This mama needs stronger shoulders. I actually could really use a whole new pair. While this may seem like a strange connection, this week my shoulder pain is further revealing my need for God’s grace in my life. I like to think of myself as relatively strong. I have always been pretty good at dealing with pain. I could always push through a hard workout on the track. I even feel like I handled myself relatively well with the pains of contractions. All that strength I thought I had has been shaken as I have stepped into motherhood. Who would of thought that a 15-pound baby could cause such strain on my shoulders? I did not seem to notice it when he was 7, 8, 9 pounds, but this week as I rock my baby to sleep (yes, I know this is a bad habit but he is sick and needed this), I have been overcome with pain in my shoulders. They are strained, tired, burnt out. Yesterday, after nearly an hour of rocking and hushing Hudson, I felt like my shoulders were about to explode. In the whole scheme of things, this is a pain I can handle, but it has been my physical reminder this week that I am so incredibly limited. I sometimes live my life like I am superhuman and can do all things. I can wake up early, go on a run, squeeze in a yoga class, nurse Hudson throughout the day, clean the house spotlessly, walk the dog, entertain both the dog and Hudson, go out and create fun new experiences for Hudson, socialize and meet new mom friends, meal plan, grocery shop, manage bills and supplies in our home, be a loving and supportive wife and make delicious and healthy meals each night. Just writing out that list stressed me out. While I love this image of myself as a super, unstoppable human. I am not. Not even close. But, we have a super, unstoppable God. And this is enough. Actually, it is more than enough. All this to say that my shoulders are hurting this week. They are tired. I am tired. I am limited. I get worn out from just holding a 15-pound baby throughout the day! Our God is stronger. Much stronger. Not only does He hold us. He holds all of our needs. He knows what we need and he so graciously satisfies those needs. While I don’t think He will give me new shoulders, He already has given me a loving husband that massages these tired shoulders. More than that, He gives me gentle whispers that I am loved and I am enough even when I feel so inadequate as Hudson continues to cry and my shoulders shake in weakness.
This mama needs a lot of things. Coffee, patience, rest, gratitude, exercise, time. Amongst those things, the first and most important is Jesus and His abundant grace. I need His new mercies every. single. day. Actually, I need them every single moment. Becoming a mom has shown me a lot about the current state of my heart. It has shown me I am more selfish than I realized. That I have way less patience than I thought. And it has ultimately shown me the really ugly parts of my heart that I have not needed to deal with for a while. Becoming a mother has shown my deep insecurities. It has revealed a heart that is so attached to the approval of humans. It has shown how uncomfortable I am at getting out of comfort zones. It has shown me my longing at being perfect for my own self glory. Before Hudson, I could much better pretend that I had things together. Now I have a 4-month old that is not intuned to my ever present needs to be perceived as perfect. I have lost all control and through this loss I am left with a heart that is full of anxiety, stress, and insecurity. This mama is tired. This mama is burnt out at trying to be perfect. This mama needs grace.
I feel so overwhelmed with this new role of motherhood. While I also have a new type of joy I have never felt before, I also am living through a season where my needs are outweighing my haves. Thankfully I only need one have: Jesus. And I already have Him. He has me. And while I have a mighty long list of needs, I can rest in the knowledge that Jesus knows each of my needs and His love for me remains constant. My prayer is through this blog of grappling through my own ever-present need for Jesus’ abundant grace, that you too can remember that even when it feels like you have nothing together, that God loves you with a crazy love and He showers you with grace in all of your imperfections.