I took off my wedding ring to write this one, so you know I mean business.
Can we just all put on our big girl panties and get honest for a second here? I mean, we're all grown-ups and I like to think we are all friends who can be real with one another without fear. We are all cut from the same messed-up cloth and unless I suddenly because popular (ha!) with a whole new set of readers who do things like apply contouring makeup and washing their baseboards (seriously, WHO DOES THIS?), then I think I can say we are in a safe place, among friends who know what it's like to trudge through the mud in worn out yoga pants only to face plant and pretend to be asleep when the baby cries.
I've met you through Beth at Five Kids is a Lot of Kids.
We've bonded over at The Mom Creative about scrapbooking and then wailed about not having time to scrapbook anymore only to have Jessica remind us that we absolutely CAN find time to do what we love.
Your profile photos have become voices, people I have met in the flesh and become instant BFFs - I'm looking at you, Sara.
We've cried, mourned, and prayed and then tore the gates off Heaven in celebration with Diana at Diana Wrote.
I hit my knees with you when the news broke about Baby Boy Bakery.
In one, big, collective group hug, we cheered on Lisa-Jo, Jessica, Kayla, Diana, and more as they announced their book deals.
Since this is a safe space, can I ask a very bold question?
Why do we even bother to read these mama blogs anymore?
By this point, we've heard it all, haven't we?
- Quit wallowing in the Mama Guilt. Do what you can, be present, your kids will remember your snuggles more than your craft projects.
- You are not defined by the number on the scale. Your body housed humans for a very, very long time and then somehow managed to eject them out into this earth and be their primary source of nourishment for the next 400 years, so who give a hoot if you have a little cellulite on your thighs?
- Somehow we have fallen under the impression that we need to be everything to everyone and it is exhausting. We are tired. So tired.
- Breastfeeding battles, tantrums, discipline struggles, guilt, shame, unrealistic standards with a side of unmet expectations.
- Trying to slow down and do less in a world that wants us to move faster and accomplish more.
I'm pretty sure I've written multiple posts on these very topics. Some of my favorite pieces from my favorite bloggers have come from places of frustration, honesty, solidarity in our collective brokenness. Hear me now - this is a GOOD THING.
Yes, much of it has been written before in one way or another. We may even experience a little deja vu as we scroll through our blog roll, wondering if we've already read this one because it sounds so familiar. Does that mean that there's nothing left to write? That we are all just recycling the same content that's been floating around the Internet since the blog was born? Have we reached a point where if you've read one, you've read them all?
No, we have not.
Words have value. Words are magical. Words are what can take a love story everyone has heard before and spin it into a fresh masterpiece that takes your breath away. Words have a power beyond our comprehension and connect with us on a soul level.
How did God create the world? He spoke it into being.
How did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? He yelled at him to mummy-hop his butt out of that tomb.
How does God call us to interact with him? Through prayer....through words.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
(Proverbs 18:21 ESV)
I'm sure it comes as no shock to our Creator that blogging has become the phenomenon that it has. Blogging, especially among women and I would argue even more so among moms, creates a community built upon a collective experience with words as the foundation.
As long as there are mamas awake at 3 am nursing a baby hitting a growth spurt, there will be an audience for that #zombiemoms hashtag. That Twitter feed is where I found a whole new branch of my tribe.
As long as there are babies who are born sleeping into this world, ultrasounds that include words like "incompatible with life," and unfair jerks like cancer and car accidents, there will be a need for a safe place where a mama can go and be bathed in in the healing power of words. She will need the Dianas, the Angies, and the Lexis of this world to sit down in the ashes next to her and say nothing while she weeps and grieves.
Blogs give us that.
Know who else we need? We need Annie, who reminds us about how to use our words to bring life.
As long as there are stretch marks and cellulite being held up against the standards of Kim Kardashian and her attempts to break the Internet, we will need to be reminded for the ten millionth time that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).
As long there are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches being assembled because that's all my kid will eat even though the other kid at his table comes in every week with kale chips in bento boxes, we will need to remember that God has big plans in store for us, plans to make a difference in this broken world (Jeremiah 29:11).
As long as there are last-minute DQ ice cream cakes being held up against the fondant covered, multi-tiered Frozen masterpiece complete with blue glitter and organic Olaf noses, there will be a place for us.
They give us a place to be vulnerable and honest, to rant and rave a swear a little (or a lot), to shake our fist at God and give a name to our anger, to laugh until we can't help but pee a little.
Oh no, friends. We are not done yet.
Welcome to our tribe.
P.S. Can I please get a slow clap for the amount of time it took me to copy and past all those blogger's websites and create ten thousand hyperlinks in this post? Yah, thanks. :)