We just celebrated Easter, and at our church campus, that meant lots of services. My family and I went to the Saturday night service so we would be free to serve all Sunday morning. Because we were going both days, my girls felt this was reason enough for two days worth of fancy dresses. They’re so tired of jeans and boots from winter that when ANY reason presents itself in which they get to wear something frilly, they’re pumped.
There were lots of little adorable outfits this weekend. Tiny boys in ties…I can’t even. SO cute. My social media was FLOODED in family photos. LOVE IT.
On the other hand, each year, I also see some other posts on social media. Ones from church people…usually the church people that have all their junk together. (Or at least that’s what it looks like to us on the other side of the facebook wall.) And these people, who I am certain, CERTAIN I TELL YOU, are amazing, godly, genuine people, post something about how it’s not all about the clothes. It never fails.
Now let me throw out the disclaimer that they’re right. It isn’t about the clothes. It’s not about the shoes and the fancy dresses and little freakishly adorable bow ties on baby boys. It’s not. It’s not about the egg dying or the egg hiding or the deviled eggs that I find so incredibly gross but my hunny loves. It’s not. Its about Christ. We know that.
But each year, when I see this truth posted in such a blank uncompassionate manner, it honestly feels like a slap in the face. Not so much to me anymore, but it did years ago and so I always think of those moms who are currently in the season I was once. A season where drowning doesn’t even begin to cover it. A season when I questioned if God even existed. A season when just going ONE day without baby spit up or poop on me was more than I could imagine. One of my children spit up bad on me, ALL day, EVERY day for MONTHS. MONTHS. And sometimes, in those seasons, you just want to feel put together. You just want to look at your kiddos and dress them cute and take a picture because you know what? Tomorrow will look so different. Tomorrow, you will relate much more to Thomas, still asking for that proof and hope, than you do to Mary who clung to Jesus.
It’s a dark season. It’s cold, and hard. It has so. much. sweetness. Precious, fleeting moments of curly headed toddlers in clean footie pj’s. Tiny baby smiles that come in their sleep. Moments of singing tiny people to sleep and them melting at the sound of your voice. But those moments are mixed in with the other moments. The loneliness. The insecurity. The desperation.
And you know what those mama’s don’t need? They don’t need us telling them that it’s not about the clothes. THEY. KNOW. IT.
They need us to tell them how sweet those kiddos are, and how fast it will pass. They need us to remind them that though these little years are hard, they are painfully short. That baby that cries all night will grow up and learn to read then drive a car before they know it. There is a difference in a rebuke, which should be done face to face in love when a sin is committed, and encouragement in the faith, and, sister, our facebook posts pointing out where we feel they’re lacking isn’t anything like encouragement or rebuke. It’s a blow.
I love to be the cheerleader for women. I love to be funny and not serious at all. But, my mama bear heart beats wildly for other mamas, and I am certain that those posting these things have no idea the insecurity they’re adding to an already vulnerable heart. Let’s love. Let’s show that it’s not about the clothes in our actions, not with our words. Because, something tells me that Jesus (who loves little children) loves him some little boys dressed in bow ties coloring pictures of an empty tomb in Sunday school.