When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me
- Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman
My grandmother is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, and in her 80's today, she is even still. I remember we would visit her and my PaPa every summer and she would have her hair done every week and lay on a silk pillow case so it would keep it's shape. Her red fingernails were always perfection too. She would let me lay in her lap as she would run her fingers through my hair. Growing up, she was never without her panty hose and rouge...and I remember her silk house slippers, so her hose wouldn't run. She was so graceful and soft spoken and always kind. She made the best layered chocolate cake I have ever had....to this day. So. many. layers. It was magic.
My mother is like her in a lot of ways. Her house is always in order and she rarely leaves the house without her makeup and hair fixed, but I finally got her to wear a pair of leggings and a top knot instead of being so "put together" to run up to the grocery store. My mother is a servant and loves people. I don't think she thinks of herself for even a minute. I remember she would read and read to us. I love to read because of her. She loved us with her whole self and still does.
Now as a mom myself, I look back on my childhood perception of my mother and understand her so much better. I am not nearly as kind an patient as she is, but I'm learning. Being a mom has been an undoing for me. I remember when I held Lagen for the first time, such love overcame me, but such fear too. I had such a struggle with my identity as woman, as a wife, and newly as a mother. I was afraid I couldn't measure up and that I would never be enough for him. Now with 5 littles and nearly a decade later, my story is much the same, but fear is not my cage anymore.
Living my life with open hands hasn't always been my mantra. In my motherhood journey, I have learned "the doorposts" of my life because I have been forced to look in a mirror every day. An unforgiving one. When my children start to have patterns and tendencies that reflect my weaknesses, that mirror is rather ugly. I speak out loud often, "be kind, be brave, be love...." for myself and for them! In my weakness and brokenness, I want my children to know the goal. "Open your hands," I tell them, "Don't be afraid." "Love God, love people."
It is easy for me to be insecure, to set the bar too high for myself...To try to fit a mold of motherhood by a pretty picture on my instagram feed. But no, I was crafted and designed by an All Powerful Creator, beautifully fashioned in His image to be bold and brave and live an abundant and full life. But even more, I was made to be the mother each of my children need. This is me. And me is enough for them. I have a little vintage sign in the kids' bathroom that says, "There are but two lasting bequests we can give our children, the first is roots and the last is wings." I hope that when I give them wings, they look at the road ahead and say, "Look out 'cause here I come."
It's not an easy road, but I wouldn't trade motherhood or the undoing that came with it, for anything. I am stronger, braver, kinder because of my babes. I know who I am and I am not afraid anymore of the thoughts of others. This is me, and I can be me...boldly.
After a very stressful few weeks, I looked at Landon and said, "we're gonna be ok babes." He said, "ya know, I don't think so, I think we are just going to be." I understood him immediately. "Being" is enough. "Ok" is passing and usually doesn't last very long, but "being" present, kind, love, brave...no matter the circumstance...well, I can land there.
I'm definitely not all put together and I don't sleep on a silk pillowcase or have a perfectly neat house, but my heritage of mother's have helped me become the woman I am today. They have walked my journey too and now I understand it. You are beautiful and you can be you boldly. Motherhood is an undoing, a beautiful journey of becoming, and you are worthy of it. Happy Mother's Day beautiful friend, you are worthy of the name...