This is my happy place. Fully present in a moment of carefree timelessness with my adult children. If only life was always that simple, always that easy.
But of course, it's not. Suffering is a part of our life journey and always will be.
And right now, the suffering side of our humanity is in full force as we collectively stare pain in the face on many levels.
As mommas, we don't want our kids to grow up in a world fueled by fear.
We don't want our kids to grow up in a world bubbling with hate.
We don't want our kids to grow up in a world ravaged by division.
We don't want our kids to grow up in a world wrought with pain.
Yet here we are. The uncertainty and strife are overwhelming. Our hearts bleed for the injustices we do see, and our minds worry about a virus we can't see.
As mommas, we do want our kids to flourish.
We do want our kids to find belonging.
We do want our kids to feel worthy.
We do want our kids to know and experience love.
So how do we best lead our children through these challenging times? I don't have any answers except to do the next right thing that points to love.
We do our best to keep fear at bay by trusting in God.
We do our best not to add to the bubble of hate by focusing on love and kindness.
We do our best not to add to the division by listening with an open mind.
We do our best not to cause pain by demonstrating grace in our words and actions.
We show them how to flourish by raising up others.
We show them what belonging looks like by including others.
We show them how to know their worth by validating the worth of others.
We show them how to experience love by putting it into action toward others.
And we pray like there's no tomorrow while continuing to find moments to be fully present in carefree timelessness with them. That is our balm. That is our hope. That is our strength.
Shelby is a sappy and sarcastic, pro-LOVE, Jesus adoring mom of 3 Millennials spreading love and light through writing, speaking, and everyday life with her hubby of 27 years. She is the co-author with Lisa Leshaw of the new book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") as well as a new online ecourse for moms, Mindful Mothering: 10 Practices for a Healthy Mom Life. She shares stories on her blog at shelbyspear.com, in print at Guideposts, and around the web at sites like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Today, Filter Free Parents, Parenting Teens & Tweens, Scary Mommy, Love What Matters.