I remember years ago, sitting amongst role-model women. The ones who woke at 3 a.m. to make their husbands lunches and then scrub the shower out with a tooth brush while kids napped, instead of napping themselves.
We sat around the living room, wood stove warming the house and casual conversations melting one woman's heart into the one beside her over a book called, “The Excellent Wife.”
Our children were toddlers and we concerned ourselves with healthy snacks, appropriate bedtimes, how many episodes of Veggie Tales were acceptable in a sitting, and how we were going to be as good as the super mom seated beside us.
I cried that day.
I cried because they were busy and tired and they missed their husbands who worked hard and long ministering and micromanaging.
I cried because I wasn't as diligent to pre-plan meals, organize homeschool material, or research organic versus non-organic bananas.
I cried because I wasn't “The Excellent Wife” and I felt alone in the closed in living room of a pastor's wife who had it all and did it all and wore the exhausted smile to prove it.
I would never be as excellent as these women were.
Of course they encouraged me, and told me they were far from perfect. They assured me I was normal, and whatever I was going through was only a season.
And they were right.
You see wherever you are – you're just a season away from the next.
Whether you're changing new diapers (or old diapers), begging for naptime and a private trip to the bathroom, teaching your 16-year-old to drive, or adjusting to an empty nest – I can assure you that a new season of life is just beyond your current struggles.
Some season's last a few weeks, some a few months, and some years. But doesn't it seem that the shortest season is the hardest to endure?
Hold on Mama! The key to endurance is fellowship and friendship. Getting together and being real. Crying about impossible circumstances and laughing over inside jokes.
Yes, I felt unfit and incapable in a room of God-fearing women and poster toddlers. Yes, I was ready to give up on Bible studies and women.
But I kept going back because they wouldn't give up on me.
Now, I fully realize that not all moms have the ability to meet with women regularly. And God doesn't require this of everyone. However, He does require fellowship of some kind – with Him and with others.
We are blessed (and sometimes cursed) with technology. Reach out to your friend, even if you haven't talked in months, and agree on a plan of accountability.
If you can't see one another face-to-face, text or call each other once a day. Even just a simple, "Hello, friend. Thinking of you!" goes a long way.
You can use emails to share encouraging words or what you are reading in your daily devotions.
Go for a walk together and get those muscles moving! Accountability and exercise are a perfect equation for success.
If possible, find a group of women and get plugged in. They will challenge you, but most importantly they will strengthen and sharpen you.
And for all you ladies already surrounded with others – take note of those who aren't. Notice and reach out to the mom hiding in the back, shying away from the conversations and play dates. Seek her out and offer yourself.
Give her your time and your friendship and watch her blossom.
That\'s the excitement in obedience, finding out later what God had in mind.” - Brother Andrew, God\'s Smuggler