I wear many hats, as all moms do, and because of this, we could all probably use a little more encouragement. But how do we accomplish this? Where do we find the encouragement we need? (Long post warning…)
We were not meant to travel this motherhood journey alone. Many times we are encouraged by our husbands and even, occasionally, our children. However, there is a special encouragement we receive from other women who have traveled the road we are on. This is why God commands the older women to “…admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” (Titus 2:4-5, NKJV) Women are meant to encourage each other.
Isolation is a dangerous place, often leading to depression and loss of hope. Sometimes, because we compare our weaknesses to others’ strengths, we are afraid to be vulnerable with other women, even ashamed to let them see who we really are, because we are convinced we don’t measure up. We can tend to isolate and try to go it alone.
But, there is help and healing in sharing with other women and how can we help each other if we don’t open up to each other? It is more blessed to give than to receive, and by opening up to another woman you not only receive the gift of encouragement, but can be even more blessed by unforeseen opportunities to encourage her, too.
Just because that other mom looks like she has it all together, doesn’t mean she can’t also use some encouragement. We are all given certain gifts and talents and are expected to use them in our God-given roles as women. Part of using our gifts is reaching out and sharing them with others.
You might be struggling with organization and housekeeping, but have tremendous patience with your children. Maybe another woman you know has a Better-Homes-and-Gardens looking home, but secretly struggles with dealing gently with her children. You both have gifts and talents you can share with each other, but you’ll never know it if you don’t get to know one another.
You might feel ashamed of your messes in your home while she feels ashamed of her messy way of dealing with her children. We were not meant to feel ashamed of our messes, but to help each other dig out of them. We all have some messes, even if we appear to be put-together.
Encourage and be encouraged. Reach out. Begin to talk to the ladies you know about things of real substance. Don’t pretend you have it all together if you don’t. Let yourself be vulnerable. I know it is hard, but how can you find the help you desperately need if you don’t reach out?
If you don’t know any other women in person whom you can reach out to, find like-minded moms in the blogging world. There are so many wonderful and Godly women who are pouring their lives into others through their blogs. What a gift these blogs are to women in need of encouragement! And, by getting involved, you have the chance to pour yourself into another and be a blessing to her, too.
No matter where you are now on your journey, you have something to offer others and there is encouragement to be found for you. Pray that God will lead you to the help you need and trust that He loves you with all your weaknesses and shortcomings.
You are no surprise to God and he placed you where you are for a reason. He gave you those kids, knowing what your challenges would be. Don’t forget, though, that He also gave you a community of women to share this journey with and has commanded the older women in your life to share what they know, to encourage you. He loves you and will never leave you and He doesn’t expect you to travel alone.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Who can you reach out to? Who can you call? Whose blog can you visit? How will you encourage another mom today?