Behind-the-scenes: If you are familiar with the ever-increasingly popular Enneagram, then you will be pleased to know I met my first match in Rebecca. We are both 3’s! Hard work, passion, and accomplishment pump through this woman’s lungs as she strives to live out the calling God has placed on her life. As you will come to find out, balancing image, independence, and the multitude of other things motherhood and the workplace add to the mix leaves Rebecca with a story to share and wisdom to give. Enjoy!
From one independent, passionate, driven woman to another, how did you reconcile your decision to work with raising your children?
“It has taken years of becoming more comfortable, free to blossom where I am at. One of the biggest voices behind that was my husband, Jacob. He, for practical purposes and understanding me and how I am, knew I needed to work. My spiritual giftings—being a leader, administration, teaching—lent themselves to that. He sees how quickly I would become a busy body if I were at home. It wouldn’t be a fulfilling thing for him to come home to.
“For the longest time, he has said, ‘let’s do whatever it is going to take.’ So, whenever we learned that we had another baby on the way—since we have four kids—we did whatever we needed to do to keep me working. He would do whatever needed to be done. He would fill every crack.”
“I still think it has been a struggle determining how can I do this well—motherhood—and this well—teaching. And, it has come down to letting a lot of things go.”
What foundational piece of wisdom would you have wanted to have as a young mom or as young married person?
“The biggest thing I learned is I am never going to be fulfilled outside of the Lord. So, assuming that marriage will be really fulfilling, and all of my needs will be met, is terribly wrong and idolizes that. I think that is huge… because then you can begin to look for, ‘how is the Lord fulfilling me in this time, space, or whatever circumstances come up.’”
“I am way too identity and self-conscious, so… things about being a young mom were very tough because it messed up how I looked. It messed up how I came across. My experiences did not make things look cute at all. And, I think it was really difficult for me to say ‘wow. This little baby/toddler is actually making things strained in my friendships or the me time I would like to have.’ It is still a constant struggle; but I have been around enough moms and seen enough examples of how it is all flawed. It is all messy. It makes it a little easier to embrace the chaos when I have seen other moms battle the tantrum in the grocery store. It comes down to caring more about my kiddos than worrying about a beautiful mom-image.”
Do you put your walls up because you don’t want people to see you or take care of you? Where is your root?
“I think when you said ‘I don’t want people to take care of me…’ I think that is a really big one. It stings, and it seems pretty real.”
“So, I do work way too hard to maintain a self-sufficiency and an independence, and ‘I’ve got things.’ Sometimes, with church, it is hard to transition into a sanctuary or a big group of people, after the chaos of parenting, so I kind of stay closed off in that way. Also, there is something in me that doesn’t want me to be needy. Showing emotion during a song is hard sometimes, and then I look around and wipe the tears away.”
“Part of me always wants to be seen and a part of me always wants to important…But it’s the part that doesn’t want to be helped. Because bandaging wounds is hard, and I don’t know if I want to do that.”
As a mom and a woman, what makes your heart hurt the greatest?
“The biggest word that comes to mind is disapproval. And, from that comes this need to want to be important, significant. To want to be someone who pleases people. So those are the things that sting, stick with me, or perceive and have a hard time with. It is even more difficult and hurtful to see which of my children have that predisposition. It makes me ask the question ‘what are we doing that is feeding this approval-god?’”
“I am glad I landed on that word. Approval is the root of all of my deepest hurts. I am trying to be a servant, not a people-pleaser. It isn’t about doing all of the right things.”
What has God written on the Tablet of your Heart?
“You matter to me.”
Today: Ask, “What is the root of my deepest hurt?”
This week: Share with a close friend how balanced life is and what they can do to help.
This month: Make a list of 10 things that truly matter.