Monday, February 17, 2014

A Gentle View {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

Rosie's ankles are crossed right at the little anklet roll she's got, her feet dangling off the side of my thigh. Her head nods and then jerks upright before dropping again, her eyelids fluttering shut. The two of us in a pool of lamplight, her head finding my chest so she can finally let go.

The boys are still awake upstairs, though it's nearly 10. Girls, too, although they don't think I can hear them darting out of bed to grab another book off the shelf or whispering to each other under the covers. They'll pretend to be asleep when I walk past their room, Rosemary breathing thickly on my shoulder while I try to keep from waking her in our trek to bed. Peter calls out for a cup, which means water, and I bring it to him.

It's just another quiet night in our little mouse house. 6 children tucked in up under the eaves and me down here, trying to enjoy the few moments of silence afforded me each day before I, too, nod off despite my best intentions.

Sometimes these moments are so impossibly simple, I can lose sight of their value. Going through the motions of wiping tables and tears and holding hands while crossing streets and singing their favorite songs. Talking about respect and honor and justice while putting bandaids on scraped knees with a kiss and nursing a baby to sleep. I'm quick to heap on guilt over my many missteps, assign them so much importance and weight - but what about the good moments? Laughing with my son in the check out line at the grocery, enjoying him so much that the man behind us thought he couldn't possibly be my child. Dancing my toddler around the living room on a Saturday morning and tickling my baby girl til she laughs so hard her whole body shakes.

I remember it from my own childhood. The shape of my Mom there at the sink, washing up after dinner, the sound of her voice singing a little something as she worked. Her warm lap and open arms in a rocking chair, waiting for me after I scraped my knee out on the sidewalk and came running in with hot tears beating a path down grimy summer-kid cheeks. The way she alone had the power to command the aura in our home each and every day just by how she chose to live it. Imperfect and so very human, yes. Conscious of the importance of her job? Absolutely.

Sometimes this thing I do feels as natural as breathing. The way my body unconsciously sways when standing in back of church, holding my baby. Sometimes it feels like a foreign language I'm only beginning to understand - navigating the scary exciting new world of preteen attitudes and needs. But regardless of how it feels in the moment, one thing I know is true: it matters. Those tiny things, they add up and they define to my kids what a Mother is.

In my life, each failure to live gracefully seems so huge, looming large and hopeless - and every triumph at doing the next right thing seems so small. The steps back are huge chasms, and the steps forward? Just inching along. I'm not sure why I see it that way, but I know that those unconscious whispers of inadequacy aren't from God. As a grown child of a wonderful Mother, I have a gentle view of her. I have hope that my children will have a gentle view of me, too. Not holding up a tally of how many times I did it wrong, but able to see the overarching theme of love, commitment and dependability.

If I want my children to see me that way, maybe it's time I claimed that gentle view for myself. Beating myself up nightly over my failures doesn't spur me on to keep up the good fight. Giving into grace again and again and claiming new mercies each and every precious day? That might just do it.


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to future posts.  Thank you.


  1. You have such a beautiful way of weaving words together to actually capture a scene. Love this one. <3

  2. Thank you for this reminder. We will be remembered. Making their memories sweet should stay in the forefront of our minds. God bless you this week!

  3. Wow! When will your book be out?

  4. Thank you Rebecca! Yes, remembered. Every little thing is a part of who we are to them..and in some way, a part of them too. Prayers for your week!

  5. Thanks Mel! So glad you linked up!

  6. Having had one of those mornings when I was having to constantly try not to snap at the children due to neck pain I definitely don't want them to remember today very much. So thankful for the grace that covers and heals....K


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