Monday, March 17, 2014

Who Told You? {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

Forgive the photo overload, but it is birthday season after all. Our Fiona turned 7 years old yesterday, kicking off 2 weeks packed with 4 family birthdays. We celebrated in our usual family way - our normal Sunday family dinner made just a bit more special. Every year, I wonder if it's enough. Every year, I look back in the photos of the day and think's more than any high stress party ever could be. And these kids, these darling kids of mine - they love it. What could be better than passing the marking of another year just here with the people who love them the very best? Just a simple cake, some streamers and a couple gifts. My kids, with grateful hearts. It's lovely to me.

Yesterday in church, I was thinking about being enough. While the sermon wasn't really about this at all, at one point our Pastor mentioned the garden of Eden and that question God asked Adam and Eve - "Who told you?" I carried that question home with me and turned it over in my head while I decorated a birthday cake and made an enormous pot of chili, her (adorable!) meal request.

In the movie "Mean Girls," one of the most poignant scenes in an otherwise silly movie, to me, is when all of the girls are looking in the mirror at themselves, calling out critiques of their physical selves. "I hate my nail beds." "Ugh my pores are huuuge." Just a couple teen girls peering at themselves and seeing only what they are lacking. At one point they all turn and look at the new girl, a formerly homeschooled kid from Africa. She clearly hasn't yet learned that this is the name of the game, that is, hating yourself. She awkwardly offers a half hearted negative attribute about herself when it becomes obvious that's what's expected of her. Because she had not been exposed to that culture, she had never before looked at herself that way. This scene is the beginning of her spiral into that world that ultimately leads to her damaging relationships she actually cares about. 

Sometimes I feel that way about social media, relationships - anything. We gather up all of the things the world says we should be and start naming the ways we fall short. We compare ourselves to one another, stack up inequalities and measure one another in terms that have nothing to do with how God sees us.

Who told you, anyway? That you're not a good mom? That your home school stinks and your kids are delinquents? Who told you that you're not pretty enough, happy enough, thin enough? Who told you you're not Christian enough? Who told you your house isn't clean enough, that you're not spiritual enough? Who told you that your marriage isn't exciting enough, that your vacations not luxurious enough, your kids' birthdays not special enough?

I can tell you, it's not God. When He gently shows us our places of lacking, it is always within the frame of irresistible grace. The world offers none of that. Only demoralizing criticism on things that we often cannot change. Even if we could, there will always be someplace else where we do not measure up.

A friend posted this quote on facebook yesterday morning.

"If He forgave the thief and Magdalene and Peter, why not you? What makes many in old age sad is not that their joys are gone, but that their hopes are gone. Your earthly hopes may decrease with the years, but not heavenly hope. Regardless of the sinful burden of the years, God's mercy is greater than your faults. Only when God ceases to be infinitely merciful and only when you begin to be infinitely evil, will there be reason for despair; and that will be *never*." 

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Focusing today on how He sees me...and sending those other thoughts right back where they came from.


{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. Perfect. Sharing on facebook. Thank you


  2. Good question! Thank you for posing it! That will be on my mind (in the best way) now too. Love those sleeping babe shots - I see so much peace, wonder and beauty when holding my sleeping girls xx

  3. love the photo overload and the simple birthday with family! looks perfect to me.
    And thanks for the reminder -- when I feel judged, criticized.....less: consider the source. :)
    then, go to The Source.

  4. Great post, Lydia. Great question. Very divinely given.


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