Raise Your Voice, Mother or Other

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It’s Sunday night – we are on an airplane ride home – and the most beautiful little girl on the planet is sprawled across my lap. Her feet brush our neighbor’s leg…

​Fortunately, as my Father would have it, Lisa is a friend from church and she knows our Bliss. And by knows, I mean knows.

I am pleasantly surprised that Lisa is with us.

That she knows us is a gift.

Especially as over the last four years, I have become less and less me. The pre-motherhood me, that is. I speak a lot about this space – owning my identity in Christ because literally I’m dying to my own wants here. Daily. (And yes, sometimes that is excruciating!)

Yet, as I become less and less pre-motherhood me, I find myself more and more whole… and more and more known. And over the last four years, as my voice has become louder and louder around the adventure that is raising an emotionally-charged and socially-different and sensory-amazing little person… I find peace regularly. Pre-motherhood me had no peace. Post-motherhood me didn’t have any either for a while, too. Until I stepped into Christ-centered recovery to heal the hurts and habits that kept me from fully embracing this place and space of absolute wildness… But that’s a story for another day.

Back to the plane ride. Because of this – recovery and honesty… the increasing volume of my voice around special needs mothering and being known ​- I don’t need to explain anything to Lisa. She understands that Bliss has already (silently) decided that Lisa will be in the seat to her right; and in return for Lisa not sitting next to her older brother – older brother will get to sit with dad on this flight.

Somehow, I’m the last choice for comfort today.

Which is great, because I’m wearing a mask (the life of the immuno-interesting is complicated) and I’d really like to sleep.

We’re on the plane. It’s Sunday night. It is later than usual. And my babies have danced and hiked the weekend away.

Bliss is tired.

So we both sleep.

And, guess what? I don’t need to explain myself to sweet, amazing, precious Lisa. She’s not going to ask about the mask. She’s not going to question what Bliss needs in this moment. And I’m going to do my best to not happy-cry… because it is seriously exhausting to be in this life – often. Yet, it’s a lot less so when those around me know my Bliss. When they know me.

Which brings me to this morning. A few days post-plane. This morning is bible study, and I sit around a table of other women who do not know me or my Bliss – most of them are way more wise than I am in my short (and long) 34 years. And as we discussed relationships – our theme for the next few weeks – I raise my voice again. It is here that I recognize what I personally long for as we embark upon the God-gifted growth of women sharing time: I want to be known.

Actually, I need to be known.

And not just who I am… I don’t find myself particularly interesting even if life has thrown us a thing or 702… but in how I’m different.

How my life doesn’t always allow me to do the things I would like to do…

It’s a lot of work, this life.

I want my different to be known because I have found that few share first as I do. And when someone else’s different matches mine, we both feel stronger.

So at this table, I raise my voice to feel stronger. To collect a “me too” circle of different women. I need to share, dear one. I can’t thrive without it. And I’m willing to bet you need to share too.

Will you?

It doesn’t need to be to an audience of ten-thousand or even ten. Start with one. Raise your voice to just one. I promise – as you do this over and over again… one person at a time – you will thrive.

We all want to be known.

We all want to thrive.

Now that I’ve poured out my heart and soul –

We had some wonderful wins in week two of homeschool and week five of Brain Balance. Bliss asked me if she was hurting my back as I carried her through mountain terrain (yes! Mama has feelings too, girlie! Cue me smiling so big. Empathy is gorgeous.) And also, Blissy encouraged me to “fashion” – she adores makeup and nail polish and fluffy skirts and everything that doesn’t really resonate with me. But I dove in. Bliss also started horseback riding again. She became a Junior Park Ranger at Muir Woods.  And she’s hit a few new milestones in her growth plan with Brain Balance!

Note – If I had completed writing this before week three of homeschool, I would say that I see a glimmer of where this all is leading. But alas, we regressed again after our adventure. Obessive compulsive disorder is still a beast. Fortunately, our BB team was on it and we have some new coping mechanisms to work on. I’ll share soon on how that goes!

As we part ways, I’m praying over your journey. Know that what you envision is what you can manifest. I saw my support-system long before I created it and in raising my voice, it exists today…

Just one of the many ways that the Lord has provided. It’s a significant provision, though. There is power when two or more stand in His name and declare good things for His glory.

Cheering you on. Always.

xox
J.

Published by Jennifer Magnano

Jennifer - aka The Barefoot Preacher - is a writer, postpartum doula, yogi & mental health activist raising two miracle kids, a future therapy dog named Mya, and hundreds of worms on a tiny piece of land in Phoenix, Arizona. An avid storyteller of personal trial and strife, she believes every single journey can point to goodness, gladness, joy, and a Sovereign God who provides - always.

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