All the Parts

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When I became a mom, I joined the biggest, most empowering club in history: Motherhood.
There is no other calling that asks for all parts of you, all the time.
You need that small space between your ribs and your arm for huge bear hugs and you need to give them, and receive them often.
You need the soft parts of your body, for cozy pillows for your children to snuggle into.
You need that small punch above your lip so your kids can see whether you mean business or not.
You need your elbows so you can rest your weary head upon them during long-hour days.
You need the parts of you that have small bits of grace. You NEED grace.
You need the smile lines near your eyes because that is the best spot for your kids to practice their butterfly kisses.
You need the tough parts of you, the strong parts the Never Give Up parts, because mothering is an endurance expedition!
You need the creative and innovative parts of you.  No calling could possibly ask for more inventiveness than motherhood.
You need your knees. You will give thanks, you will cool fevered heads and you will be pray for guidance all on the soft parts of your knees.
You need your senses. And most of the time, you need all five senses to be heightened. Motherhood asks that you have eyes on the back of your head and ears in all places of your home and that’s right, your mini van too.
You need the layers of yourself that are unsure, imperfect, still figuring things out because these allow your children to see that you are human and that all
of life is, “figuring it out.”
You need the confident parts and the “I know exactly what to do,” parts. You need the part of you that is a God-given gift; Mother’s intuition.  Oh how you need mothers intuition.  And you need to trust it too.
You need the layers of stomach muscles, even the well-worked, less connected, post-baby stomach muscles, to laugh with your kids and other moms because this calling is no cake walk and laughter sends bliss through every cell in your body.  This laughter, well this laughter keeps you going.
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You need your finger tips to scrub shampoo into little scalps, your knuckles to hold down pine cones with glue, your ears to catch little sweet nothings that are said by your kids and your hips to dance and swing with your children whether they be little or all grown up.
This calling of motherhood asks for all parts of you all the time. So, you need your heart to be strong and courageous. You need the small parts of your heart to be open to healing and you need the empty parts of your heart to be filled with your children’s’ beautiful and unique ways.
Motherhood always has been, and always will be, a beautiful realm of all parts.  It is a calling which eternally reminds you that love binds all these many parts together.
You need faith, trust, direction and an internal compass that seems to be nuzzled next to the dish rack in some invisible, but sensorially noticeable place.
You need patience and compassion and patience and … did I already say this?! Patience.
In mothering, you use all parts of yourself every single day!  You give beyond what you think you can, and you are always searching for ways to love more.
At the end of life, all we have is what we have given away; of our time, our talent and our treasure…but most importantly, of ourselves. And who better to give this all to than our very own children.
May each of you beautiful mamas, and especially my own, be filled with love today knowing all the parts you give forward are tenderly captured. This, like many things around mothering, are not always visible.  Trust that these parts matter deeply.
Caveat:
I woke up on the ground today, in a wet tent, with an abundant mess around me but oh so in love with the gentle faces and voices of our four little ladies. By 3:00 pm, I was face down in my own bed, wishfully anticipating a power nap.
This didn’t happen. Motherhood is about all the parts…. but breaks and rest must not have been written into this calling! Take these, whenever you can get them and as often as you can get them! And when you can’t, look up.  Sometimes all you need is a brief pause to feel completely rejuvenated.  Happy Mother’s Day everyone!
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