Sometimes I see old photos of myself from before I had children, and think:
That girl is so spunky!
And sometimes I wonder...
What was I so busy doing before I had kids? What did I think was so hard about life? What happened to that girl?
Marriage and motherhood grow us girls up in ways we never could've anticipated. While the post-college me had only myself to be concerned about, today I am responsible to care for my husband and six children. While heartache fell only within the realm of unrequited love in my early 20s, I now know, in my late 30s, of suffering and heartache in ways I couldn't have imagined...and yet, I don't know what real suffering is.In a season with lots of littles in the home and a few on the cusp of the teen years, I'm tempted to think that the fun gal in the old photos was spunky because she had it easy; that moxie went out when the responsibilities of life set in.
Motherhood can be sobering, but it doesn't have to be stifling.
And, our kids…they need to see that they are spunk-lighters, not spunk-extinguishers. I want my kids to know that they don't dry up my life, but fill it up.
No amount of having "me time," pursuing hobbies, and becoming young at heart will ever take the place of real joy taking place alongside of real (hard) life. The transforming power of redemption does not stifle and restrict, but frees and relieves. We are free to be more adventurous than when we lived only for ourselves. We are free to be more joyful than we were before when life was easy. We are free to be more silly and spunky than when we bore no heavy burdens. We can rediscover the moxie we thought we lost because wonder and delight can coexist with hardship, mortgages, parenting difficulties, loss, busy schedules, and endless housework. Because of grace…because of redemption…because the Gospel turns moxie on it's head and makes it all about Him.
13 Ways To Lose Your Pre-Motherhood Moxie
1. Take yourself too seriously, and never laugh too much.
2. Keep tabs on all that's failed to meet your expectations in life.
3. Define yourself by what you do, rather than who (and whose) you are.
4. Let circumstances determine your state of mind.
5. Avoid trying new things-- you're destined to fail anyway.
6. Keep up the authoritarian persona at all costs because that's the only way you can command respect.
7. Overschedule your life so there is no wiggle room for spontaneity.
8. Be legalistic.
9. Be short-sighted and pessimistic.
10. Be hard to please.
11. Make idols of what others think of you.
12. Be bosom buddies with self-doubt.
13. Boast in your personality, rather than in the one who made you.
From my Instagram feed...
"I recently came across this pic from before we were even married, and all I can say is: Who is that spunky girl!?! The last 16 years have been sobering, but I'm learning that they need not stifle the spunk...tomorrow on the blog I'm posting on bringing back the moxie in the midst of motherhood. #tbt #marriageissanctifying#parentingissanctifying #notablonde"//instagram.com/p/gbbkqKIoJU/embed/
"We lived here 14 years ago without kids. We never really did a whole lot of exploring of the city or ever experienced San Francisco at night- we were newlyweds at seminary and thought ourselves poor. But, now that there are six littles asleep in the next room, we wonder why we weren't more adventurous, what we were so busy doing, and how we ever had that much money in the bank. So, while the two of us would be out catching the moonlit waves along the coast tonight, we sit gratefully together, sharing the end of our first full day in SF over a box of TJs macarons. And we remember to make the most of NOW, so that tomorrow might have no regrets."//instagram.com/p/gMv2OGooFR/embed/