by Tracey Solomon
The idea in my heart bubbled out through my mouth with passion and excitement. I could tell that the idea was both appreciated and understood. Like a tuning fork I felt the vibration of resonance. Unexpectedly, though, a knot of fear and insecurity built up in my stomach. I knew this idea was bigger than me — possibly even bigger than my experience, position and education. I felt like I’d jumped into the deep end of the pool and I desperately wanted water wings.
Fear and insecurity gushed out: “But, you know, I’m just a mom.” If the idea was a flop, those words were my excuse. They implied, “Don’t expect too much.” If someone else was chosen to carry it out, I had an explanation ready to go: “I’m just a mom. I’m not good enough. Of course someone else should follow through with this.” Or maybe those words were just a way I could share an idea without risking failure or success. Because after all, “I’m just a mom.”
My friend stopped me cold: “You’re not just a mom.” Something in her voice told me she’d understood everything those words meant. My water wings deflated like a popped balloon. I didn’t have a response — I knew she was right. I was both busted and buoyed up — not with water wings — but with encouragement and affirmation. My idea mattered. I had been heard and respected and I was not going to be allowed to sell myself short.
Truth is, I’m pretty good at using “just-a -fications” like this. I’ve used them in ministry, in social settings, business settings, at my children’s schools and in daily life. I’ve used “I’m just a …” phrase in just about every way imaginable.
I spend time protecting myself, explaining myself and discrediting myself, as a mother, a woman and a leader. I’ve even been guilty of doing it at MOPS, even though experience has shown me that MOPS is a place where I can be heard and respected. In fact, it was a MOPS mom who knew what those words had meant. It was a MOPS mom that God used to tell me: “No More.”
Maybe you have something bubbling passionately in your heart. Maybe a dream or a new way to do things, at church, at home or at work. Are you using “just-a- fications” as waterwings to keep you safe instead of learning to swim in the deep end? Are you claiming the “I’m just a mom” exemption from the call that God has on your life?
We need you, we need your ideas. The world needs you. It’s time to give up the “just-a-fications” and simply say: “No More.” Voice an opinion, offer a solution, dream an idea and and together we just might change the world.