Not This Day: A Call for Solidarity on the Dark Days of Motherhood

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I sat on the subway and watched her jostle and struggle to balance her wily toddler, the sippy cup, and stuffed animal all while trying not to let the stroller roll away as the train rumbled on deep underground.

She glanced up and for a brief second our eyes met. I saw the same fatigue in her eyes as I felt in my own. I nodded in solidarity and spoke to her with my eyes, "You've got this. You're doing great, Mama." Though separated by a sea of commuters, we were - for that brief second - community to one another.

Stand your ground moms! A dark day may come when you want to give up and lose all heart- but not this day! (We're cheering in your corner!)

I wish I could have given her some sort of rousing pre-battle-half-time-come-from-behind-win-one-for-the-gipper pep talk. And, because I'm a bit of a geek, I instantly remembered the speech Aragorn gave to the last remaining soldiers as they waited at the Black Gate of Mordor for the innumerable Orc army to come out and fight in Return of the King. He implored:

Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers,
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of men fails, 
when we forsake our friends
and break all bonds of fellowship, 
but it is not this day. 
An hour of wolves and shattered shields, 
when the age of men comes crashing down, 
but it is not this day!
This day we fight!!
By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, 
I bid you stand, Men of the West!!!
 

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Dir. Peter Jackson. Perf. Viggo Mortensen. New Line Home Video 2004. DVD.

Some days when we mothers wake up, it seems as though we are facing the Black Gate of Impossible. We don't know where our strength will come from for the battles we know are looming just one spilled bowl of Cheerios ahead.

I want to say to you:

Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
Mothers of babes, of teens, my sisters,
I see in your eyes the same fatigue that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of mothers fails, 
when we forsake our friends
and break all bonds of fellowship, 
but it is not this day. 
An hour of dog poo on the floor and shattered bowls, 
when the age of sisterhood comes crashing down, 
but it is not this day!
This day we fight!!
By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, 
I bid you stand, Moms of the World!!!

Friends, our strength comes from the Lord, from our husbands and from our friends - other moms right there in the trenches with us; on the victorious and magical days, and on the dark and trembling days when our own demise seems inevitable.

If you're in those entrenched, battle-filled days in this season, let me encourage you to hold your ground! The Lord holds no condemnation over us (Romans 8:1), so we are free to live and walk in grace and not let our mistakes (or what we view as our downfalls) or weaknesses define us!

If you're in a season of victory, of quiet days of peace and joy, look for the moms who are on the battlefield. The mom who just can't seem to get her kids under control in the candy aisle at Walmart. The mom in the dirty clothes with the tired eyes in the pick up line at school. The woman on the corner with the paper cup in hand, baby on her hip. How can you offer an encouraging word, and encouraging look and/or an encouraging touch? How can you be her Aragorn, filling her with the strength and resolve to fight on?

We are all in this together, moms, especially in the dark, tumultuous days in which this world finds itself. When that darkness threatens to defeat our sister, let's take her by the hand and declare, "Not this day!"

Blessings, 

Jen

 

Jennifer Deibel

Jennifer is your typical American wife and mother living life, raising kids, and working. After nearly a decade overseas living in Ireland and Austria, her family is starting their new life right back here in the good ole U. S. of A. She has been married to the love of her life, Seth, since 2000 and is extremely blessed to be mom to two delightful girls, and one hilarious little boy. She has a deep interest in creative family worship, marriage enrichment, and the art of figuring out unfamiliar grocery stores in foreign languages. Jennifer passionately loves the Lord, her family, music, dance, writing and chocolate - though quite honestly not always in that order. She believes this world needs more women who stick together, so let's connect and walk this road side by side! You can find Jennifer where she blogs at This Gal's Journey, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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