This information caught my eye in my Twitter feed because I’d already planned to write about what Hearts at Home is all about. It reminded me of my years as a young mother raising two children and enjoying my role as stay-at-home mom.
Then I watched a favorite animated movie, The Incredibles, again. Her name is Helen Parr, but I always want to call her Mrs. Incredible. When we first meet her in the movie, she’s a superhero fighting injustice using her unique power. “Elastigirl” can stretch her limbs like rubber. Helen marries superhero Mr. Incredible–known in private as Bob Parr–and they raise a family. She loves her husband and three children, Violet, Dashielle and baby Jack-Jack. And after being forced into retirement as a superhero, her focus is on the family.
Helen, You and Me
While Helen hasn’t stopped being a superhero, however, now we can see she’s a lot like us. Look and see:
Helen recognizes that her older two children have already discovered their own powers, not to mention their distinct personalities. Check.
She cares for an infant, which any mother knows is a full-time job, not knowing yet whether he’ll have a super power and if so, what it will be. Check.
Helen cooks meals, cleans house, does the laundry, in short, the everyday chores of a wife and mother. Check.
She worries about them. Dries their tears. Loses patience with them. Offers love and wisdom. She creates as best she can with her husband an environment of security.
Check. Check. Check.
Forget that she can stretch herself. (Literally) Every mother tries to stretch herself, sometimes to the nth degree. What’s great about Helen is she knows not to stretch herself too far. She knows how to be “flexible.” And when push comes to shove for the family, conditions indicate she really is wise. Everything she’s taught her kids about how to survive pays off.
Helen, also like us, doesn’t do everything perfectly. She’s loving and devoted, but she makes mistakes.
How Do We Do It?
My children are grown and have their own kids. Watching them parent and interact with their kids is a lesson to me. I see in retrospect that we women have powers we fail to recognize. I mean, really. Doing laundry for an active six-year old and a six month old who spits up on his clothing ten times a day requires super-stamina.
Listening to your teen’s description of being rejected by the one they hoped would pay attention–that one’s the super-fruit-of-the-Spirit power. (Galatians 5:22,23)
Sit girlfriends down together to share the home hearth’s journey and they’ll all have their stories. With more to come. A mother will always be a mother and even adult children need their tears dried sometimes.
We get to be Mrs. Incredible all over again.
Heavenly Father, I pray for the women who attend the Hearts at Home conference next weekend. Help them discover and unleash the super powers you created in them. Whatever they are. Give them a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit so that they’ll be able to teach their children how to live in that Power as well. Show them how focusing on You, on family and on staying flexible in the journey will bless You and those they love. I also pray it for the mothers reading this. It will be for Your glory. Amen.