Hi! I’m Stephanie, writer of the I Literally LOL blog and wiper of the poopy bottoms.
I never would have thought that a monotonous cycle of laundry, dishes, stinky diapers, discipline, and sleep deprivation would bring me so much joy. No, I’m really not crazy . . . or at least not certifiably. Ahem.
Once upon a time, I was “free.” Free to hop in the car with my hubby and go on a spur of the moment date. Free to live in a spotless house and only do laundry once a week. Free to pee alone. Moment of silence.
As good as all that was, I had no idea the indescribable joy God would give me through three little munchkins. But if I’m being completely transparent, being a mommy is the most difficult job I’ve ever had . . . maybe because there is no set formula.
Not one child is a cookie cutter kid straight from the heavenly oven of perfection. They each must be guided, loved, and taught how to be functioning, independent future adults. I’m not just making sure my children can go on the potty or say their “A, B, C’s.” I’m doing everything I can to show them God’s love, teach them to always be kind, and encourage them to use their God-given talents to better our world. I am helping shape the future of mankind as we speak.
A little intense, you think? I know! It may be an understatement to say that I don’t take my mommy job lightly. Don’t get me wrong. I am the epitome of a perfectly imperfect mama! I’m the type who will get on to her kids for misplacing mommy’s phone again when it’s really just sitting in my back pocket.
Palm to forehead.
I mess up and then instead of learning my lesson the first time, I mess up again. But I have learned the necessity of apologies, and pray that if my children learn nothing else from me they’ll learn the power of humility and selflessness. It’s up to me and my husband through God’s grace to guide and nurture their tender hearts. To teach them to be kind and giving in a world of takers, users, and abusers.
As I scroll through the feeds in my social media accounts, I can’t help but feel a tad frightened for my children. So much of what I see and read is tragedy, violence, and depravity. What mother wouldn’t want to wrap her children in bubble wrap and lock them in their rooms for protection? Part of me desires to keep them hidden away and teach them to keep their mouths shut so as not to draw any negative attention. But if I did that, then what good would I really be doing? Sure I’d be raising up people who would never offend naysayers, but I would also be raising ones who would never make a difference.
So what does motherhood mean to me? It means pointing my kids to Christ. It means demonstrating grace, mercy, love, and compassion to my children. It means teaching them not to see race or stereotypes but rather to look past the outer shell of a man to see the inner person that God desperately loves and desires to call His child.
Motherhood means completing daily routines and rituals with joy, knowing in my heart the bigger picture. Where my kids will be in ten, twenty, or even thirty years has much to do with what they learn now. Will they be equipped with what they need to make a real difference, or will they simply exist?
I’m not raising warm bodies to take up space. I’m training up difference makers. This is my calling and my passion. This is why I can laugh out loud over spills, mildew, and piles of laundry. I know the end game . . . maybe not exactly. But I can see a brighter future. If my kids grow up to be janitors or garbage men but they spread the truth of God’s hope and love, then I will be bursting with pride.
So once again, what does motherhood mean to me? It means training up soldiers for Christ and watching them change the world!
Stephanie Gilbert is an OCD mama of three “spirited” children (four if you count the big boy posing as her husband) who blogs at I Literally LOL where you are sure to find lots of love, laughter, and honesty. She dreams of being a published author one day, winning a lifetime supply of Reese’s peanut butter cups, and surviving the toddler years. Most of all, she loves her God and desires to point others to Him. She believes there is always joy to be found amidst the junk in our lives and nothing should keep us from laughing out loud. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.