This weekend, a precious group of our friends gathered at our cottage for a couples’ weekend. This isn’t just any group, and this isn’t the first time we’ve weekended together. We call ourselves the Mystery Club and have been together for years.
Formed in January 2003, during the SARS outbreak, this group of twelve (six couples) began with the idea of creating mystery events for each other. One couple would oversee the evening, and the rest of us would show up at an arranged location knowing only how much money to bring and the appropriate attire to wear.
Our first event was dinner at Marche and an evening at the Senator, a Toronto Jazz Club. Since then, we’ve planned numerous events for one another. We’ve attended a play at a local theatre, participated in our own Amazing Race at the local mall, braved a group Swing dance lesson, and occupied a studio at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts to paint our own original masterpieces.
We’ve engaged in a retro movie/games night, an African themed dining extravaganza, a ‘Nine and Dine’ golf event, and an evening of outdoor skating where one of our members nearly passed from this life due to a head injury while couples skating with yours truly (there remains a bald patch on the impact site where no hair grows!). Continue reading “The Mystery Club”
It may not feel like it, but what you’re doing is sacred.
It doesn’t feel like it during the 3 AM feedings, or when you’re changing the seventh diaper before noon, or when you’re comforting a wailing baby while wailing yourself.
Motherhood doesn’t feel sacred when your two-year-old is asserting their freedom of speech at the grocery counter, when your three-year-old just completed a crayon masterpiece on the living room wall, or when your five-year-old just bit your best friend’s daughter’s arm.
It doesn’t feel sacred when the teacher calls home about misbehavior twice in one week, when you lose count of the times you’ve corrected for this misbehavior, or when you’re completely at a loss on how to fix it.
It doesn’t feel sacred when your teenager is distant, when they impart that they just backed the truck into your neighbor’s Porche, or when you happen to notice cut marks on their wrists.
Mostly motherhood feels messy and raw. Like you’re wearing your heart outside your chest while walking in the wilderness without a compass. But it’s also brilliant, beautiful, and sacred.
Because mothers change the atmosphere. They change it with their love, their laughter, their prayers, their protection, and their presence. The countless times you walked through ordinary, produced extraordinary. All your unseen and uncelebrated actions piled one on top of the other, day after day, bumped into eternity.
The times you wiped a nose, a bottom, or wiped away tears. The times you got on your knees and played even though the house looked like a tsunami passed through, or later got on your knees to pray for the strength to clean up said tsunami. The times you administered hugs, Bandaids, advice, desserts, medicine, money, drives, and driving lessons—all selfless, sacred acts that had a profound impact.
Because right now, right beside you, these little humans are becoming big humans. All you do for them and choose not to do (for their own good), is helping them grow into the person God envisioned from the beginning of time. The same child you helped learn how to walk, will one day run headlong into their own future and, eventually, into eternity.
Make no mistake, this is sacred work.
The way you love them, serve them, speak to them, look at them, and the time you spend with them has a profound impact. God chose you for the task. He has entrusted you with these little people, and when you trust him, he gives you all you need to accomplish this sacred work.
It won’t be easy—you already know that—but it will be worth it.
The years I raised and taught our four kids at home took more than I had. Some days it felt anything but sacred. But I believe that you too will one day look back and marvel at the impact of your selfless, sometimes mundane, day-to-day, imperfect, accumulated acts. That you too will see that every strand of your love wove a rich, strong, safe nest for those babies who are now, sooner than you imagined possible, ready to fly and soar on their own.
We get one crack at this thing called parenting. Let’s slow down, be present, and love them ridiculously well. Not one second of that time will be wasted! xo
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31
I’ve made a list of some things I want you to hear… you know how I love lists! Maybe it’s the additional introspection of recently becoming a grandmother that incited the list (in case you’re wondering, I’m warming up to the name Nana).
It could be that I’m a mom and can’t help but bequeath my vast wisdom to my children, and grandchild! Of course, the obvious is that my blog’s purpose is to offer encouragement to those—you included—who may stumble upon it. Whatever the case, I’m hoping this list will provide a few important life reminders that we can all stand to hear from time to time.
Here goes, in no particular order except the last one!
You have overcome 100% of your worst days.
You will get through this.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Stop worrying about what other people think of you.
Start caring about what God thinks of you.
Don’t ignore your pain. It has tons to teach you.
Write down your worries then hand them over to God.
Pray all the time, even about the smallest things.
Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s walking forward despite the fear.
You don’t have to feel happy all the time.
Feelings aren’t always an accurate representation of reality.
You’re going to make mistakes.
Forgive always—yourself, others, and, if necessary, forgive God.
Look for beauty. If you can’t find it, create it.
Cheer for, pray for, and bless others—especially those you dislike.
Be thankful for everything—even the hard bits.
Comfort rarely builds character (or anything for that matter).
Be patient. Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Talent only goes so far. Nothing replaces effort.
It’s better to try and fail than to never have tried at all.
Don’t judge. Everyone is scaling an invisible mountain.
Be kind to everyone, including yourself.
Don’t underestimate the power of a kind word.
Give hugs. Receive hugs.
There’s only one you.
Find things to celebrate!
Now you’ve read the list, why not start at the top and pick one a day to focus on during the next 30 days! And if you’re looking for me, well, I’ll have my hands full.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, you’re amazing! Imagine what God thinks of you! xo