Written by Mindy Cariker Wiggins
In some capacity, I have always been a writer.
Journals, short stories, articles for the school paper, letters to loved ones — all of those opportunities to write preceded the devotional books I write now.
But, I have not always been a mother.
When I began trying to write and to be a mother to my children, there was instant conflict and guilt. I have medically fragile children who need a tremendous amount of care and attention. How could I possibly do the thing I felt God had called me to do and still be a parent who knew her children and was known by them?
As I continued to pray and struggle with this, I felt God whispering to me “Take a little time to write about your children!”
It seemed to me an odd idea — one I certainly did NOT have time to do — but I decided to give it a week or two. I hoped it would make a difference.
So, I began observing my children — as their mother, yes, but also as a writer. Instead of seeing things as a mother would when my son ran through my house naked while we were entertaining some very important guests, I saw him as a writer would. He was the epitome of fearlessness and joy! How I needed more of that in my own life. I wrote that down.
When my daughter wrote her newest poem on the wall in her bedroom instead of on the brand new notebook I had given her, I reacted as a writer. I hung a frame around her beautiful efforts. What urgency she felt to jot down some of her most important thoughts! When was the last time I felt such urgency to write? I wrote that down.
When both of my children were hospitalized at the same time with very serious conditions, I noted their smiles and patience for everyone. They were in such pain, but they chose to exhibit kindness to those around them — even the ones who seemed to inflict pain with shots and IVs and blood draws. How would I have behaved in that situation? I wrote that down, too.
As I wrote about my children, I realized I was getting to know them so much better. I was so proud of who they were becoming! They were amazing! How had I missed all of the wonderful things God had created in them?
And as I wrote about my children, I realized I was getting to know the mother they saw so much better, too. I was not proud of who she had been, but I understood that she was becoming a much better mother as she truly saw and then wrote about her children. I was becoming patient and understanding. I was learning kindness and generosity. My creativity was rejuvenated. I began to feel as though I was really living as the person God created me to be.
So if there is a moral to this story, it would simply be this — I will never get it all right. I will never find a perfect balance between writing and motherhood. I pray that what I write helps someone else on a similar journey to have just a little more hope. But I don’t write only to change others.
I write so that God may continue to change me.
Mindy Cariker Wiggins is a Christian speaker and author of the devotional books What God Is Teaching Me and Where God Is Leading Me. A former music teacher, she now spends her days as a homeschool mom and foster mom. She and her husband, along with their two children, make their home in northeastern Oklahoma.