Did you hit play on the above link? If you haven’t, please do so. It will make sense as you read my ponderings.

Ok, I am assuming that you have gone back and pushed play since I so kindly asked you to do so, so now I will continue.

It was late one evening, Richard and I were at the tail end of our nightly ritual. Hulu had been well loved and we were nearing the point that our exhausted minds and bodies were about to wave the white flag. I got up, thanks to the commercial break. BTW anyone under the age of 30 has NO clue what an actual commercial break is, am I right? I recall having to spend a minimum of 5-6 minutes while growing up, watching countless sets of commercial breaks for one measly episode of ER or American Idol. To top it off, it was a cartoon commercial. I really dislike cartoons, very few actually hold my attention.

I don’t know if it was the song that caught my attention, but something did. I found myself sit back down (I am sure Richard was trying to figure out what on earth his wife was doing). I watched all the way through and at the end I turned to Richard and said “that was my mom…I don’t know how she did it…sudden singleness, school, bills, loneliness”

Unable to allow this ridiculous commercial leave my mind, here I am writing about it. But I think that it has been following my heart and mind, like a stalker, because of what I have to share. I am sharing early because I am running another 1/2 marathon this weekend.

Mother’s Day is on it’s way. Less then 2 days to be exact. I have heard whisperings from my darlings’ little mouths and even heard a child inform my husband about the looming deadline for gifts to be done. I am patiently awaiting shutterfly to deliver my own contribution to this holiday.

There are so many different directions we can take on Mother’s day. We can honor a mom’s unconditional love, heart, care, gentleness, comfort, her ability to know where every lost item is in the house, even though it doesn’t belong to her, her ability to hold multiple family members’ calendars together, the endless life lesson talks with naughty children (only after she has come out of her own timeout) or we could talk about all the things she does to serve each individual in her family, based off of their own unique needs.

But I can’t this year. Maybe it’s the season I am in myself. I think that is why that commercial had me all overwhelmed with emotions.

This year I want to talk about a mom’s grit.

I was once told I had some grit, which is defined as “passion and perseverance over the long haul” (according to psychologist and researcher Angela Duckworth).

How many of you mother’s could raise your hand right now if I asked you “how many of you feel motherhood is NOT what you thought it would be?”

Now you would have to understand, if I came to a group of women (something that would be incredibly intimidating to me) I would be hoping that I would find open transparency. Because I myself would only ask that question because my soul would be craving for some honest dialogue.

What if I were to take it farther and ask you “what is the greatest struggle you are facing in this season of motherhood”.

I have been incredibly blessed to have some lifegiving conversations with mothers in the last 6 months. Waters parted, children were either not around or I found myself in the twilight zone and was able to converse in FULL sentences that were not interrupted every 2 minutes while my children played quietly.

You know what I have discovered?

Every single mom has GRIT.

Age, seasons of life, number of kids, husband or not, career, etc. All those things develop grit within us.

I have been reading about Jochabed. She was the mother of Moses in the bible. You can find her brief story at the beginning of Exodus 2. Some would think that a woman who only had 11 verses written about her would have little significance, heck her name isn’t even mentioned in the telling of her story. But I was intrigued by her. Here was a mother, who had 2 children and found herself pregnant during a time where Pharaoh had a decree to murder ALL Hebrew baby boys.

Her whole pregnancy was spent, I imagine in pure grief. She had no clue if she was going to be able to raise her child or if her newborn would be murdered the moment the first breath was taken and the gender was revealed.

Her 3rd baby came with a death sentence. Thanks to some brave midwives, she delivered a baby boy and was able to hide him for 3 mos. When she could no longer hide him (um I am still wondering how she kept him quiet for 3 mos). She developed a plan to hide him in a basket. Her next plan was to place him in the Nile River.

This is where the story gets a little wonky for me. I can quickly find myself making judgements about her plan. Create a woven basket, cover it in tar and float my baby down the river?!? What was this lady thinking?

If I am honest, I have done this before, I have judged another mom’s plan to address the current hardship she is facing. Yet if you were to look at decisions I have made, many could go “yeah, that Sarah Harney, she is a little cooky”

Even though I sidetracked with her plan to save her baby. I was compelled to look at this mom. To acknowledge her grit. She was faced with a devastating situation. Her child had a death warrant. There would be no way she could keep it from others. Can you imagine if some embittered mother in her camp found out that her child was spared by midwives, when hers was murdered?

Jochabed hadn’t lost hope. She was resourceful. She fought for her child even though everything was stacked against her.

All I know is that in this season of mothering, I feel like a failure, more than I feel like I am doing a substandard job. The days that seem to come and go faster then I have a chance to digest them are filled with children who stretch me to my limits. They are growing, they are finding out who they are in this world, medical needs can take up the emotional and mental space I have left, I wonder if they feel loved more than I want to.

Jochabed’s baby gets saved by Pharaoh’s daughter who requests for a Hebrew woman to nurse and care for her newfound baby in the river until he is weaned (which meant around 3 yrs of age). Jochabed is paid to care for her baby.

Jochabed’s grit allowed her to raise her baby that should have been killed. Yes she didn’t get to have him past the age of 3, she didn’t get to watch him grow and celebrate birthdays and milestones with him, BUT she got to love and care for him more then her human heart could have hoped for in her current situation.

Why did I just waste 5-10 minutes of your time retelling you a story from the Bible?

Because I really believe I am suppose to encourage you mommas.

There are so many things you are facing in your life right now, honestly a today for a fact, something came crashing at your feet…right? There are fears and anxieties that seem to consume your waking and sleeping moments, hello 2 am worry sessions. Some of you are putting your flag up on a stick and can’t even say its a white flag because its all stained and tattered, just like your life. There are situations that you are standing face to face with and you are wondering how you are going to survive them.

But mommas. I want you to pause and see what you have. Even with all the things faced against you. You are still standing. You are showing signs of sanity, if not your family would have had you commited. You are taking a moment for yourself right now and ignoring the to do list. You are surrendering your children and their issues to God, yes, even your grown children you are continually placing in God’s hands. You are finding another way even though the massive detour you are on looks like a dead in.

“Passion and perseverance over the long haul”.

Whatever your situation is, I want to say thank you for finding a way to pick yourself back up. Thank you for not giving up when it seems impossible. Thank you for raising children who won’t expect others to be perfect and guarded, instead crave for real people, because you have shown them transparency. Thank you for making this world a better place and choosing life when we live in a society that believes in genocide as a woman’s right. Thank you for always pouring out, even when you feel empty, the world needs more selfless people. Thank you for paving the way for other mothers who are looking for a champion to follow. Thank you for placing your HOPE in the lord and trusting that He is the author of your story, especially on the hard days.

Because you, you my friend, have some GRIT.

Happy MOTHER’S day 💐

Thank you to my own mother Barbara, who found her own GRIT and could have been the main character of that commercial. Love you.

A Simple List

Somehow I managed to not plan for today, it’s not the first time I have done this. Mainly because this time frame in the year seems to be at the height of insanity and it is never attended to in the manner I would have loved to devote to. Yet, I am asking myself, better yet chastising myself to get better at this next time.

He doesn’t like cards, doesn’t care for unwanted gifts and definitely doesn’t care for filler gifts. A life of being the sole financial provider for a constantly growing family the last 11 yrs has made it impossible to buy things for him. If it’s a necessity, its worked within the budget, it is discussed with the financial advisor (me) and then it purchased. Buying for himself rarely happens and so it always makes this day the hardest for his family. What do you get a man that has embodied sacrificial love so well? He would give you the shirt off his back if you came to him and said, “hey man, I really need your shirt because…”

Thanks to the big change in my life, going back to work, I have found the balancing act even harder. He is met with a wife that is struggling in learning how to care for a home and family while meeting the deadlines, workloads, and expectations that come with her new job.

I dropped the ball. Nothing was laid out for him this morning, something he has done for me over the years, no heartfelt little hands drew cards, no dinner plans to look forward to (the man loves to eat) thanks to both of us working tonight.

Today has been like any other day.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to write something. Honestly I have phone calls that need to be made now that I have the baby down for a power nap before we go and get siblings from school here in an hour. But as I was wiping the goo off the counters that I didn’t get to before heading to the office this morning a list started to form in my head.

It’s not wrapped in a bow, it hasn’t been purchased from a store, but every single bit of it is true.

35 years ago, God breathed life into this man that we get to call hubby and daddy

William Richard Harney, here are the 35 things I love and am thankful for:

1. You call me beautiful when I first wake up, when you come home from work or when we have been separated for a bit

2. You always make sure to let me pick the 2 plates we are going to share at restaurants

3. You make sure I have clean sheets to come home to whenever I travel

4. Breakfast is made every morning for me

5. The dreaded nighttime routine has been your jam since Cayden was first weaned 9 yrs ago

6. When I am taking a moment to myself, while you man the circus we call children, you always say “take your time”

7. You deal with the pukers when they hit our home, knowing I CAN.NOT. do it

8. Dirty diapers have never been an issue for you

9. You support me and my need to run, even if it means saturday mornings don’t start until I get my miles in

10. When I catch you staring at me when we are in a crowded room

11. Your willingness to coach and not give up on the uncoachable kids

12. Your ability to fix almost anything that has broken in our house

13. When you hold our daughters and whisper in their ears and they giggle

14. How you care for my mom

15. How you are intentional with my nephew

16. How you LOVE my friends and never make me feel like I have to choose between you or them

17. Your level head when I am spinning like a top

18. The grace you have given over the phone at work when I have called in frantics for the 100th time over some disaster the kids (electrical fire), me (grease fire), lily (bear attack), Candy or the chickens created

19. Your willingness to do the dishes after dinner

20. Your desire to never put out my fire, but instead flame it and show me my voice matters

21. Your adventurous spirit and desire to try something new, since I love routine

22. Your heart to build men up within the church and your desire to be a disciple

23. Your love for christian rap

24. Your bow ties

25. Your silver hair – its sexy

26. How you put us first in everything thing that you do

27. Your willingness to play board/card games against the women in my family knowing you will always loose

28. Your tender heart, the tears you shed when I can’t, your transparency with feelings

29. The opportunities you let our son learn to be a man, when his mom isn’t ready for it

30. How you handled our son when he was exposed to indecency from another kid

31. The advocate you are for your daughter and the countless phone calls you have made to ensure her continued healthcare coverage

32. How you cared for me during the labor of each baby

33. Your ability to forgive and forget

34. Your playfulness, even if I find it annoying half the time, someone needs to see the world different then the black and white that I see

35. How you love us with every part of your soul

Happy birthday my love, I pray that we can show you through our words and actions that we are so blessed to have you as our protector, provider, husband and father.