Eternal Mothering

I distinctly remember being uncomfortably pregnant with my oldest child, waddling through the grocery store, comparing prices on pasta and other glamorous items, when I saw her.

She had a child walking next to the cart, one in the seat, and one strapped to her. She walked purposefully, as she clearly knew the store's geography all too well. I wish I could say now that I noticed how well-behaved her children were, or how polite she was to them, but... I didn't.

I noticed how she was dressed.

She wore an over-sized t-shirt, stretchy capri pants, flip flops and her hair in a braid. Her make-up was minimal, though her face was kind. She gave me a gracious smile, her eyes resting for a moment on my swollen belly. "Congratulations!" she called to me.

"Thanks!" I said, with a chipper tone. But, inside, I was promising myself that once I became a mom, I would continue to fix my hair and dress well when I left the house.

Ohhhh, how pride comes before the fall.

I (no exaggeration) maybe blow dry my hair 2-3 times a year. I quickly pull either a straightener or curling iron through it once or twice a week. I mostly live in workout clothes and birkenstock sandals (so much so that there's a tan line on my feet from the straps). If I do wear make-up, it's a quick eyebrow fill, undereye concealer so I look less like a zombie and a few coats of mascara.

I'm definitely not nailing it like my former self assumed I would be.

What I've learned, since that less-than-admirable moment in the grocery store, is we all have different priorities and values. I have friends who have multiple children, love Jesus dearly, and always look beautiful and put-together. I can't for the LIFE of me figure out how they manage to do it, but it's impressive.

I have other friends who, while they may not value the aesthetics of beauty, pour themselves out serving, serving, serving. They're baking cookies for friends in the hospital, dropping off meals for new moms, babysitting for others, volunteering at their children's school, and on and on. I can't for the LIFE of my figure out how they manage to do it, but it's impressive.

So, it's likely been with my own experience of parenting, but now I find myself noticing the beauty in other moms... in a different way. The way they smile at their baby or the fact that they're able to have a beautiful home that makes everyone feel so welcome. If I could go back to my newly-pregnant self, I would say, "find the moms loving their children well and sit at their feet! Soak up all the knowledge you can! Stop worrying about whether or not you'll ever weigh 125 lbs again or if you'll ever straighten your hair! Think eternally!"

So, on this day, I intend to think eternally. The wisest people I know, regardless of age or season of life, are those who have an eternal perspective. They aren't weighed down by temporary, earthly troubles. They prioritize that which lasts forever. Oh, may I do the same.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18English Standard Version (ESV)

17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


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