Hey Momma-I had no idea.
I had no idea that were so many of you who needed to hear those simple words. (This won’t make sense until you read yesterday’s post). Don’t get me wrong, sisters, I’m glad I got to encourage you. But it makes me sort of sad to think that we are all in the same mothering boat, whether we work or not, yet we all seem to be just parched for a cool drink of encouragement. Kinda makes you wonder why we don’t just come out and say those things to one another a bit more, you know?
I told my friends once that being a mom is one of the best jobs in the world because you get to choose your co-workers. I mean, not every single one of them. I know ya’ll know who I’m talking about, the mom that you just don’t click with (but God’s got a lot to teach you through that lady, I promise!) But most of us get to choose the mommas we do life with. And that’s a pretty unique job perk of being a mom.
So. We are all in this together. And apparently we all need to hear a good encouraging word once in a while.
Being deflated and needing encouragement seems to be a theme in my adult life, which reminds me of this time I was, ahem, deflated and discouraged. I slid down on my counseling supervisor’s couch (I say ‘supervision’ like I was there to work or discuss my cases when we both knew I was really just getting free counseling). Anyhoo, I told him about how I felt like my mothering and my counseling were doing very little good for anyone. I distinctly remember flipping my arms around on the coach and throwing my head back on the cushion, to emphasize the point that I might as well lay around like a floppy fish, that’s how much good I was doing in people’s lives.
It’s really a wonder he didn’t laugh at me. He did smile, though, and told me this little gem:
“90% of your job is about just showing up.”
Well, crap. I didn’t know I had to earn a master’s degree to SHOW UP. Which sounds very similar to other complaints I’ve raised about not needing a COLLEGE DEGREE to EMPTY THE DISHWASHER. But of course he was right.
Maybe most of our job–as moms, as women, as people–is to show up. To be faithful to the life God has given us. To the people he’s given us. To our momma friends he’s given us, most of whom need an encouraging word today.
So I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be crazy if we all just became this invisible encouragement flash mob? Can you imagine if every single one of us got up from reading this, and just decided that as soon as we felt prompted, as soon as we felt a little niggle in our spirit toward someone, we were going to stop, be present, show up in their life and offer a specific word of encouragement?
(PS, encouragement is not the same as compliment. We women love compliments. If I had a dime for every time I told a woman I liked her shoes….) That’s not what I mean. I mean encouragement.
Here’s an example. I met this woman at our sons’ soccer tournament last weekend. Her son was new on my son’s team–first game. But when it was over, he skipped over to my son and said,
“boy, Charlie, you’ve got some great moves! I love playing with you!”
The child was 9. And male. And he was so compassionate and warm and encouraging, I think I just stared at him with my mouth half-open, I was so shocked at his awesome-ness. And I want that mom to know that no matter how tired she is of mothering or emptying dishwashers or driving carpool, she’s raising one heck of a 9 year old.
So I’m going to tell her that, as soon as I see her next. I barely know the woman, she’ll probably think I’m pretty goofy. But I bet she won’t forget those words or that encouragement, because life-giving words like that just do something in us. They are moments where we actually believe that showing up to our lives is enough, and that what matters most is not always what we earn degrees for.
So mommas, what do you think? I’m in if you are. I can’t wait to hear who you encourage and what you say!