My 2012 Manifesto

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine and I endeavored to launch a new blog called "Mama Manifesto". Our hope was that it would be a place for moms to feel connected and not alone in their motherhood journeys. Motherhood had not come easily to either of us, and it had also not been the easiest transition for either of us. We recognized how encouraging it was to say that out loud. So, we dreamt up this space that would hopefully create a safe place for mamas to gather and draw inspiration in a nap-sized moment. That is still our hope.

But, one of the things that we wanted to do for ourselves and others, was encourage a "proactive" way of parenting. That we would not just get caught up in the frustrating cycle of reactive parenting. You know the drill ... the kids are addicted to sugar so they whine for sugar and we cave by giving them sugar, but we truly, truly, truly desire to raise healthy kids who eat well and are nurtured in their bodies. Or, we have a huge desire for our kids to be creative and to live a childhood that is inspired and full of imagination and adventures, but we cannot break the cycle of screen time obsession as we rotate from tv to iPhone to computer to DS to wii to XBox...

That is a very tangible example of reactive parenting. The deeper one is that we have these deep desires of who we want to be as women. To our husbands, to our families and maybe even to our neighbors. We know who we WANT to be, and maybe even WHO WE WERE CREATED TO BE. We just are not living that out. I remember working before I had kids and having to sit down in multiple jobs and create a "vision statement" for myself or for the company. We kind of need something like this to keep our actions in line with our desires.

So, what is your manifesto for 2012? Who do you want to be to your husband, to your kids, to God, to your neighbors, to your co-workers, to the blogging community? I sat down tonight and in a very stream of consciousness way wrote out my manifesto for 2012. My hope is that as I check back in, that I can identify how my actions need to shift in order to reach these goals.

I will share it with you. It comes from my heart. And, I would love to read yours. Would you share it with me?

My Manifesto | 2012

I am passionate about knowing my Father.

Hearing His voice and walking in tune with His Spirit are the desires of my heart.

I endeavor to learn to be still and know that He is God.

I endeavor to learn the way of listening and “being” and to share my journey and learnings with as many other “twitchy” souls that I can.

To walk in a posture of gratitude, receiving each moment as grace and savoring the gifts that are in front of me every single day.

That I would walk the wilderness seasons with hope and expectation of a Father who provides for His children, though His provision may not look the way we want it to.

I am passionate about loving my husband with a true love.

A God-breathed and blessed love that serves and honors and puts him first.

To be the kind of partner God dreamt of when He smiled to Himself and said, “It is very good.”

To speak words that are life-giving and to hold him up and build him up, not drain him.

To pray for him with a steadfast endurance that holds him up to the Father who is shaping him daily.

To trust that He is at work on this man, and I need not meddle in His development of this man He first loved and dreamt up.

To treat him the way I hope my precious son will be treated by my future daughter in law.

To praise him in front of our children and never speak ill of him in their presence.

I am passionate about loving my children with a true love that reflects God in all His unconditional and steadfast loving ways.

That I would model the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness and self-control) in my moment to moment interactions with them.

That I would look at them with love in my eyes and show them through my words and deeds that I am proud to be their mama and they are lovely.

That I would teach them how to hear truth and lies and how to fight the lies that they hear with truth.

That I would model gratitude, even in times of scarcity.

That I would teach them to run this race well - and that does not mean never bearing my aching soul to God. - That they would see a Psalmist’s heart in me and know that while I feel hurt and have questions, that I will forever praise the God who has saved me.

That I would lean into worshipping God in the midst of highs and lows. That we would be able to say, as a family,

Though the fig tree does not budand there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the penand no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,I will be joyful in God my Savior.

That they would learn that He is our God in times of plenty and times of scarcity. He is worthy of praise and worship in all of these moments, and we would lead them down a hopeful highway of praise.

That they would remember us singing out praises even with empty barns, unyielding trees, and broken hearts that are being mended by the Creator’s nail pierced hands.

That I would cheer them on as they praise in the midst of pain.

That I would nurture their creativity, health, souls and minds.

That I would never stop telling them the miraculous story of their creation and that they are my “Red Sea” moment.

That they would know that even if God told me I could pick any children in the whole entire world to be mine, that I would choose them.

I am passionate about loving my community and neighbors with a shepherding love.

That I would walk through my neighborhood a little bit slower and really “see” my neighbors.

That I would not be so busy in my to do lists that I miss the moments to share God’s love with those around me in an authentic and tangible way. ...Sitting with them as they confess the anxiety over their autistic son's future. ...Praying with them for hope and joy and fighting for a perspective of God that is bigger than the now. ...Coloring with the littles and opening my home for messy play dates. ...Being willing to have the home where they can come with questions and sit on my barstools and talk for hours (my mom did this well). ...Rallying alongside of the single mothers who are stretched and tired.

That we would be a “House of Prayer”. -God lead the hurting and broken hearts to our door and anoint this home as a haven for the broken. Teach us to pray so that You hear and You come and You heal (souls and bodies).

That I would not be afraid to be “this person” in my community.

That I would love the many children in this neighborhood and see them with God’s eyes. -That I would hope daily in prayer for them to be set free from entitlement and brokenness that plagues our generation and the generations to come.

That I would indeed share the good news with the poor in spirit, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. (Isaiah 61)

That I would help women battling anxiety, despair, depression and feeling so alone walk in freedom and joy. (He gives beauty for ashes, oil of gladness for mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. Isaiah 61)

That there would be an entire generation that are called “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” (Isaiah 61:3) that begin as seedlings at our KWAV’s meetings.

That we would stand in solidarity with the poor, the widows and orphans and people fighting injustice in our local community and be peacemakers (physical and spiritual).

I envision nights of prayer and worship. I envision community meals. I envision multiple discipleship groups for men and women. I envision home groups that are the highlight of everyone’s weeks because they cannot wait to love and be loved. I envision mentoring for teens. I envision families on mission trips together. I envision retreats for soul care and discovery. I envision Jesus changing lives.

Do I feel equipped to live this out?
No. I am a mess. I am a gal who has to breathe out the words, "I trust You" over and over as I endeavor to walk in a path of peace. I am a wife who has to bite her tongue not to criticize. I am a mom who loses patience over and over. I am a selfish neighbor who often just wants to stay inside in my cozies and paint and sew and not talk to anyone. But, I am taking God at His word these days. That He shows up in our weakest moments and I am going to rely on that power to be what I need to take ground this year.

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