Her passion and faith have encouraged me in my walk with the Lord more than she may realize, and I’m constantly uplifted by the Light and revelation that shines through her. Today, Carmen talks about the ways in which she is still growing as a Mom, the dark valleys of loss and post-partum depression, and filling up when depleted. Carmen, thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your life in words.
How many children do you have? I have two children.
How old are your children? I have a daughter about to turn 8, and a son who just turned 2 years old.
Are you a mom of boys, girls, or both? Both.
How are you still growing as a Mom?
My growth as a mother is an unending project. It truly feels like I’m on the Potter’s wheel and as soon as I think I’m becoming something sort of alright, down I go! And fast! The times that I feel like I am making the most strides and getting a good grip on parenting my children, something will quickly prove me wrong.
I think the area I have grown in most recently is remembering my true audience: God. It’s a challenge, but I’m committed to pleasing God more than my children. I told my daughter, “You may not like me at times, but what matters to me is that I make God proud, even if I have to do the hard things.”
How has God seen you through a “dark” period in Motherhood?
God saw me through too many dark times to count, but the darkest one was definitely when we lost a pregnancy before having my son and the post-partum period (PPD) after our son was born – over a two year period.
We endured a “missed miscarriage” so after I had the tell-all ultrasound that showed no heartbeat, I continued carrying the baby for over a week before my body realized it was time to let go. That interim period was so physically and emotionally dark, but my soul remained thirsty and grateful.
After my son was born (a year and 3 days after that traumatic ultrasound’s date) I went through PPD. It took me over a year to realize it, but I was teaching full-time and dealing with separation anxiety coupled with physical exhaustion (he did not sleep through the night until he was 11 months old.)
My body felt like it was going to shut down and I really felt like my mind was not even my own. BUT GOD! If not for the protection and provision of Jesus, I truly would not have made it out of that abyss.
How do you fill up when you’re depleted?
When I feel depleted I honestly have to remind myself that all I need is found in Jesus.
I HAVE TO remind myself that He’s within me and when I need ANYTHING He is ready and willing to provide. If I feel unappreciated, I turn to Him and talk about it. When I feel weary, I cast my cares on Him. When I’m lacking my own space/time to just think and be in peace with Him, I remind myself that He is peace in the middle of my chaos. He is the calm in the crowd.
Usually whatever is lacking in my life, God shows me that I’ve been negligent in that same area with Him and He brings me back to my First Love to be refilled.
I am all the more grateful for the women (like Carmen) who have chosen to join me on this journey of transparency and support – ESPECIALLY in addition to the life adjustments and loads we are all experiencing in the midst of COVID-19! I can’t thank you enough.
Connection and support are vital to our growth and survival as humans and as Women. I have met many Mothers (myself included at one point) who are going through the trenches and carrying loads solo. This has often led to depression, loneliness, isolation, and such guilt and shame in “not measuring up”.
My prayer is that the women who lay eyes on “Our Life in Words”, will be encouraged, enlightened, and all the more hopeful.
For the Moms,
This series is for the Moms! In honor of Mothers, this May will be chock-full of real stories of Motherhood from Moms of all ages, in all stages. Join me as I feature different Moms (on a weekly basis) who will so graciously be sharing their life in words.
If you missed the previous feature, catch it here! Stay tuned for more stories of triumph, valleys, faith.
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2 thoughts on “For the Moms – “Our Life in Words” with Carmen O. Callender”
Very fun series. I love that she reminds us that God is our true audience!
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That was a solid reminder for me too! Thanks for your feedback Collene!