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Yet another morning and still no inspiration. Nothing to share on this “passionate” life I’m supposedly surrounded by. As each morning passes, so does another opportunity of beginnning a thought to trail, explore, wrestle through.

So, I read. I pick up the story of a writing friend’s journey through Down Syndrome in her child. I’m struck by how similar her honest grappling is to my own struggles with finding value outside achievement – in myself, my children, and all that surrounds me. Her anger at God is palpable. I’ve known it down to my bones. Days pass on the outside. Routines are established. The seasons fade, one to the other. Yet still there is this struggle – a holy reckoning that must find its completion. And then, one day you look at your child freely, without this world’s flaws, and you see what a good and perfect gift you’ve been given.

There is a kindred spirit between us – though I’ve never met her in person, my soul certainly has.

Then my thoughts slide over, unintentionally to another writing friend: one who’s also penned her ‘road less traveled’, this time through adoption. So much of her experience, I relate to – the waiting, the unanticipated slow-downs and the process of coming home. But there has been this separation I’ve made between us. I assumed that because she felt immediate attachment to her adopted child, I could not relate to her post-adoption struggles.

And, she has less history to contend with – less years her child had, packing baggage that some days feel as though its case is bottomless.

But, this isn’t true. Much is the same: our passions for our children, our struggles to do right for them, be sensitive to their histories yet somehow help them completely fold into our families. Our inner grappling with their losses, as we helplessly hold them through mourning – however and whenever it comes, often at unexpected times. Our shared frustration at a world which rankles over children’s lives – sitting in high comfortable places, debating the ethics of removing a child from his or her homeland. Meanwhile the child starves and dies – times millions more.

I guess, at least, he died in his homeland (I don’t think my writing friend would be so brash – these are my sentiments, spoken).

These mothers have daily lives. Schedules to keep, chores to tend, daily grinds that promise to slowly turn them to sawdust if they don’t stay anchored in the Truth: the same Truth that called them to writing their souls open for the rest of us.

I hear about this thing called the Mommy Wars (my link is to the book, but examples are everywhere). They are easy to find – mothers beating one another down for personal parenting choices; offering high platitudes and piousness in the face of genuine concerns from another mother-compatriot. What my writing friends offer instead is themselves – wide open. They have sacrificed their pride and an image of motherhood for the real deal, which is always messy, always wrought with pain and fear and sometimes anger. But in the process, they’ve offered the rest of us Truth and Life and inspiration to parent in freedom – if only we’ll accept its better way.

If you haven’t read A Good and Perfect Gift, by Amy Julia Becker, or Love You More, by Jennifer Grant, I highly commend them to your home library!

In fact, let me help you. I have an extra copy of Love You More and I’d love to send it your way. What person or story has inspired you to a deeper, more authentic living? Leave a comment and I’ll add your name for a weekend drawing.