity. You scrapbook their memories, decorate their bedrooms, and tuck them into bed with made up stories and tender lullabies. Your friends are also blessed, as you serve them upon the tablecloth of your creativity.
Perhaps you haven’t thought of it this way. Creative was what you were before children. You used to sing in front of the congregation, decorate townhouses for a living, or paint at an easel, rather than the wall behind your couch. But I’m here to tell you that as seasons change, and you change too, the core component of your creative “in His image” design is still there, morphing alongside your life.
Dear friends, here at GraceTable we celebrate gospel-centered hospitality post by post. But often, in this others-centered life, we moms forget to pull a chair up to the table for ourselves. And in the busyness of mothering, we can feel lost…for a season.
My hope is that through this short missive, you will see that you are still you, still there. Your creative offerings are simply eeking out of your servant-hearted life in new ways, small ways, but profound ways, day-by-day.
Recently I was speaking to a room full of moms at a homeschool convention. I affirmed the wonderful ways they valued their kids’ uniqueness, choosing specific curriculum and activities for each child. I recalled with them Psalm 139:14, “I praise you Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!”
So much of our feminine lives are spent celebrating the fearfully and wonderfully made design of our children. What a joy and what an honor to partner with their maker and help them discover their purposes in this life. And yet, if we read Psalm 139 again, we discover that it was actually written in the first person. This is King David saying of himself, not of his children, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
So often we think of motherhood as a time to lay down our lives on the alter, as a sacrifice to be burned, a fragrant aroma. We sacrifice our lives metaphorically, as a picture of Christ laying down His literal life for us. But, what if instead of sacrificing all the dynamite, purposefully designed parts of ourselves, the things God Himself intentionally designed in us for His glory, what if we bring them to Him now and ask, “How might I possibly fit into this season of my life? You did a good job when you made me just as you did, so please show me how to be me, as I serve others!”
It’s possible, that as we pull a chair up to the table for ourselves again, we will find that the unique ways God designed us are the keys to sharing His love with our family members and our local communities, even out into the world in this digital age.
He’s called us to let our light shine for Him, and testify to Him. But it’s miserably hard to shine when we’ve laid our lives down like a snuffed out candle – busily cooking and cleaning and setting a table for everyone else.
For the past five years my friend Kelli Stuart and I have been co-hosting retreats for moms, intimate gatherings purposed to inspire and refresh their creativity. Our ultimate dream was to somehow bottle up and share this sweet time of fellowship and encouragement with other Renaissance Moms. Today we get to do just that through the thin pages of our new book, Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.
If you are a mom, missing those old passions amidst the practical season of parenting, I encourage you to order a copy of Life Creative today. God did a good job when He created you in His creative image, and then made you a mom. He has a plan to weave it all together.
So pull up a chair, there’s room for you here.