Have you ever played that ice breaker where you write down three truths about yourself and one lie, and people have to guess the lie?* It’s a game about reading people and making assumptions about them, their likes and dislikes, their upbringing, their values – essentially their CORE.
1. I’m a Capricorn
2. I have 2 siblings
3. I was in the Army Reserve
4. I loved maths at high school.
Or did you ever play along with Tony Barber on Sale of the Century as he asked – Who Am I?
- I was born out of wedlock.
- I grew up in a poor family.
- I became a teacher.
- I spent my life pleasing my Father.
- I died young after a questionable trial.
Who Am I? ………………………………………….. Jesus of course!
A person’s core or innermost being can differ according to who is asking. To a doctor or surgeon, our CORE is medical: our beating heart, our pumping blood, a scientific mass of nerves, veins and organs. To an employer, our CORE might be our work ethic: honesty, reliability, punctuality, ability and willingness to perform tasks. To our children, our CORE is our mother’s heart: that maternal instinct of love, care and protection that can only come from being a mother. Where does it come from and how do we get it?
Shelly Radic explains in her book ‘Momology – a mum’s guide to shaping great kids’ that a mum can find the following from her resilient core:
Strength to deal with challenges.
Discernment for making decisions.
Self-control to manage behaviours.
Humility to ask for help.
Self-regard to do something for herself.
Flexibility to deal with change.
Gratitude to express thanks and appreciation.
Adaptability to manage conflict and stress.
Determination to use her influence.
Authority to create a sustainable community.
Integrity to live her beliefs.
I’d like to add one more…
Confidence to perform all of the above!
Phew – I’m exhausted just reading all that, let alone living it on a nonstop basis. As mums we often feel like we’re already required to be superwomen in order to tackle our endless to-do lists, and we only have a limited amount of time to do everything in. But our CORE is central to who we are as women and as mothers, and it also influences our children. Developing a resilient CORE is more important than many of the items on our to-do lists.
Consider an apple. Apples come in many different colours, shapes, varieties, tastes and textures, but they’re still all apples. They all have a core, but each one is influenced by many things. Temperature, water, fertiliser, pests, nutrients… all these things shape the apple over its life. We too as mothers are shaped by many influences during our lives that ultimately have an effect on our CORE. And our CORE in turn helps us shape and influence our children on their journey. Shelly Radic opens her book with a scenario that demonstrates how we often find ourselves acting, sounding, responding and behaving like our own mother, much to our shock and surprise (or horror)! But this is good news. It reinforces to us that our mothering definitely matters and everything we say and do is having an influence on our children’s lives. This may seem initially scary, but when we know that “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) and we can trust ourselves to remember it 24-7, mothering becomes exciting and extremely rewarding.
Love & Blessings,
* For the record, I only have 1 sister. The other three are true.