On Dreams and Motherhood

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Both in the world of ministry and the world of blogging, there is a lot of focus on growth. Growing your numbers, growing your platform, growing your influence.

I have a little secret to share.

In both worlds I oftentimes feel like a bit of an under-achiever.

I have no grand dreams or any tangible goals to jot down on paper. Oh sure, I would love to write a book someday or be asked to speak at an event. At least, I think I would. Because that is what every minister and blogger wants, right?

But if you and I were to go out for coffee, and you were to ask me directly, “Amanda, what are your dreams for your life?” I am pretty sure that you would not be impressed by my answer and perhaps may even feel that I am evading the true question.

Because my answer would simply be…

To be a beautiful mom.

Not beautiful in the physical sense, but in the big picture of who I am as Jack and Aidan’s mom.

It may seem a little too much like the “right” answer. Like when you were in youth group and the youth pastor asked, “If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have three things with you, what would you choose?” And all of the good Christian kids list the Bible as their first item.

Or perhaps my answer seems a little self-righteous. As if me declaring my dream of being a beautiful mom somehow makes me a better mom. It doesn’t.

Or maybe it seems like too common of an answer. “Well, isn’t that what every mom wants?” you might ask. “I meant, what are your dreams for YOU?” But just because it is a common dream shared by many, it doesn’t make it any less of a dream for me.

Beautiful motherhood is my God-sized dream.

I want to spend my days at home with my children laughing, playing, singing, reading good books, and making messy art.

I want them to go to sleep with my fingertips tracing circles on their backs as they nod off to the sound of my voice reading their favorite poetry.

“…to go sailing far away, to the pleasant land of play, to the fairy land afar, where the little people are…” 

I want them to wake up early and crawl into my warm bed and snuggle in the crook of my arm.

I want to make it my mission to learn how to plan and prepare meals that will nourish and heal my little Aidan so that he can lead a healthy and normal life.

I want to teach my boys about the love of God and hold their small, warm hands as we pray for Iron Man and thank God for making grass.

These are my dreams and they consume me.

But it can be hard to cling to your dream of beautiful motherhood when all around you are great moms doing more than just mothering. They are writing, speaking, running businesses, managing successful blogs AND being beautiful mothers. And they are managing all of those things because God is orchestrating those events in their lives.

If I’m not careful, I can focus too much on the big dreams that other moms are achieving and become discontent or discouraged with my own lack of personal accomplishments. I can easily fall into the comparison trap and wonder why I am not doing more, dreaming more.

But I write this today to encourage myself and to encourage any of you who may be wondering if motherhood is enough of a dream.

It is.

And if God gives you dreams in addition to motherhood, then by all means, go for those dreams as the He calls and equips. But please don’t adopt someone else’s dream simply because you feel that motherhood isn’t enough.

I received this beautiful print at Allume and it serves as a great reminder to me.

Be small.

Because in my smallness of motherhood, I am doing BIG things for the little people who matter most in my world.

Always,

Amanda



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Comments

  1. Oh, Amanda. This is exactly what I needed, at exactly the right moment.

    As you know, I’m not a mama (yet!) but struggle with comparing myself to others often. That they live in a big city, live in a beautiful (non-rented) home, drive a great car, have perfect children, blah blah. And the big question is: What if I don’t do anything else except strive to be a beautiful mama? Will I be a disappointment? To my parents? To my friends?

    I still struggle with the idea of it, but deep down, God is working on my heart, and continually saying to me, “But I will make you a Mama, and you are in my image, why wouldn’t that be a wonderful, God-honoring goal? Why strive to appease those on earth, am I not greater than them? I’m your heavenly Father, you’re creator. Strive to fulfill MY goals…!”

    So thank you for saying what I haven’t had the bravery (yet!) to say. Thank you for being so honest, and raw, and exactly what I needed to hear 🙂 Blessings!

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Thank you for sharing the beautiful and powerful words that God is speaking to you about motherhood!

      • Katie and Amanda both: I’m new to this site, I was lead here to check out your co sleeper DIY and then was lead straight to this. Like, you Katie I’m a soon to be new mom and struggle with the same things. Amanda your post is exactly what I needed, and so was your comment Katie! Thank you ladies for all the support all in one article… You both made me tear up. Thank you!! 🙂

        • Amanda Medlin says:

          Cait, I am so happy that you were encouraged by this post! Motherhood is so life-changing and so very beautiful, truly a gift from God. Congratulations! ~ Amanda

  2. I love this. Really, really love. I have much to say on this subject but my bed is calling my name. I wish we could have coffee together and chat 🙂

  3. Love this Amanda. Every day I feel like I’m not doing enough, for my children, for my husband, for my blog, for anything. I’m desperately afraid of not being enough for my children, whether it be in directing them toward God or educating them or a thousand other things.

    Thank you for this. (and I got the same print at Allume:-)

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      I don’t know that we can truly ever be enough, at least not in our own strength. That is why I am so thankful that His strength is made perfect in our weakness!

  4. What a beautiful dream! I think that so many times, we compare ourselves with what we see in other people’s lives, but what we see may not be reality. We SEE the thriving-off-the-charts blog, but we don’t realize that it’s possible because the blogger’s kids go to daycare three days a week (not necessarily bad, but a totally different situation than we may have). We SEE the perfectly decorated house, but we aren’t privy to the conversation she had with her husband about their mounting debt. We SEE the adorable art projects and science experiments she did with her little ones, but we don’t know that they ate cereal for dinner that night and then the kids each threw three tantrums before being put to bed.

    Sometimes, all those pretty lives we see in the blog world are just as messy as yours and mine, they simply don’t show us the nitty gritty of life. In the end, you will find far greater blessing when your children “rise up and call you blessed”. And with such a lovely goal and vision, I’m sure they will!

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      You are right Amy, we don’t always know what is going on behind the scenes. I think that is why it is so important not to compare ourselves to others, but to continually lift each other up in prayer.

  5. Oh that comparison trap. Gets me every time. Thank you for the reminder that my life/dreams don’t need to look like those of others. God has a special plan for me.

  6. Oh friend, you ARE a beautiful Mom. Thank you for this post, which both challenged and convicted me. Really, thank you. Such a beautiful heart you have, my friend.

  7. Such encouraging words. Those God sized dreams are always a little scary. I love the quote I found on pinterest [http://pinterest.com/pin/204491639301350978)
    ‘what if your dream comes true and points people right past you and straight to God.
    My word for the year is enough. I am discovering just what is enough for me. Bless you in your journey in being a beautiful mother. You already are amazing.

  8. I’ve been thinking about this too, Amanda – how good it is to be fully present in these small things. This is where my heart beats too. Beautiful – thank you. {and thanks for sharing the print with your readers too – grateful it spoke to your heart, too!}

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Thank you so much Annie! That sweet print sits in my boys’ playroom and serves as a beautiful reminder to be faithful in the small but very important tasks the Father has set before me.

  9. Dreams are fragile and easy to lose. Yours is beautiful and most worthy. Good for you for articulating and valuing it. I am embarking on a year of gathering my dreams back from under my to-do lists and the piles of things I have piled on top of them over the years. The journey is driving my heart closer to the home and family I love.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Wow, your comment really made me stop and think. “Dreams are fragile and easy to lose.” Powerful words my friend!

  10. A goal to be a beautiful mom is certainly not an under-achiever. I’m with ya, friend!

  11. I’ll have to be honest…when I was reading through some of the group introductions…it seems that so many of the women had something… a ministry, a volunteer position, a job, whatever. And I’m like…Man. It’s just me and my kid and that’s really all I do. And it was tempting to kinda feel bad about it. Aside from my blog, which is small and unimportant in the grand scheme of things (most of the times I can’t even get a bigger blogger to reply to my comments…), I don’t have much that I “do” that could be considered grand. But I think I like it that way.

    Thanks for this post.

  12. This is my first time “meeting” you, Amanda, and I so hear your heart on this. It echoes mine. I was honestly just praying something very similar tonight. It’s so easy to see all that ‘everyone else’ is doing, achieving. But I don’t want any of the “dreams” that dance in my heart if it means everything here could fall apart. I want to do this one thing well. I really, really do. I am so incredibly thankful for this ministry of being a wife and a mom, and I want to thrive in the “smallness of motherhood, I am doing BIG things for the little people who matter most in my world.”

  13. love it love it love it!

    beautiful, encouraging words.
    thank you.

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