Real Life Mamas: Stephanie Cunningham




What does it look like to live life to the fullest in motherhood?


Thriving/ verb/ to prosper or flourish/ to grow or develop well or vigorously.


I feel like this idea of thriving gets tossed around a lot these days. The question is posed a lot: how can I not just survive as a mom but thrive? While I think striving for more than ordinary is worthwhile, I also think that thriving can turn into a sort of magical unicorn high we are trying to chase, where we are exuberant, joyful, and have all the things we want (you know, like obedient children and clean houses...hah!). And then we feel disappointed when we don’t achieve that.


Often in my search for thriving I’m tempted to think that thriving cannot come while I’m keeping tiny humans alive. That it will have to wait until they’re out of the house. What I wish I knew going into parenting is that these years are not a black hole. They’re not void of usefulness. I am not paused. I am not waiting through these years to get to the other side of them. These years, these mundane days, are purposeful and meaningful.


What I’m learning as I change diapers, navigate sleepless nights, ask for forgiveness yet again for losing my temper IS the purpose. It’s humbling to think that God made me a mom not because I’m to raise up children and train them in righteousness (though I am), but also for my own sanctification.


“The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process than it is a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart-and-life change is always a process. And where does that process take place? It takes place where you and I live everyday. You and I live in little moments, and if God doesn’t rule our little moments and doesn’t work to recreate us in the middle of them, then there is no hope for us, because that is where you and I live.The little moments of life are profoundly important precisely because they are the little moments that we live in and that form us. You see, Jesus is Immanuel, not just because he came to earth, but because he makes you the place where he dwells. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life.

In these small moments, he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness. By sovereign grace, he places you in daily, little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom, and grace so that you will seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. So, we wake up each day, committed to live in the small moments of our daily lives with open eyes and humbly expectant hearts.”


While I might be tempted to think that thriving looks more elaborate than it does, I can rest knowing that Immanuel is rescuing me from myself and with me in the mundane. That He is vigorously developing me into the fullest version of myself in motherhood. My part is to unclench my fists from around my dreams of “more” on the other side of parenting, and open them to Him to satisfy me in the now.


Quote from Paul Trip: Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones