I’ve learned something about being a mother over the years. It’s not easy. It requires a special kind of bravery. It’s a bravery that looks a little different for each of us, but I’m fully certain that every mama makes brave choices every day.
Sometimes being brave means looking into the face of my child that I love so much and saying no. And saying it again. And again. And. Again. Because the child I had to say it to 27,482 times had the nerve to ask me that same question 27,483 times before they finally decided I was really not going to change my mind. Even though I want to reach out and grab hold of that insolent little tongue and yell like a drill sergeant into that beautiful face with the sparkling blue eyes. Even though I have an uncontrollable twitch in my left eye. Sometimes just saying a soft, simple no is brave because everything in you is itching to yell it instead and justify your answer with an endless lecture.
Sometimes being brave means saying yes to that same set of blue eyes when they announce they want to jet off across the sea to a foreign country on a missions trip. Or they want to sign up for an Instagram, Tumblr, or Twitter account. Or perhaps when there is a startling realization that this child is only six months away from a drivers permit. Really?!! We’re to that already? I only blinked twice! I swear! Sometimes saying yes means giving our children freedom to be themselves, rather than who we wish they were. It looses them from our control and allows them to make their own choices. Sometimes being brave is saying yes.
Sometimes being brave means letting the kids go play outside with the all the neighbor kids while I stay inside and do my “stuff.” I’ve got plenty to do. Trust me. Letting them out of my sight, giving them the opportunity to build relationships and be exposed to words and actions and people that I am not in control of? I’m not gonna lie. It makes me quake sometimes. Sometimes being brave is letting go.
Sometimes being brave means sitting at a table full of women who want to chit chat and asking them to shed a few layers and expose their “stuff.” Do you know all that stuff that I’m talking about? The insecurities, the fears, the low self-esteem, the feelings that make you think you’re doing everything all the-whole-live-long-day wrong. Then being able to look at them at say “Me, too. Oh, yes. Soooo much. Me, too.” Because at the end of the day we all feel a little bit (or perhaps a lot) like a hot mess.
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Sometimes being brave means saying no to a ministry need in the church even though you know they desperately need help. Because needing help and needing a warm body are two different things. I have found that stepping outside my gifts and calling leaves me only able to be a “warm body.” And saying no takes great bravery.
Sometimes being brave means saying yes to serve somewhere, even though is scares the ever living daylights out of you. Because when you serve within your gifts and calling it is worth every bit of sacrifice and hard work. And the little bit that you do along with the WHOLE LOT that Jesus does becomes something truly beautiful. By the way moms, that applies to motherhood too, you know.
Sometimes being brave means letting words spill out of your heart, through your fingers, tapped onto keys, displayed onto a screen and hitting publish. Or maybe speaking them out loud in front of people in a quivering voice. Will they be rejected? Or embraced? Or ignored? Are they even worth putting out there in the first place? Those are the thoughts that require me to find my brave.
Sometimes being brave means smiling at a stranger.
Or leading a Bible study.
Or saying goodbye to parents who live far away.
Or getting up in the morning.
Or teaching your children about Jesus.
Or admitting defeat.
Or cleaning up puke. (Because you’re the mom and that’s what moms do.)
Being brave is never easy but is always worth it.
Sometimes being brave feels very much like being afraid. But then I grit my teeth, dig in my heels and just do that thing anyway. Because sometimes there is absolutely no other choice. And because I know that over and over God has told me in His word “Be strong and courageous, for I AM with you.” He chose the name Emmanuel for a reason. God with us. That is where my bravery lies.
Because God gives me grace, I can be a BRAVE Mama. And you can, too.
Are you a brave Mama? What brave thing have you done lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!