I have a story to tell you. But before I do, grab something warm and settle in. Maybe you have a favorite chair or spot on the couch. I want you to get comfortable because good stories deserve a good setting.
Now that you’re settled, let’s picture something together. It’s early morning in a small house in Georgia. The house is a bit old and nothing much to look at from the outside. It’s surrounded by grass and woods and the limbs of an overarching old oak tree. If you stand in the front yard, you can hear the gentle clucks of chickens ready to be let out for the morning.
Now walk with me to the front window. Come on, let’s peek in. In the corner of the small living room, there is a mama. She’s in her favorite chair. The one her in-laws bought when her first baby was born eight years ago. It’s the chair in which she nursed both of her baby girls and in which she will eventually nurse the third little girl that she doesn’t yet know will come. She is wrapped from ankle to chin in blankets because houses built in 1890 have poor insulation and jalousie windows that make great inlets for summer breezes and frustrating outlets for forced air from old heaters.
If you strain your ears, you may hear the click and clack of the computer keys as this huddled mama writes through the corners of her mind in the corner of her little home.
But what is she writing about?
Some days, she’s writing about the birds outside.
Sometimes, about the homeschool day ahead.
At other times, she’s weaving stories of Ireland and small girls and dolls.
You see, this mama was asked a question only a few months back.
In the middle of a busy weekend morning her husband naively asked her, “Are you ok?”
That three-word prompt brought the flood of tears necessary to soak the thick paper wrapping of “have tos” and “must bes” that for so long had suffocated her in all that she was supposed to be and left nothing of who she really was.
So slowly, she decided to show up.
One hour earlier.
One hour later.
In the quiet of the sleep of small children and the beauty of a newly dawning day, she said yes.
Can you still see her?
Now and then, she looks up and smiles at the joy that comes from finding her own heart laid out in front of her in black and white.
And now, a small form emerges in the doorway. Her youngest. She places the computer next to her on the ground and pats her lap. The little bean runs to her and snuggles up in the thick blanket covering. There are snuggles and smiles.
“What were you doing, Mama?” she says. “Oh, just writing a bit.”
A feeling of warmth surrounds them. This Mama said yes. To herself. To her creative dreams.
Little did she know that in doing so, she also said yes to her children. To showing up fully to their lives as well.
This is the invitation to engage in the creative life. This is the joy of creating in the midst of motherhood.
Because there is a direct correlation between showing up authentically for your own creative life and showing up authentically and with joy for your growing family.
So I have a question for you … Will you say yes to the messy middle of creating in the midst of motherhood?