You feel weak, mama, but you are strong
We wear our strength in many forms, barely noticing the feats we accomplish daily.
The strength of a mom can be seen carrying grocery bags from the trunk to the house, upstairs and down again, with a baby strapped to her chest.
The strength of a mom is pushing two kids on swings next to each other while inwardly dealing with a recent miscarriage eating away at her heart. She holds back tears while picturing a newborn in a stroller nearby watching. And the hole deepens.
Yet she carries on.
The strength of a mom can be seen as she lifts kids into car seats and reaches back to hand little snacks to little hands in the backseat who might mutter little thank yous. Her muscles flex as she pushes grocery carts, bikes, and scooters.
The strength of a mama is in the delivery room as she pushes through the toughest most searing pain she’s ever felt in her life. She is stronger than hurricane winds while delivering a pink-faced, scrunchy-eyed screamer to the blinding lights of this chaotic world.
The strength is barely felt in the rocking chair late at night when a mom doesn’t look at the clock or touch her aching back but instead rests one pointer finger on her baby’s cheek as he guzzles milk, eyes closed dreamily.
The strength of a mama bear is not only on the outside as she protects and cares for her cubs. It’s fierce on the inside too.
The adoptive and foster mama persevere through diagnoses and medical concerns to grow a family. Her strength is quiet like a breath in the woods, hanging onto hope beyond what she can see.
A strong mama chooses self-control when her temper rises within her. She must restrain when a toddler paints in poop on the crib walls or her little brother. Her commitment to integrity helps her take a breath before reacting.
This strong woman steals her mind to make her marriage a priority. Her walk with God a priority. And to somehow prioritize all the priorities that are constantly fighting for her attention. She does not always feel mentally calm, but she deserves far more credit for keeping the wheels spinning and the relationships intact day after day after wild day.
Her heart is strong.
She gives and gives and gives and gives because she knows the sacrifice of love is worth it. And she is strong enough to reach out, ask for help, and admit she’s floundering. It’s in those moments that her strength really shines. Her choice to get help prevents her family from suffering later when it is too late. Though she feels defeated, she is truly a conqueror.
Her mind is strong. She whispers truth into her life to combat the lies of feeling unloved or unimportant or unknown. Her mind is tough and fights the lies over and over again, embracing the grace of God in her weakness and accepting his strength and comfort.
Her resolve is strong. She will not back down. She will get up when knocked down. She will cry and yell in frustration in the shower then walk to the bedroom to tuck babies into bed. She does not give up. Her knees may buckle and her back wither under the force of her day, but she doesn’t rest until her munchkins are okay.
Her beauty is strong. It is not dependent on creams or even makeup. Her legs walk toward helping, healing, soothing and preparing. Her arms cradle and swing, they give life and food, and her hands turn pages in “just one more book.” Her beauty is a glow that emits from a face that is unashamed. A heart that is pure. A body that is weakened but not defeated. A mind that is determined to put one foot in front of the other for herself and her family.
The strong woman does not always feel strong. The strong woman depends on a strong God.
The strong woman is you.
The strong woman is me.
Love lives in homes because of strong women. Love lives on because of their sacrifice, attention to every detail, and determination in the face of pain, disappointment, emotional maxed-out-ness, and everything else that comes with being a woman and mom in our day and age.
Head to toe, hip to hip, you are beautiful and you are strong. I pray that you, even on the hard days with tears running down your cheeks, will believe it.