As part of my New Year's Resolution, I've started going to an all women's crossfit gym. At 5 am. Every morning.Waking up at 4:30 in the morning isn't particularly enjoyable. Making a fool of myself is less enjoyable. (being in a room full of all of my highschool teachers is a whole nother deal) Feeling my body get strong, however, totally awesome.
This is what Strong is for me these days. Wake up at 4:30 am Work out from 5-6 am Come home, shower, prepare the house, read my bible Girls wake up at 7:30. Chores, breakfast, play, school, lunch nap. Play, dinner, baths, bed, chores, bed.
It's exhausting. And add in church activities. And this little picture taking gig. And all the other human things that I do. I got to be strong to do it.
But you see, there was a time where my strong looked much different.
My strong once looked like calling my midwife and asking her if the reason I couldn't leave the bed with my rolly polly baby was maybe because I had Post Partum Depression.
My strong once looked like holding down my middle daughter's hands every. single. night. to keep her from scratching her bloody skin. For eighteen months.
My strong once looked like sitting in an emergency room while someone sewed up my daughter's head.
My strong once looked like pulling my physically, mentally, spiritually, aching body out of bed to nurse that baby one. more. time. tonight. And then again a few hours later.
My strong has looked like doing this mommy gig all day every day with no help from family or friends while my husband worked 60+ hours a week.
My strong has looked like feeding everyone (gluten free) cereal (with coconut milk) because FOR THE LOVE I just cannot cook one more meal today.
My strong has looked like rocking a coughing baby from sun down to sun up watching Jimmy Fallon.
My strong has looked like making it a whole
day hour without crying.
This mama gig, y'all, it's tough. Tonight, as I watched the sun go down on the beach before bible study I thought "Dang mamas, you did it. You made it another day. All of the kids survived." I thought about you! You who absolutely does not have the ability (or desire) to go go go go go all day long, because, while you may be in one spot under a sweet, sweaty little baby, you give give give give give all day long. You who just found out she's pregnant - UHGAIN - and have no idea how you're going to keep up. You who are just dying to get that minute in to put up your feet and catch up on Downton Abbey. You who is fighting the demons in your head that say "RUN AWAY, THIS IS TOO HARD. THEY ARE TOO MUCH. YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH."
While I feel a shift in the tide for what my strong looks like in my home, I honestly can't believe I made through this far. THAT TOOK SO MUCH STRENGTH, Y'ALL! And that strength was not my own.
Proverbs 31:10-31New International Version (NIV)
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
I never knew the freedom, grace, and beauty that there is in taking on the identity of this Wife of Noble Character. See, I always thought that when I was where I am now - get up at ass crack of dawn and work yourself to the bone - that was this woman. But when I look back on the past six years of my life - baby after baby after baby - I see that strong woman day after day. She may have been hanging on by a finger, but how strong did that finger have to be to hold all of that up?!
So here's to you new mom, tired mom, experienced mom, doubtful mom, fearful mom, blissful mom. I love your strength. Chase after Him, I promise this is only a season.