Motherhood is messy and noisy and shockingly wonderful. Adison Rose...my beautiful, smiley precious baby girl – is also my marathon crier, Olympic back-archer, and serial nap protester. You would think my perfect parenting would have fixed this by now! Ha!
One night a few weeks after she was born, my husband found me in tears around midnight. I was so thankful for his helpfulness...and my heart was broken for women all over the world who do not have supportive husbands, kind family members, resources or even a separate bed to put their new little baby into at night. I really couldn’t stop crying.
As I looked into my baby girls’ eyes...my heart was torn to shreds for those without enough money for diapers, enough knowledge about breastfeeding, enough energy for parenting....for those with not enough of just about everything they really need.
The answer here in Africa is not handing out more cash, distributing bigger bags of food, or even finding someone a job. We need a holistic way to a walk a journey with the mothers in our community...a journey of beauty from the ugliness that surrounds them.
All Too Common Ugly Scenarios
- Babies are hit/beat if they cry too much (culture says that these babies are being “naughty” and should be punished)
- Diaper rashes and cradle cap easily get out of control (babies with a severe, raw and bleeding diaper rash and cradle cap goes untreated for long periods of time and infection sets in)
- Children often grow up on a diet of chips and soda pop (that’s all these mothers know to do...because that’s what their parents did for them)
I am challenged to resist the temptation is to treat the ugly symptoms I find so appalling...without digging deep enough to see Him bind up hearts where they are most broken and turn the ashes into beauty.
He makes motherhood beautiful when we walk a journey of gratitude, joy and hope together.
“Motherhood is Beautiful” – a new Baby Safe program we are launching next week - was born out of a desire to encourage and support mothers through discipleship, training and just being living examples.
Strategy: Engage with women 5 days a week (with Baby Safe staff and volunteers plugging in to areas where they are passionate)
· Discovery Bible Studies
· Baby Health (breast feeding, diaper rashes, cradle cap, proper growth, colic, etc.)
· Finances (creating and maintaining a family budget)
· Time Management (developing healthy life rhythms)
· Nutrition (buying and making healthy meals for your family)
· Child Rearing (taking joy in motherhood, communicating with your child, discipline)
· Exercise (walking and dance lessons)
· Sewing classes (potential source of income)
So Motherhood is beautiful. It really is.
Beautiful at 2 am with a screaming baby.
Beautiful when you have changed your shirt for the 5th time that day (due to a seemingly never end flow of spit up on your left shoulder).
Adi and the 5 shirts she spit up on that day
Beautiful when you’re late again due to another out of control poopy diaper that has somehow amazingly blown out both the back and front – with no substance actually in the diaper (this actually happened to me when I was by myself with a 9 month old Jensen on an airplane – found a large pile of poo in my LAP – none to be found in the diaper. Let’s just say the passenger next to me really appreciated that.)
Beautiful when you realize how much thankfulness, joy and hope are wrapped up in this tiny little bundle of epic smiles, ear piercing screams, and life altering moments when you realize you ARE IT.
No one else is going to parent this child but you. Ministry, promotions, projects and hobbies can wait. Parenting cannot. Parenting is THE gig...and it’s beautiful.
Want to join us on a journey to see mothers in disadvantaged communities embrace the beauty of motherhood?
Find out how to get involved with "Motherhood is Beautiful!" Click here: http://www.karlandjulie.com/info_whatwedo_teaching.asp