“What’s all this?” I ask my six-year-old daughter.
Piled a top her dresser is a stock pile of bags and random small boxes, each stuffed full. I peak into a few. Oh, here’s where all our pencils have gone. I’ve been looking for that necklace. And there’s the hair bow we needed this morning.
“It’s all my special things that I’m taking to Grandma and Grandpa’s” she says matter-of-factly.
I sigh. “You know we don’t leave for two months, right? That’s a long time from now. We’ll pack when it’s time to go.”
We begin to sort through her stash. Rocks from outside. Snail shells too. Suddenly there’s a lump in my throat. Why does this pile of
junk special things make me ache inside?
I dig through the layers and here’s what I find.
I believe in raising third culture kids. I really, truly do. I believe in this life we’re living.
I still have a pile of fear and guilt and pain when it comes to the way I’m raising my kids.
I feel guilt that I’ve taken my kids away from their grandparents.
I feel pain that a trip to the airport makes my son think that we’re moving again.
I feel guilt that my child got a rare Asian disease.
I feel guilt that they need stability and we give them change and transition. Packing boxes and bags? That’s what she’s always known.
I fear that raising my kids this way will make them turn out weird. (Am I allowed to say that?)
I fear that they’ll always feel “other,” that they won’t ever feel a strong sense of belonging.
I fear that one day they’ll resent their lack of normal childhood.
I fear that they’ll love their childhood so much that one day they’ll leave me for the other side of the world.
We’ll be here awhile if we keep going through this pile…
I think, “What am I supposed to say to all the mamas out there battling these same fears?” Clearly, I’m not the have-it-all-figured-out expert.
Maybe I can list out all the positive qualities that TCKs are known to develop. That might soothe some fear. I could mention all the famous people who are TCKs, who clearly turned out okay. That’s hopeful.
I ask the Lord “What I should say?” and he says, “What do you most need to hear?”
Ok. Well, here’s what I need to hear. I need to hear that all mothers fear failing their children. That no matter where or how you live, your mama heart is wired to fear and ache and guilt over your children.
Past the tangled mess of our TCK worries, at the heart of our pile of motherhood fear and guilt is this: As mothers, we are the most up-close and personal model of a Jesus-lover that our children will ever know. I need to know that this scares you as much as it does me. Because I know how much I fail to live and love like him.
I need to know that you too shed tears for the way your temper flairs, for the way your strength saps dry, for the way you’re supposed to have the answers and don’t. I need to hear that you fall weary with me before the throne and say, “I’m not enough for this motherhood thing, especially in a foreign place.”
I need to sit here at his feet with you for a moment. Pass a tissue, please.
While we’re here in our brokenness, the fears are growing somehow quieter, soft enough for us to hear. Let’s listen now, good and hard. I think he got’s something to say to us.
“That love in your heart for those little people? That love that pumps fiercer than you ever knew possible? I made it. Amazing, isn’t it?
This crazy life you’re living? I called you to it. Fear not, dear one. I am with you in it.
That messy pile of fear and guilt? Pass it on over to me. We’ll work through it together, love.
That overwhelming “I’m not enough for this” feeling? I know. I see all your failures, daily in fact. And it’s okay. Really it is. Because my grace is enough. For you and for your kids. Let go of fear and guilt, lean into the grace and watch, just watch what it will do.
I picked you to mother your children, you and no one else. You’re right for it, I know. And you’re doing a good job, even and especially when you’re falling weak into my arms. I’ve got you, love. You and your kids.”
Alright, let’s here from all of you. If you’re new to The Grove here at Velvet Ashes, this is our weekly time to share our hearts, our words, our art on our prompt.
Here’s how to share on this week’s prompt “TCK.”
- You can share with us in the comments, if you don’t have a blog of your own. We have the amazing ability to post images in our comments! So post images of your art and/or share your words there.
- If you write a comment, please avoid copying and pasting from Word as this will publish a lot of junk computer code. It’s best to type it directly into the comment box.
- If you have a blog, write or make art based on the prompt and join the link-up!
- Be sure to add the Velvet Ashes link (https://velvetashes.com/the-grove-tcks/) to your blog post. You can add the prompt image too!
- Please select the permalink from your post (so not your blog’s url,www.daniellenotyetthere.blogspot.com but your post url:http://www.daniellenotyetthere.blogspot.com/2013/11/todays-day.html)
- Click on the blue “Add your link” button below to add your blog post to this page.
- It will walk you through selecting which image you want to show up in the linky.
- Then your picture and link will show up below!
- Then be sure to go visit each other’s sites and share some comment love! It’s the rule. We applaud brave hearts!
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