We have asked our DARLING friend Lacey to Guest post today.  Lacey spoke at a Women’s Conference and we wanted her to guest post.  She is such a wonderful speaker.  She is a marvelous mother who we look up to and admire.  She has four of the most adorable kids, works part time, and does it all with such grace.  Her words are inspiring about the “Summer” season of Womanhood.

lacey nielson

As the school days start to wind down and the spring blossoms turn to shade trees our thoughts naturally turn to summer.  Excitement and nostalgia lace our memories as we look forward to lazy mornings, family vacations, and relaxing days by the pool with great anticipation.  However, then reality hits and we quickly remember that there is no such thing as a lazy morning in the life of a mom, family vacations actually equal messed up sleeping habits and loads of laundry and the pool is not for lounging with a book but for chasing down kids with sunscreen and keeping an eagle eye on the all too independent toddler.  Summer time, it’s not for the faint of heart.

But it is those silver linings that keep us going.  Hearing the laughter creep in from the sprinkler running, water balloon throwing, water dripping kiddos.  Seeing the forts, huts, and bases created from the most random of materials and the pride that is taken in them.  Listening to the plans for the latest and greatest lemonade stand.

Summer. An anticipated season. A forgotten reality. A cherished memory.

Enter the summer season of womanhood, such an anticipated time of life.  The season of life we spend hours thinking about and pretending by playing house, swaddling our baby dolls, and bossing younger siblings around.  Playing MASH to determine who we will marry, where we will live and how many children we will have.  Dreaming of that prince charming and our happily ever after.

And then reality hits and we realize that playing house also includes: 3am feedings, poopy diapers, independent toddlers, homework, practices, scouts, potty training, and all the “hidden gems” of motherhood.  But it is once again those silver linings that keep us going. The chubby toddler hand on your cheek as you rock her to sleep. The half smile and wave as they stand in the outfield of their little league game.  The, “bye mom, I love you” as they run off to school.

Motherhood. A greatly anticipated season. An easily forgotten reality. A forever cherished memory.

You are in the thick of a hard but glorious season.  A season that society, the adversary, and your own words, wants to convince you that you are failing. How often do we kick ourselves as mothers because we could have, should have, would have and whisper to ourselves that we failed because our children are not perfect? Tell ourselves that if our kids would have acted differently in a situation that would have meant we taught them better. Think that if they would just sit quietly in church that would mean that we were a better example. Figure that since they weren’t oozing with gratitude then we must be doing something wrong.

My friends, those littles are only half of the equation. Their choices, their actions, their shortcomings are because they are learning too, NOT because of you.  They are the variable in the ever-changing equation of life. They are learning, they are growing, they are trying to figure life out and that is EXACTLY what they are supposed to be doing.  Tantrums and all.

You are the constant in the equation. Your love is constant. Your gentleness is constant. Your intuition is constant. Your prayers for them are constant. Your lessons are constant. You are not perfect, NONE OF US ARE, and that is okay. Don’t base your value, your success, your importance on the variable but on the constant. Your constant.

My dear friends, the days are long, oh so long sometimes, but the years are short. I know, I hated it when people would tell me that as I was holding a crying baby and had a tantrum filled toddler at my leg. I wanted to roll my eyes and say, “you mean THIS is what I will look back on with fondness? Lies. All lies.” I was pretty certain that there was a secret mommy society that was created of older and more seasoned moms to create lies to tell us naïve, inexperienced moms just to keep us having babies.  And while there are still some days that I scratch my head and think, “this is really what I signed up for?” I can join in chorus with those seasoned moms in saying, the days are long, the years are short, and yes, even these days, poop, throw-up, tantrums and all, you will look back on with a soft heart.

You are doing a great job. I promise. You truly are doing a great job. There are going to be bumps, bruises, ups, downs, successes, failures, heartaches, laughter, and everything in between in this summer season of womanhood.  It is these days that are truly molding you into who God needs YOU to be. You are doing one of the most sacred things anyone can ever do, raising His children. He trusts YOU. He loves YOU. He is proud of YOU.

Keep your chin up. Trust in your constant. Love with the best of your ability. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep pushing forward. And above all else, remember, you are doing a great job.