Being All In

Whatever your hand finds, do it with all your might….      Ecclesiastes 9:10

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThere’s a concert hall just one exit north of us called Tupelo Hall. It’s a funky little venue in a restored barn with BYOB and only 250 seats. I love the intimacy of it, and the musicians it draws. Usually they were big names once; now they’re on their way down in the fame game, but still just as amazing.

We went last Friday night. The opening act was the Jamie McLean Band. You have to figure that as the opening band, these musicians were looking to grow their audience, make a name for themselves. But as I watched the lead singer look around at all the gray hair in the room, I imagined him calculating the average age to be about fifty. Realizing that we weren’t the crowd that was going to catapult his career, he seemed to deflate a bit.

Then he started to play, and he transformed.

People talk about a “calling” as a person’s true purpose for being on earth. Without a doubt, Jaime McLean’s calling is to sing and play guitar. The music seemed to transport him. Although he was completely rocking the house, it was as if we weren’t even there. Yes, he was playing for us; but more so, he was playing because music is the life blood that pumps through his veins.

Sitting in the front row, I watched him in awe. I couldn’t help thinking that I want to be a mother like he is a musician. I want to show up for my kids, like he showed up for us. I want to be all in for them, like he was all in for us.

Of course he’s not “on” like that twenty-four/seven. He played for all of forty-five minutes. Then he didn’t have to rise to that level again until the next night.

Likewise, we moms don’t have to be rock stars twenty-four/seven for our kids, fully present and focused on them every minute of the day. No one could handle that much pressure, nor would it be healthy. We shouldn’t teach our kids that the world revolves completely around them.

But during those moments, those moments when our kids need us most, we need to be all there for them.

Like we weren’t the crowd Jamie McLean dreamed for, those moments when our kids need us the most aren’t the Hallmark moments either. They’re usually the difficult times, the messy times. They’re the 3 a.m. nightmares, the discipline problems at school, the inappropriate searches on Google, the bullying on the school bus. But these are the times when kids truly need their mom. If we handle these moments right, we’ll inspire them to walk the path that grows their character, not the path that chips away at their soul.

I’ve lived a few of these crossroad moments. Each time, I  knew I wasn’t equipped to deal with them. But every single time, grace led me to prayer: not just that, “God, please help me” prayer, but that on-my-knees-in-my-heart stance of complete begging, begging for the Holy Spirit to give me the right words, and to guide me out of the labyrinth of trouble. When I am all in like that in prayer, He never lets me down.

Music wakes up my soul. It reminds me that life is filled with beauty and joy, and as much good as I am willing to see.

The Jamie McLean Band woke me up and reminded me of who I want to be as a mom, and they gave me hope that I can be her. Making Hallmark moments with my kids is great. But my true calling is to be all there for the messy and difficult moments, no matter how hard they may be.

Questions For Reflection:

     * Do I embrace the difficult and messy parts of motherhood?

     * Do I see their value?

     * Do I feel equipped to deal with the hard parts of my calling?

     * Can I be all in in prayer to the Holy Spirit for the right words and guidance for the difficult moments?

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