of wall-jumpers: launching a new series

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I’ve written recently about the sticky error of comparing ourselves to others. But it must be said that I am often encouraged in what a commenter on this blog recently called “the good and messy and crazy fight of motherhood” by engaging in another kind of comparison. It’s comparison-that-hopefully-leads-to-emulation.

This past autumn was a hard season for me. I was expecting my third child, feeling exhausted all of the time, and crippled by constant sciatic pain. Getting around Oxford (of all the lovely places) with two little children and no car in such a state was often challenging. My mother lives on another continent and I did not expect her to make it for the baby’s birth. I was feeling sorry for myself and, I am sorry to tell you, I was complaining a lot. Then I heard from a blog reader. This girl, also with two little kids, was   about to have her third child. In Senegal. Where the weather was daily over 100 degrees (38 C). I was feeling a little regretful and nervy about having the baby on this medical system (at one of the world’s top hospitals, two miles away). She was about to undertake an exhausting journey to Dakar, the nation’s capital, to reach a hospital there. She never said a word of judgement or comparison, she just identified with me and thanked me for writing! But I was so challenged by it–by her. God used her uncomplaining obedience to convict my heart.

Noting our two different situations side-by-side provided some very helpful perspective for me. Not just a could-be-worse, could-be-harder kind of mentality but a reminder that, as Psalm 18 puts it, “by my God I can leap over a wall.” It helps to see some wall-jumpers in action.

Christian mommas, what we all really want to do is follow Jesus. And he leads us each on different paths. Not every one is led so far afield. But living and mommying away from home, minus (all) extras, can focus our lens on what’s really important. It can give us a much more biblically grounded vision for motherhood than we had before we left.

I’ve asked this mommy in Senegal, and several others I know that are like her, to be part of a series on this blog. They each graciously agreed to answer some questions for me despite being in busy and challenging seasons. There isn’t one of them that thinks of herself as anything special–but they were all eager to share about Christ’s sufficiency in their circumstances. The answers have mostly come in and I’ve been so blessed–and challenged–by their words. I’ll be putting up an interview every five days for a bit. Would you read them? Would you sit down and really read them? If you would, please pray for these faithful, hardworking mommies and leave a comment to let them know it if they’ve encouraged you.

First up: Cara, in Senegal . . .

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13 Responses to of wall-jumpers: launching a new series

  1. Erin says:

    I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say. I know it will be encouraging- and probably challenging. I feel fortunate to know both you and Cara and can easily say your written words (and time spent with you) have been an encouragement for me in this journey.

  2. therigneys says:

    Jumping up and down in my seat I’m so excited about this! Cara spoke at our MOMS group a few years back, but unfortunately, I missed it and didn’t get to hear about her life in Senegal. Can’t wait to read her post. Awesome, awesome, awesome idea, B!

  3. erinthicks says:

    I’m really excited about this. What a wonderful source of encouragement. You are my wall-jumper, Bets. xoxo

  4. Mert Tabbut says:

    Betsy, this sounds exciting. I have been so busy with school that I got behind following your blog. You have been doing some great things. Will look forward to this new venture. I have had guest writers on my blog before, but never have done interviews. Good idea.

  5. Kay Lynn says:

    I am looking forward to this, too. I can’t figure out how exactly I landed on this blog a year or so ago (maybe a Wheaton connection??), but it has been a source of encouragement in my early months of motherhood. Thank you!

  6. Liz says:

    LOVED it! Read Cara’s post first and then this one. Betsy – you are amazing!! Love you my “across the ocean” friend.

  7. teamtabb says:

    YES! I love this idea! Brilliant. One of the few things in my life that really sharpens my spiritual focus while mothering is interacting with overseas moms — I can’t tell you how much Cara, Courtney, so many others have ministered to me in this way by sharing their faithful care for their children and the delight (often in hardship) that an increased knowledge of God brings as they do it. It looks like I’m on the Global Outreach team back home to serve them, but honestly, I feel that they end up serving me more, spiritually, by sharpening my focus. Looking forward to this.

  8. Peggy says:

    Just read the first two interviews and prayed for these dear families. Thanks for the inspiring posts, Betsy!! I am eager to hear of your next step plans..so be in touch and know we love you and are praying for your family! Love you!

  9. Kristen Broughton says:

    Love this!

  10. Melissa says:

    I know I don’t know you, but I found this blog from a recommendation from a friend of a friend. This particular series has completely encouraged me and meant a lot to me. I’ve read these interviews over and over. I too serve overseas and am a mom. I see similar themes in their lives that I am dealing with. I’m so thankful God put it on your heart to write/include this. I’m thankful for the lives of all these women and how they have been used to bless me.

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