Excellent Things

Blogging has been on my to-do list for months now and part of me didn’t quite know what to write about when the opportune times present themselves.

I could talk for days about how much I love the tiny human and the husband, and the even tinier human who will join us on the outside in September.

I could talk about how this second pregnancy has felt different in many ways, but the most exciting part is the confidence and sheer excitement I feel about all the things that felt so unknown before. It isn’t a confidence in myself or my abilities, but in seeing God provide and show up for me and my family. Thinking of His presence at Emilia’s birth brings a smile to my face. He is Faithful! My heart is clinging to the testimony and the truth He’s already revealed. But ya know, more than being a giddy pregnant lady who could always use a nap, I had something else on my heart I wanted to share.

This one verse has been on repeat today.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

I don’t know what it is about the postpartum period and being a new mom that unearthed all kinds of crazy thoughts and pressures out of nowhere, but wow. All of a sudden I’m responsible for a new person, and every choice impacts them in varying levels, some for their whole life! Parenting styles, nutrition, their health, the gear available, and the products they use… it’s a lot to learn and decide all at once. Add in the opinions and experiences of others, my own upbringing experiences in another country and culture, and the lofty ideal way or standard that I’ve conjured up in my mind that doesn’t even exist… recipe for disaster. Anxiety. Negative thoughts. Judgment. Confusion. Self-doubt. Throw in those fun hormones that make moms extra protective of their young and it’s a nasty storm.

Some of you guys noticed that I stopped logging on to Facebook for about a month. Part of it was to silence this chatter of articles on motherhood, anywhere between complaining and self-indulgence, that were adding fuel to a fire I was trying to put out. I realized I wasn’t thinking about excellent things. And the Bible specifically says to do so, meaning that’s not unrealistic.

Silencing the negative sources was one part of the solution, but let me tell you the other part that gave me so much life: finding happy moms. Moms who love being moms, who go through just as much exhaustion and sacrifice but at the end of the day they’re not venting on social media about their kids being monsters because Jesus is such a powerful King, and excellent things are all up in their thoughts. They’re going through the day treasuring the moments, not overlooking or trying to escape to some greener grass that we all know isn’t greener at all.

When talking to happy moms, I kept hearing similar things. The great things their kids were doing. The funny stories. New books or podcasts they had found that they’d recommend. Gratitude was dripping from their words. It’s not to say they didn’t have any hardships, but the hardships didn’t dominate their narrative. They shared recipes, hacks, products that worked well with their kids, and they were genuinely excited with me (and not pessimistic) about having another baby. Motherhood was celebrated. I wish I had shut out the negative chatter sooner, honestly, because when my little one is teething or going through a random rough patch, the last thing I need is misery instead of encouragement! A new mom needs reminders that these are just fleeting phases and it won’t always be the same level of difficult. Not every day is hard! One day at a time, finding the little blessings, recognizing the relief and breathers we do get.

One more thing about this is finding a mentor. Having someone you trust who has gone before you and has the experience you lack, and is excellent! I have mentors in parenting, whose growing/grown children are the beautiful living proof of their parenting style and I ask them questions. I have mentors in breastfeeding, nutrition, faith, marriage, and now even as a stay-at-home mom I have women who have modeled and are modeling this role with excellence. Don’t you think for a second I’m not watching them and talking to them. This isn’t comparison! It’s community. It’s wisdom. I’m building a tribe of women of faith, who are happy to be serving the Lord today.

I want my little ones to know how grateful I am to be their mama, and to meet their needs with the graceful awareness of God meeting my needs. I want to make space for joy, to clutter my mind with praiseworthy things, to not be looking around aimlessly but to have a focus and a deep confidence.

Cheers for breaking the silence, for talking about something positive, for flowers, and for naps!

On the next blog, which should be next week (oh man, I just committed, huh?), I want to write about having some productive habits in place as a new mom. If you care to share, leave me a comment if you have a productive habit you do daily that’s helped you thrive as a mom.

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