Faith Motherhood

The Importance of Self-Love in Mothering

Written by Shelby Spear

“You are blessed when you are content with who you are – nothing more and nothing less. That’s when you find yourself the proud owner of everything that can’t be bought.” Matthew 5:5 (MSG)

The first twenty three years of my life brought vague clarity to who I was. A splintered childhood stole my innocence and fogged the horizon of self-worth. My identity was a moving target; adapting and blending into the culture club like a karma chameleon.

Entering into a blessed covenant with my spouse served to unveil my true heart-of-hearts. Parenting chipped away at the underlying armor. Now at forty-six, another twenty-three years under the hood, I am certain who I am.

I am a child of God, created in His image, loved for who I am – the whole kit and caboodle; as is. God’s patience never waned during my snail’s pace to understanding and believing this truth. And then all the people (in my life) said, “Amen.”

Three in three and a half (substitute kids and years of marriage), one move, and three personal career changes left me somewhere over the rainbow only twenty-seven years young. Wife-ing it and morphing from full-time, to part-time, to work-from-home, to stay-at-home mom, caused aspects of my personality to float to the surface.

And let me tell you, crème de la character doesn’t always rise to the top. Instead, what I saw stunned me, causing me to berate my psyche with a deluge of wants. I wanted to be less impatient, more accepting, less angry, more forgiving, less anal, more flexible, less selfish, more understanding.

Content with who I was? Uh, no. I even asked God for a refund, to which He replied,

“You are blessed when you are content with who you are – nothing more and nothing less.”

Mom blessings flow into our soul when we believe and trust in trying to be “our best at any given moment” is what matters to God. He is the master of doling out A’s for effort because he desires us to be satisfied with our strengths and accept our failings. His mercy picks up the slack.

My thick head eventually acquiesced to the fact some days my best consisted of the bare minimum requirements for mothering: feed, clothe, bathe (mmm, bathing a toss-up). When we experience emotional and physical burnout, giving what we can and forgiving ourselves for what we can’t begets freedom.

God loves us for who we are; our children’s love unconditional. We burden ourselves with the love hang-up. Our self-love implores and questions, “Do you really want to hurt me?” Why do we say yes, Boy George?

Nothing prepares us for becoming a mom. One minute we’re pregnant, nine months the health and well-being of a human rests on our shoulders. The claim to fame marks the fastest promotion in the history of a manufacturing company. Ever. And no pay raise! How we feel, handle things, adapt is akin to a magic eight ball. Just shake us and see what happens.

In my experience, the gift of giving and receiving unconditional love to and from my children pointed my soul true north. When we rely on the Compass of our life for guidance, the needle always lands on our heart; God’s resting place.

“That’s when you find yourself the proud owner of everything that can’t be bought.”

The source and summit of all we know and don’t know lives in our earthly tabernacle – a sanctuary holding a wealth of intangible gifts without a price tag: blessings overflowing with the stamp of God’s love.

As a mom, I’m the proud owner of the following items; clear title, no cash exchanged:

3 kids on loan

3 hearts to love and receive love from

3 brains to teach me

3 smiles to brighten my day

3 lives to watch blossom

3 souls to connect with

3 miracles to embrace

3 opportunities to instill values and plant seeds

3 angels praying for me, 3 angels to pray for

3 gifts to nurture

3 stories to tell

3 perspectives on life

3 unique blends of my spouse and me

3 backs to scratch

3 heads to caress

3 extra seats at our table

3 sets of hands to hold

3 journeys to share in

3 pearls of wisdom to enlighten me

Every day, every moment I’m the recipient of these and countless more transaction-free possessions. All moms everywhere are proprietors of similar treasure. Not because we deserve the blessings, or because we earned them. But because God loves us to the moon and back for whom we are – yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

This abundant love might explain why He created such a humongous universe. Guess He had to make sure more than enough galaxies, moons, and stars exist to span His love for humanity from here to infinity and back again.

We are blessed, sisters. AND debt free.

About the author

Shelby Spear

Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-two years. She is working on her first book and you can read her open heart of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys at http://shelbyspear.com/

2 Comments

  • I am grateful for your message, Shelby. Life has been SO busy and I have been doing SO much — too much. God has been reminding me through many avenues, your words being one of them, that I am fully seen and fully known and fully loved. I don’t have to hustle and strive and check everything off my list to earn my place. His love is as is and without condition. His desire for each of us is peace and freedom <3