WELCOME & INTRODUCTION
A little bio for those who may be new to our Table Talks: I am esposa to my Superman, married 11 years now. Mama to three girls. I homeschool the two older girls. I’m the elementary children’s minister at my church. And I’m in the midst of an originally involuntary shift toward minimalism because in the next few weeks, we are moving from 1900 square feet and a 2-car garage to 750 square feet, no garage (Check out Table Talk 25 for all the details). I love adventure in the outdoors, writing (I will be a published children’s author one day), and campfires. Did you sense a theme? Kids. Being a mom is a big part of who I am right now.
A minimalism side note, I just listened to a great episode of one of my recent favorite podcasts (The Simple Show), and the host Tsh Oxenreider (a kindred spirit) was discussing capsule wardrobes–basically applying minimalism principles to your clothing. Her co-host gave a great tip when trying to figure out what your core clothes are to pull out first–she said to start with what you would pack for a vacation. Genius! Take a listen here.
As I prayed about this week’s talk, I felt that it was time for a little shot of affirmation and confidence for all the mamas out there. Next Sunday is Mother’s Day, so I felt it’s timely to speak some life into the mamas watching. But, even though this talk is directed toward the mamas, there’s encouragement for every woman no matter your season of life because the struggle for mamas is often rooted in COMPARISON. And isn’t comparison a universal struggle for women?
It’s so easy to get caught in the comparison trap while perusing other mamas’ highlight reels on social media, and then we can so easily cave to the barrage of self-deprecating thoughts that cripple our self-esteem, like a virus, trying to shut us down in our rolls as mothers and render us useless to our families. So, it’s time for a shot of vitamin C of sorts, a booster that will get your system back up to par and shake the cloud off.
Let me start by saying, YOU ARE ENOUGH.
I know there are days you don’t feel like it, but you are. Well, I should begin with, IN HIM you ARE enough. That sounds so abstract that I hesitate to mention it, but if you are committed to a daily relationship with God, spending time in the Word, and talking to Him on a regular basis, you will understand what that means. If you’re not making those efforts, then you may not be able to grasp the meaning of “in Him,” and I strongly recommend you start with daily time with God to help you begin to understand. Then get in a group and grow more. You were not designed to do life alone (Ecc. 4:9-10 “Two are better than one”–and this isn’t talking about married couples; it’s talking about life in general. We need others to lift us up when we’re down, and we need to be the one lifting others up when they are down.)
One of my favorite books about motherhood is Be the Mom by Tracey Lanter Eyster. I want to read an excerpt from the chapter entitled “Mirror Mom Trap” (a chapter about the trap of comparison). Listen carefully, and let this wash over and soothe your soul:
Have you, like me, ever looked in the mirror and berated yourself for your failures as a mom and a wife? That sounds like disorder and an evil practice to me, because it is destructive to you and ultimately to your children! Recently while spending the weekend with my daughter at college, I noticed this sign posted on the dorm floor bathroom mirror: “Comparison is the thief of joy!” . . . .
In spite of the dialogue you and I may have with ourselves as we’re peering at our reflections, allow me to share some truth with you, little lady. Here are the ABCs of what I know to be true because of who God is:
You are ADORED and APPRECIATED–God enjoys the crinkle in your nose when you smile, and He knows how magnificently special you are. He made you. He sees you when you feel overwhelmed and under-equipped. He wants you to cast your cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and let loose big ol’ belly laughs daily to sustain your joy.
You are BEAUTIFUL and BRAVE–God sees your unique beauty gloriously displayed in the gentleness of your eyes and the curve of your smile. Your inner splendor is evidenced by your selfless actions intuitively lavished on your family. He recognizes that being a mom is hard work, but you do it anyway, and He celebrates your triumph with an enchanting sunset to draw your overflowing heart toward Him.
You are CAPTIVATING and CELEBRATED–God draws near when you share the quiet heartfelt moments of love with the children He has entrusted to you. He knows you are the perfect mom for your children. He wants you right where He has you, and He wants to calm your soul with the quiet assurance that all is well.
Later, Tracey Eyster admonishes us to “Share, don’t compare. . . . Rather than comparing ourselves to each other, we should enhance each other.”
Three steps to sharing:
- Begin within. As cheesy as it sounds, get in front of that mirror and begin speaking affirmations over yourself. Your words are powerful, so regardless of whether you feel you’re worthy, those words will empower you to step up and be your best you.
- Take a fast from the highlight reels of your friends’ lives, and focus on your own family. Put down the phone. Be all there with your family.
- Look for opportunities to encourage others. If you need encouragement, begin by encouraging others. Sow the seeds. Be the initiator.
- You are enough.
- Review the ABCs of truth, and speak them over your life.
- Find someone to encourage and uplift. Begin to be part of the solution instead of the problem.
What’s your favorite source of encouragement, especially to keep you from being swept into the storm of highlight reels? Tell us in the comments so we can all draw encouragement from that place. And then go find a mama to encourage. I guarantee that no matter how “together” her life looks, she’s yearning for encouragement and affirmation. Love you, ladies. You are rocking this life. Happy Mother’s Day!