Dear Mom Friend (From a Mom-To-Be)

Today’s guest post and response to Dear Mom Friend comes from Natalie Robertson.  Natalie and her busband Corey live in Nashville, TN and are expecting their first child in September.  Natalie and Corey are good friends from college and it’s a blast to finally be living in the same city again!  If you like crafty DIY projects, be sure to check out Natalie’s blog and if you love to hear her thoughts, check out Cultivate Her for posts from Natalie and other women leaders.

Dear Mom Friend,
When I found out that I was pregnant, I was (and am) scared that I would lose my identity, that I would have nothing else to talk about but my child, and that no one would care about anything other than my kid. It may seem odd to you that I really haven’t worried about the health of my child or how I will handle late nights and little sleep.  Maybe it’s a little bit of selfishness or maybe I’m just worried I’m going to lose touch with who I am and what I’m passionate about.  I’m not going to make any promises but I do intend to let God lead me through my fears of losing my identity, my confusion about where I find my worth, and my clarity about my calling.  I also intend to be honest and open with some girlfriends; ones that will keep my accountable no matter what.

Last week I was talking with an acquaintance who had just discovered I was pregnant.  She was shocked to find out that I was as far along as I am and that she didn’t know. So I gave her some insight into my personal theory on becoming a mother: “This baby is a welcome addition to our marriage and to my life but I will not let it define 100% of who I am; God defines who I am as a child of His”. To some moms that is blasphemy but it’s the truth.  My church is currently studying a series about idols.  This week’s sermon was all about the idol of achievement, and how many of us often confuse what we do with who we are.  It was a timely reminder that my worth does not come from being a mom or a working mom or an employee, but from being a child of God.

As I keep perspective on the fact that my worth comes from being a child of God, I want to continue to be faithful to what God has called me to do.  At this point in my pregnancy, I feel God has called me to be a mom, but I also feel like he has called me to continue to work in ministry (outside of my home).  I have recently struggled with even that balance, that I won’t be able to give MORE of my life and my time to ministry once the baby comes.  Just the other day I found myself almost crying in a meeting at work because I knew I would be on maternity leave during some big moments in the life of my church (and I’m not a crier, just ask Allison)

So I may not have it all figured out yet (and if I said I did I would be lying) but I wanted to share my pre-baby fears about losing my identity, finding my identity, and living out my calling.  In spite of my fears, I have a God who is big; a God who has been equipping women for all of time for whatever He has called them to.  I love that almost every woman who plays a major role in Scripture has a job (some are moms, some are not) but regardless, her impact on the Kingdom is never defined by her job, but by her devotion and obedience to God.

Scripture doesn’t talk about what a perfect mother Mary was to Jesus.  Mary’s main impact on the story of God coming to earth was what she did before Jesus was even born.  She made an impact by being a mom, but more importantly by being a devoted follower of God and by being obedient to God’s calling on her life.

So moms and future moms, how have you learned to be defined by your devotion to God rather than your role (as a wife, mom, working mom, stay at home mom…)?

This isn’t just something moms and future moms struggle with – what about men and women who don’t have kids, do you struggle with being defined by your role rather than your devotion to God?

Any advice regarding my fears of losing my identity and losing sight of my calling when the baby comes?

Sincerely,

A Mom-To-Be

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Dear Mom Friend (From a Mom-To-Be)

  1. Natalie, I love the observation you made about Mary – so true, and good to hear. No advice – just be prepared for surprises and redirections along the journey. Praying for you!

    1. When God revealed that about Mary to me I knew I just had to use it. I know she will serve as a great reminder to me about how God used the most willing of mothers!

  2. I too like what you said about Mary–had never thought of it. I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the new callings you receive as a mother, and not having as much time to devote to your current callings might not bother you as much as you expect in the end. You won’t know until the baby is here, and that’s part of the adventure of living in the midst of God’s story for you and your family!

  3. So happy for the two of you! Enjoy every minute…I agree with the ladies above, it will all be a surprise. Some of the road you travel will be much as you envision; some of it will not be. I love that the ways in which God uses us and where he takes us on the journey of parenthood is different for each of us. A funny aside (not saying this will happen to you, but it’s amusing to remember)…I can remember Bethany (stay-at-home, homeschooling, “attachment parenting” mother of my two adorable grandbabies saying at one time, “I will never have children!”

    1. Thanks Jani for your comment. I know that God’s story is so much bigger than my plan and though it may be a rocky road I know He will give me a direction and a purpose focused on Him throughout my journey as a mom.

  4. No advice, because I share the same fears when I think about becoming a Mom. And, I am so passionate about my job and have the same concerns, but I think just trusting that God will lead thru that and he is the giver of peace – so I’m sure whatever or however it ends up – it will be according to his Plan 🙂 So super excited for you and Corey!!

    1. Brittany I love that we share the same fears. I know that it has been a pleasure for me to walk with friends of mine through the pregnancy and birth of their child. I’ve also loved just walking or having coffee dates after their baby comes. I may call on you for a few of those. 🙂 or at least a trip to the container store!

  5. As a new(ish) mom and a pastor’s wife, I struggled with those same fears, especially in my pregnancy. I was a very active in the discipleship aspect of my husband’s ministry, and having to back away from those duties in order to be a mom at times left me feeling ineffective and lost in my calling. Then Haven came along, and I realized that many of the areas of my heart where God had placed a passion for discipleship and caring for the flock, were now being used in my new ministry – caring for my daughter. It was an adjustment of focus and vision, but slowly the Lord revealed to me how my calling to serve and help others grow had not changed – only shifted, concentrated down to directly serving my family. Don’t get me wrong, it was (and still is) difficult to miss out on certain events and ministry opportunities because of my new role as “Mommy”, but I find that God has shifted my heart to fully embrace my new calling – to be a Christlike example to my child, to point her to Him – in many ways it is a challenging and fulfilling ministry role that is unlike any other I have experienced. Now that Haven is getting older, I have had the opportunity to step back into some of my previous roles in discipleship at church, and that has been refreshing and renewing as well. The “little years” are but a season in our lives as mothers. Rest assured that God will use that time to mold you into the person He desires you to be, and I pray we find that we are more effective, more passionate disciples for it! Congratulations to you and Corey!!

    1. Caitlin! Thanks so much for that insight. Hearing your perspective on balancing ministry and motherhood is a great place to start. I hope we can continue to dialog about the best way to do this. I know God has given me some passions for a reason but I also know he gave the desire to become a mom, and though I feel that calling is a bit overwhelming right now I do have the confidence he will teach me a lot along the way and I will be able to discover new aspects of Ministry. I even recently started to develop a heart for all these other new moms out there and discovering how I can be used to really minister to them.

  6. Natalie, as someone who served a lot in ministry pre-kids, I can say that I HAVE lost a lot of the “things” that defined the old me. I have had to give up a lot of ministry opportunities that I am passionate about (and it was HARD for me!) But, I agree with Caitlin above. I have come to realize, it is only a season. The early years of parenting are very, very child-focused and don’t always allow a lot of time for pursuing passions. However, I have found that God has used my time “at home” mothering to shape my identity in Him even more. Motherhood is a selfless, sacrificial job. I have learned lessons in servanthood and sacrifice that I would never have learned otherwise. I have had to give up things that previously (and wrongly) used to define myself. But, I also find myself pouring my gifts into my girls…using those things He placed in me to teach, train and discipline my girls. I am still using my gifting. My girls ARE my ministry right now in this season. There will be time down the road to use my gifts outside the home and pursue things I am passionate about. But, the childhood years are fleeting and I want to make sure that I am 100% present as a mother…not worshiping my girls in an unhealthy way, but viewing them as my MOST important calling. I feel that our society has tried to compartmentalize motherhood into “just another thing” women do. I knit, I volunteer with the homeless, oh yeah, and I’m a mother too. I’m trying to focus on mothering as what I “do” right now. I know who I AM…I am a child of God. That doesn’t change. My role will change as I grow and go through seasons. Right now my role is mothering!

      1. Thanks so much for your reply Leigh! I loved hearing about what you are learning about sacrifice & servanthood those lessons I know are priceless. I appreciate all your thoughts and hope to learn what my call to my future child looks like… as long as i’m seeking His face I feel like he will provide the answers to hard decisions and difficult choices. I’d love to meet those girls of yours one day… btw i love the name Harper… it was on our short list!

  7. Natalie,

    I believe full-heartedly that one of my most important jobs as a mother is to raise Godly children. What more important ministry could there be than helping your child grow to know and love their creator? Think of the light that they could then be to their friends, co-workers, etc. Very honestly, you might have to scale back your ministry outside of the home so that you can give more to the ministry within your home, but you will still be an incredibly important person who has much to contribute.

  8. Your identity won’t be replaced, it will just grow. You will still be you. It’s really a beautiful thing. I think as a mom I’ve learned more about being selfless than in the 9 yrs I was a pastor…which is saying a lot. I know the joys of pouring your life out and into service. Everything you love about that and more is what you get being called to raise the next generation. Just embrace your life wherever your path leads, be fully present. That’s something you will never regret and will probably enjoy 🙂

    1. I love what you said about being fully present! Thats something that is sometimes challenging even in pregnancy. I know this will be a precious time and I hope to fully embrace every moment as I discover how precious the life growing within me truly is. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Thanks for your post, Natalie! I do think it’s easy to let whatever our role is (our job, our motherhood, etc.) define who we are, and determine how we think of ourselves. It has been good for me to have two big ‘jobs’ right now – mothering and language student – because neither one of them is able to become all-consuming.
    I have found that being a mother has changed my areas of influence. I am more limited in some of the activities I can take part in. I don’t have the same kind of time available to just hang out with students. On the otherhand, it has opened so many doors! A lot of people are naturally drawn to children (and Chinese people are EXTRA drawn to a foreign child!), so I’ve gotten to know a lot of neighbors and other people I never would have otherwise. A lot of people feel more comfortable talking to me because I have a child with me, and a lot of people can relate to me more as a “real person” because even though I look really different, I am actually kind of like them.
    As a mother, your roles and priorities will and should change. Don’t look at a child as detracting from your ministry, though. Look for ways your child can be a part of it, and keep your eyes open for new areas of outreach to present themselves!

    1. Ruth. Thank you so much for brining up the concept of integrating your kids with your ministry. It’s funny because I actually talked I another missionary friend in the DR about how she does this on a regular basis. It was the kind of conversation I could get lost in… Lost in a good way that is! I love to hear your perspective on how you have already started to show what it means to live out ministry. I actually recently found out I had a passion to help new moms continue to connect to other women and to keep growing in their faith during the hardest moments of being a mom… Something I has never even thought about 6 months ago.
      I love seeing us all challenging each other through this blog series!

  10. Natalie~ as a mother of 3, grandmother of 2, and my youngest graduating from high school in May, I’ve walked this road for a long long time. On this side, I am dreading the empty nest, because for 32+ years my children have been a large part of my identity. I will miss that portion; yet I am trying to embrace the new season I face. One thing I DO know is this: you will fall so madly in love with your precious gift from God that many of these fears or confusions and unaswered questions will just naturally be answered and many will fade away as you begin this blessed journey as “mom”. You WILL be able to incorporate ministry into the role as Mom, as i have with leading small groups, previously singing on a praise and worship team, doing mission work, etc. It will not stop; it may change faces, a bit, but ministry will continue…beginning in your own home. The thing all we new moms fear is the unknown; yet God has wired us with the incredible instinct and ability to just adapt naturally, and it is a beautiful and wonderful thing! You are going to love it, I promise you! And I cannot wait to see your little angel baby and watch you and Corey love on him or her! You will be awesome parents! Congrats to you…and just relax and rest…

    1. Lisa! Thank you so much for those encouraging words. It is great to hear from a mom and grandmother on these issues. You and my husband have so much in common… he also really believes in Gods wiring and instinct, it will be so nice to have him around in those sleepless hours as well as during the times we serve together as a family. I appreciate all you do to continue to live a life of service, God will continue to do big things with our willing hearts!

  11. Natalie, here is a message from someone who loved you before you entered the world. As a mom just take one day at a time. God will lead you to where he wants you to be as a mom. He has given you this precious gift. You can’t define yourself as a mom until you hold that precious baby. I remember getting to hold you for that first time. You can ‘t loose yourself when you are a mom, because this sweet baby is part you and part Cory. I just can’t wait to meet him. I am so excited for you! Love you !

    1. Connie… as a woman that has not only known me since before birth but a woman that has helped to shape and mold the lives of thousands of young people is a perspective I greatly respect! Watching you and George take in those that need a temporary home is one thing, but getting to see what big big things God has done with your willingness to follow His lead in adopting 2 older children is truly a testament to how God is always changing our calling and still using you as a retired grandmother as well!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s