Moms. I have a message for you. But before I start I have to say one thing.

This is not about stay-at-home-moms. And this is not about working moms. And this is not about moms who work at home, or work part time, or whatever.

This is about being a mom, no matter what that looks like.

We hear a lot about self-care these days, and that’s SO good. It’s important because most of us need to be reminded that we CAN and SHOULD take care of ourselves as we’re taking care of the little souls we’ve been entrusted with.

But I want to speak to the little dreamer inside you. Can you bring her out, please?

My blog is called And Babies Don’t Keep (for now, that is). It’s from a poem called “Song for a Fifth Child” by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton. The last line says, “Settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”

I named my blog after this poem in part because my house is full of dust and cobwebs. I am the woman who will forget to sweep and dust for twice as long as she should. I joke with my husband that I just don’t see dirt. I’m quite happy rocking a baby instead of cleaning up. I love the sweet reminder that it’s okay to have a bit of a mess if it means your children know they are safe and cherished.

But there’s more to it than that. I named my blog after this poem to remind myself that babies DON’T keep. Because I think in the trenches of the little years, we need the reminder that there will be a break from the madness. In a few years, they’ll be dressing themselves, going to the bathroom themselves, and scooting chairs to the pantry so they can reach their own snacks. They’ll always need us, but they won’t always need us like this.

There is some relief that comes with that. We’re experiencing a taste of it in sending our oldest to full-time kindergarten this year. She’s gone A LOT. And I can see that next year is going to be a real shocker for me when both my older girls are in school.

The change in demands will come for you too, and I know that for some of you, that’s a relief because there’s something you’re wanting to try. Maybe it’s painting, writing, blogging, teaching dance, personal training, going to nursing school, I have no idea. But what I do know is that it can be REALLY hard to speak up when you have a spark of a dream inside you, and your days are filled with diapers, and yogurt squeezies, and applesauce.

But you can speak up. You can make a plan. You can explore that dream in tiny ways right now, knowing that this task of child-rearing you have right in front of you, DOES have cosmic weight. Thinking about your future doesn’t take away from your present. It can, if you aren’t careful, but it doesn’t have to.

If God has a little fire burning in you, I want you to listen. I want you to ask Him what He wants you to do with it right now. He may say "Try it, full on." Hey may say, "Wait, darling, I have so much in store for you." He may say, "Hone the craft in small ways." Hey may say, "Buckle up, my dear. It’s going to be big, in and for my name."

Submit that little flame to him -  whether it’s burning to be the best mom to your kids and the safest place for their friends. Whether it’s opening an online shop with prints or paints or both. Whether it’s writing something that makes your heart beat faster and sharing it with someone.

Babies don’t keep, guys. There’s a sorrow in that but if it wasn’t the best way, God would have designed it differently. He loves this phase, He loves children with a fierce, white-hot kind of love. But He loves you the same way, and if He’s given you a dream, LIVE IT, for the love of the kingdom, for the love of the world.

Kristi is still working on submitting to her little flame and considering herself “creative.” She’s a church planter’s wife, mom to three little girls, and blogs at And Babies Don’t Keep. Find her there, or on Instagram and Twitter at @kristenannjames.




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