Perhaps it’s true that the best things in life come in small doses of love.
And that every mama needs a girlfriend (or two), no matter the age – and it’s the sprinkle of friendship that makes life wonderfully rich, and helps you to weather through any storm.
Yeah, there’s no illusion to it: relationships can break you, and people can very well hurt you, but it’s also relationships that will heal you, and love that will mend you.
I remember it now, how I was a recipient of those simple doses of love, those sprinklings of grace.
It was a couple of summers ago. I’d sat down with my girls promising these lovebirds that we’d sew yarns and strip wools into a dolly.
By 10 o’clock, I was lost. I wanted to pull the doll’s hair out and pull my own hair out.
When my husband called me to “let’s get a move on with the rest of our day“, I wanted to scream back for help.
How do you make a dolly out of duty, and multiply talent out of thinning patience, simmering frustration?
Any nice mama can turn a raggedy rag, and yes, wonderful as mothering can be, parenting the young ones can be so intense and highly demanding that no woman should do it alone.
Because no woman’s created to an island and no mama’s called to live a self-sufficient, all insulated life.
I fumbled my way through the yarns and strings, twisted the wools and twirled the strings. Admitting my defeat and confessing my inability, I reached into my pocket. It was just a few digital bits long. I typed the message.
Asking for rescue.
And so she came.
She lives a few houses down my street. Leaving her two teenage kids, she chose to be with my rowdy kids. Leaving her space, she positioned herself to be in my mess.
A couple of years older than me, she is the one with hair always done.
I’d never forgotten her words to me that morning. Untangling my knotted yarns, she unraveled my wrangling heart.
“You know you’d have more time later when the kids are older, right?”
Just that. Nothing spectacular. Nothing spiritual. Her words were finding their way into my exhausted self. Gentle and gracious. Coldwater for my parched lips.
And somehow?, her words did wonders. They relaxed me. And released me. Every tension of having to have waxed away.
Ah, which mum isn’t guilty of that?
Which mum ever felt like there isn’t enough time in a day to get things through? Yeah, we’re pretty hard on ourselves. We put way too much pressure to be the best that we can be, in everything!
But really, we can all put our masks down and truly connect. We’re not called to be Wonder Woman, we’re simply called to be us. The real, raw, honest, and honouring us. We’re called into relationships, into intimacy, and into the beauty of living together transparent, mutually edifying lives.
And we’ll truly flourish when we learn that it’s Love that holds our lives together and Love that cements broken people whole.
Sitting down with that revelation and sifting through what happened those few summers ago – she made way for me to freely reach out to others around me.
Relationships are God-given priorities.
The devil aims to divide and disunite us, but God calls us into His community.
He calls us to be conduits of divine connections, channels of godly compassion.
We could all let someone in and believe in relationships at their best.
We could accept the rawness that messy friendships bring, believing that God’s gelling us for His purpose with His love flowing unhindered.
And to set the record straight, maybe we have been that women who loved people only to be burnt by people.
Maybe we have both scoffed at the idea of having friendships deep and meaningful because we know that raw edges sometimes cut deep and tender?
So all those years ago – I’ve hidden behind busyness, hidden behind achievements, chased after personal ambitions.
So I could keep away.
Keep at arm’s length every relationship that could make me bleed.
Stay professional so you won’t have to deal with emotions.
Keep a mask on, plaster a happy smile and live self-sufficient.
Far easier to hide behind the children and busy self in the kitchen than deal with messy emotion and difficult expectations.
Love — is what hold a people together. Love’s an art and love’s the goal.
But what if pursuing relationships shape us to be cultivators of our community? Because that’s what every woman is. We’re about breaking the isolation and the sense of aloneness that other women might feel to bring the reality and kindness of God in their worlds.
We too, can reach out and touch the lives of the people that we meet, simply with the same small doses of love, lightly with the fragrance of our friendships.
Because this is it – something wonderful happens when we live in love.
Get over the mummy wars – the what, and who, and where. Get over the numbering systems so you can get into the counting of your blessedness.
Feel secure with getting godly advice from others.
Feel at ease being looked deeply by others: be okay with your hair undone and your laundry messy and your soul bare and empty.
Treat others as if they are better than yourself and look into the eyes of your friend and look deep into the abyss of your own heart, and think up to 3 ways they are beautiful as a person.
You’d sure find 3 things: 3 qualities you admire in them, 3 skills you wish to learn from them, 3 ways you can pray for them. Then treat them accordingly.
We can all carry that small doses of love, we can all allow the fragrance of friendships breeze its way over our paths.
We can all break in applause and thank God for the presence of people in our lives, and go, enjoy seeing your heart expand and your souls enlarge!