On the crunchy mom scale, I would proudly claim total sogginess.
Organic food, no thanks too expensive.
Essential oils, no room for potions in this house.
Alternative therapy, keep your hippy nonsense.
But alas, motherhood is an exercise in humility.
In the same way that I sanctimoniously condemned mothers for their actions when I was childless; my sogginess was worn as a self-righteous badge of honor. And while it honored me in my pridefulness, its real message was that I was an inflexible and unteachable scrooge that was unwilling to learn and grow.
Then Will arrived.
I was all over organic and responsibly farmed foods. I wanted good things to go into my child. I also went to a meeting about essential oils; because anything to help Will sleep through the night was worth trying at that point. In the oven of motherhood, I was slowly roasting. I cooked and grew crispier and crunchier.
Then Ruby arrived.
She came with not just with the typical struggles and strains of kids, but a host of new issues! Essential oils weren't just something we used every now and again, but they became gospel in our home to keep us all from spiraling into madness. Alternative therapy to help us learn and cope happened twice a week and the heat from my roasting made me crispier and crunchier.
It was the day the occupational therapist mentioned that they were going to start a dry brushing protocol with Ruby that I finally thought I was at my end. I even said to her therapist, "That's too much for me. I'm not like the crunchy moms."
But they did the protocol, and I watched as my daughter, who never stops moving and vibrating, sat down and played with a Potato Head for 3-4 minutes without breaking concentration. The oven's heat increased, and I got crispier and crunchier.
I am not advocating for my brand of crunchiness, or to persuade you to believe what I believe; because the honest to goodness truth is that, if you don't experience it yourself, you can't understand it. And I honestly think that God has chosen our children for us and works to shape us into the parents they need. My brand of crunchy is different from everyone else's, and I'm so okay with that.
This isn't the only time in my life that I've felt the slow cooking of the refining fire. Friendship, leadership, ministry, shepherding, and even my marriage are just a few specific areas that challenge me and grow me. Up until this point in motherhood, I wanted to believe that I had all the answers. But no one can experience maturing with this type of attitude.
"Why did this crazy woman start talking about maturity?" - Yes, I can hear your thoughts.
That is what this is. Humbling ourselves gives us the space we need to grow, acknowledging the struggle helps us learn the lesson the Lord has for us and press on into spiritual maturity.
Oh no, she said spiritual maturity. - Told you I could hear you.
Spiritual maturity seems so antiquated, especially in a world that says age makes you mature. But the maturity I'm talking about and experiencing is something different, something lasting. It's a beautiful gift that is hard to unwrap, but once I've opened it and received it; it is an endless blessing. It is this type of spiritual maturing and growing that changes and equips you for the task at hand.
Whether that is motherhood,
Or the new job,
The challenges and trials that befall us aren't just unfortunate fires that need putting out; they are refining blazes meant to shape us. These refining fires, however, return void when we ignore the lessons or fight the growth. Surrendering is the only way to endure the heat. We have to give up the pride that we are white knuckling. No matter what age we are, no matter how much Bible we know or how long we've studied it, He is never finished with us. Instead of holding fast to phrases like, "that's just my nature," or "it's in my personality." Let's lean into the maturing heat of our respective ovens.
Walking around life with a breastplate of self-righteousness leaves no room for the breastplate of righteousness that He is trying to give to you.
I'm not calling you to crunchiness, I'm calling to teachability. We are all in the oven, and the heat is on.
And don't fight the roasting.
**This week only, if you join my mailing list you'll receive a list of my FAVORITE essential oil recipes. These are recipes that we use every day at our house. It's a little crunchiness for you to chew on. :-P