Episode 22

Motherhood Unmasked with Vanessa A. Harris Episode 22 Give Me Grace!

Give Me Grace!

In this real talk “corner woman” edition, I’m talking to you: the weary mom slumped in the ring’s corner between rounds in a fighting match with a pandemic that’s gone on way too long.

Need a strategy for coming out of this fight on top? Then listen in.

And just for you, I put the strategy on a shirt! Get it here.

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Episode 22 Transcript

In a year where you’re more stressed than you could ever imagine, you’d like someone to cut you some slack, maybe even lighten your load. But instead you find more demands. And heading into a holiday season unlike any before, let’s talk about what will see you through. So I invite you to pull up a chair in my corner of the ring and join me.

Hello and welcome to episode 22 of Motherhood Unmasked. Whether it’s your first time visiting or you’re a regular, I’m so glad you’re here.

Way back in episode 2, I shared about my appreciation for boxing and the role of the cornerman.

How they motivate, yes, but they mostly give tactical advice based on what the fighter is up against.

And there are seasons in life where you need a cheerleader and seasons you need a coach.

But you’ve been in a fight the last several months.

A fight to stay positive, sane, even alive and you didn’t plan to fight this many rounds.

Mama is tired!

So today’s real talk is more like corner talk—a moment to rest and receive strategy before you head back in the ring.

And I hope to be your cornerwoman.

Now, I’m a high achiever by nature and by nurture.

I’m just wired to fight and accomplish. And if you put a hurdle in front of me, you just dared me to fight harder.

And there are times when that kind of tenacity is useful like getting through medical school or working 36 hours on call.

But it’s not the way to function day in day out.

I have an iPhone XR and after the latest update my battery started draining like crazy.

I never had that experience before.

I’d charge it overnight and by 10 am it was in the red!

I’m used to going all day without needing a charge unless I left a bunch of apps open.

So, the first day I thought it was odd and figured it was the update’s fault.

You know how updates initially drain your battery with all the new demands.

Then the second day I figured I must need to turn the phone off for a bit, because that’s a tip I learned before.

But by day three I marched into oir home office to let my husband know the phone needed to be serviced or be replaced.

So after dinner my kind husband took my phone and painstakingly endured all the questions from Debra, the customer service rep, that he already answered in his explanation of the problem.

Everything Debra suggested we had already done.

And then she said “they’re telling me to tell you to reset the phone and don’t worry nothing will be erased.”

First of all I said who is they?

I thought it was just you on the other end, and two “they” always say nothing will be erased but I told my husband I will find her if I lose my contacts or my notes with this reset.

And yes they’re backed up in the cloud but life still happens!

Anyway, during the whole back and forth, my husband mentioned how hot my phone felt.

And I had noticed it before but I thought it was just because I was on it so much and having to charge it so often.

But when I felt it this time—bare with no cover—it was burning up.

So when she assured us again I wouldn’t lose any info on my phone, we did the reset.

Now I did lose some info, but nothing I couldn’t easily replace and everything necessary remained.

The phone was much cooler and after a full charge it’s been working like normal ever since.

As I held the phone, grateful it was fixed, I realized the drama with the phone reminded me of me.

I felt tired—no weary and thinking clearly was a chore!

And I heard a still small voice say you need to reset—just like that battery.

You’re pushing too hard and you need to slow down.

Which was interesting because the whole phone fiasco happened just as I was proofing and getting ready to share my new Abide Devotional at the end of last month.

The timeline between deciding to do it and launching it was tight.

But hey that’s what I do. I’m used to it.

But there’s a thing called a pandemic and three kids distance learning from home and laundry and a house that’s constantly in need of tidying and dinners that need making and shopping to get done and a podcast to produce and oh yeah all this has been going on for months! For MONTHS!

And my battery was running hot and draining fast and it was time for a reset.

Which for me meant posting about the devotional October 1st and then going quiet on social media.

I had to turn other people’s noise and my busyness way down low.

And in the relative quiet that still small voice asked me why I push through so much when there’s help.

And before I could say what help? Who is helping me when we’re all swamped!

The still small voice said my grace is your help.

And I remembered One of my daughters favorite board books as a little girl: Give Me Grace by Cynthia Rylant.

She may or may not still have it in her night stand.

Anyway, The beauty of the book is its simplicity—asking for daily grace for every day life.

And I don’t know about you, but the way people talk about grace can sound so cutesy it doesn’t seem practical for your everyday.

So I asked God to give me a definition that strikes home in these strange times and He gave it to me in the form of an acronym.

Grace is God’s relief against crushing experiences.

You heard it here first folks!

And as I’ve listened to frustrated students, exhausted teachers and helpless mothers I hear the weight of the crushing and the fight to push through.

But we all need grace—that unearned supply, kindness and favor.

We’ve always needed it, but 2020 made us aware of it by bringing us to the end of ourselves. Our batteries are running hot and we need a reset.

So in this last episode of season 2, I figured I’d do a COVID 2020 podcast version of Give Me Grace asking for help for your every day reality.

To the teacher forced to teach in person, risking the health of those present in class and loved ones at home while struggling to connect with, much less teach, students learning through a screen—may God give you grace.

Relief from the anxiety of maintaining a sanitized and successful classroom environment.

Relief from the fear you’re endangering your health and those you love.

Relief from the guilt of falling short of your personal standard—to give EVERY student your best.

And relief from the overwhelm of endless emails, software mishaps, late night grading and complicated lesson planning.

May God give you strategies to help you teach with excellence and ease—even under the circumstances.

To the student learning in school while looking over their shoulder for COVID…

And to the student learning from home waiting to be seen by the teacher…

May God give you grace.

Relief from the pressure to remember to mask, sanitize, stay 6 feet apart and ALL the things distracting you from the learning you’re there to do.

Relief from feeling like a second class student while you watch your teacher engage your peers in the classroom, your virtual hand raise long unnoticed.

May God give you peace and focus you’ve never known and the assurance He sees you and will provide everything you need to succeed.

And to you, the mom struggling to maintain health, home and harmony—with your kids and their teachers.

To you, the mom working full time and working to ensure your child is learning despite impossible conditions.

To you, the mom switching your child to in person learning amid exposure concerns because her child is failing at home.

May God give you grace.

Relief from the overwhelm through an understanding community hearing you out even if they can’t physically help you out.

Relief with strategies for creating self-care moments throughout the day like 5 minute journaling sessions complete with emotion dumps and expressions of gratitude or reading a quick devotionals or enjoying the relax app on your smart watch.

Relief in the form of favor with your boss who understands and supports you having to frequently check on your child leaning from home.

May God give you peace that doesn’t make sense but convinces your soul that for every question, He is the answer.

Because if you’re like me and you look back at the end of every day amazed by all you did—whether you wanted to or not—you KNOW it’s not because you’re a top prize fighter!

You are WHO you are and did WHAT you did by the grace of God.

By God’s relief against crushing experiences.

So remember that next time you’re up against the ropes and feel like you’re done.

Like you can’t take one more day of having to be “on” for everyone else.

There’s grace for that.

God has relief to come against what’s crushing you.

He’ll give you enough for that day, but you have be open to receive and ask Him for it because He’s a gentleman.

And when you need more grace ask God again—He’s got plenty.

I’m taking His grace in the form of a break til the end of the year.

And with the strange twist to the holidays this year it’s the perfect time to pull back and recover before heading into whatever 2021 has in store.

But let’s stay connected on Instagram @motherhoodunmaskedpodcast, on Vine Life Faith where I post weekly

prayers and in your inbox for encouragement and first dibs on all the new products and resources.

You can find out more about all I just said at vinelifefaith.com/podcast.

And as you round out the year trying to make sense of lessons learned and dare I say “plan ahead” for the coming year, give yourself grace.

Take breaks between rounds and recharge before you get back in the fight.

Keep doing the best you can—whatever that looks like in the moment and remember, when it comes to you being the mother of your children—YOU are the woman for the job. Take care.