faith, motherhood

Shalom (on embracing the both-and)

June 17, 2015
"Wholeness looks like admitting I am both happy and struggling, that I am both full of faith and doubting everything." - Fiona Lynne #wholemama

Kaya stood up all by herself on Monday. She’s learning everything back to front. She’s been walking for three months but she still can’t crawl and when she wobbles and topples to the floor, she’s stuck there, having no idea how to get back up to standing.

But on Monday we were at the playground. And she was on her butt in the middle of the tarmac where an overenthusiastic run had planted her, and she leaned forward onto her hands, wiggled her butt up into the air, held the pose like a yoga pro for a moment as she figured out how to get her balance, and then just stood up. Just like that. Rasmus and I looked at each other in slight disbelief and then broke into applause.

It was one of those moments you imagine experiencing before you get pregnant. The pride at your little girl who figured it out, it fills up your heart and you don’t care that nearly every other child in the world achieves this minor feat because right then you are certain your baby is a rockstar. She will go far this one, because just look at her standing up all on her own!

Then there are the other moments. The moments I have to grit my teeth and take three deep breaths so that I don’t do something I’ll regret. When she’s whiney and clingy or she throws the food I spent ages preparing straight on the floor in disgust. She refuses to let me cut her toenails so she looks a little like a neanderthal baby. And she’s at that stage where she starts to know what she wants and exactly what she doesn’t want and it requires more patience than I have. And sometimes she’ll hit me in frustration and I will want to hit her back and then feel so horrendously guilty that that feeling could ever exist in me.

I am not the perfect mother I thought I would be (don’t we all secretly hope we’ll be the ones to figure it out?) But I’m learning step by step to offer myself as much grace as I offer my mama friends when they confess their own frustrations, their own failings.

The road to shalom, to wholeness looks like acknowledging it all, owning it all.

Wholeness looks like stopping pretending it’s all easy, or I feel exactly what I hoped I would feel. Wholeness looks like admitting I am both happy and struggling, that I am both full of faith and doubting everything.

Wholeness looks like working out ways to take regular breaks, to escape for half an hour or a morning, and drink iced coffee and read beautiful words and sit in the sun and feel myself fill up again. It looks like sharing my struggles with others and hearing them tell me, “yeah, that is so normal”. It looks like accepting their offering that I am enough. Even when I fail. Even when I don’t meet my own standards. I am enough.

And then it looks like going home and seeing her little face break into a big grin as I walk through the door and suddenly knowing it is true. I am enough. I am on the path to wholeness and shalom and it’s messy and sometimes so so hard but it is also the feeling of a chubby toddler running full speed into your arms because she’s so thrilled you are back again.

// Some of my favourite bloggers have a great summer initiative called #wholemama. It’s a community challenge and invitation for mamas to integrate our creative and spiritual selves in our day to day. Each week they’ll post a word to write on – this week it is shalom, and this is my contribution.

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  • Gayl Wright

    “Wholeness looks like admitting I am both happy and struggling, that I am both full of faith and doubting everything.” That is such a good definition of wholeness, because being whole includes the “feel good” times and the times we don’t. It includes our whole being with our doubts and fears and our times of confidence. We are all on the road of life and though we make mistakes, God is ever present with us leading and guiding and loving. Thanks for your contribution to #wholemama! I’m enjoying all the contributions at the linkup. Everyone has words of wisdom. 🙂

    • fiona lynne

      Thank you Gayl, this is beautiful. Our whole being. Yes. x

  • We move toward it and we carry it with us. Out of reach but in our grasp. That’s what it feels like. Shalom is a mystery like that. It’s a hard and messy journey, but a hopeful and beauty-filled present. I really love your thoughts. Thank you for sharing. Always, always, do I need the reminder that we are enough.

    • fiona lynne

      “Out of reach but in our grasp.” YES. I think you just summed up my whole faith experience 😉

  • Oh, this is so nourishing, Fiona! I’m tickled that you are linking up with us today. Thanks for painting in a little piece of a beautiful world.

    • fiona lynne

      Thanks for being here and leading this whole wonderful freedom movement!

  • I needed to read this today. “Wholeness looks like stopping pretending it’s all easy, or I feel exactly what I hoped I would feel.” Glad to have found you.

    • fiona lynne

      I needed to write it. Sometimes I only realise what’s true when it escapes through my fingertips onto the page…
      Glad you found me too!

  • “Wholeness looks like stopping pretending it’s all easy, or I feel exactly what I hoped I would feel. Wholeness looks like admitting I am both happy and struggling, that I am both full of faith and doubting everything.”

    So wise!!
    Excited to see where the summer takes us!

    • fiona lynne

      Oh me too. I’m so glad you guys had this beautiful idea! x

  • mmmmmm, the road to Shalom is acknowledging when it’s not. Wow. Powerful. Thank you Fiona.

    • fiona lynne

      Thank you Lindsey. So good to have you here x