oh parenting...part 2: a shout out to "real moms"

after writing about a somewhat negative parenting experience in my last post, i felt a need to talk about something positive in parenting.  i can't help it: i am an optimist through and through...
that being said, i am really thankful for the real moms in my life (the moms in the group i'm a part of at my church called "real moms" and the moms God has graced my life with who are real).

velveteen rabbit kind of real. 

women who mess up but try hard, fall down and get back up (usually with the help of others).  moms who want the best but don't lie about where they fall short.
i'm still a newish mama.  but in the last 2+ years i have been amazed by some of the people God has allowed me to know, whether for a short time or for longer.  i've also realized that many moms i knew pre-mama were way more than i was able to understand before.  more than women whose goal in life was to have babies and be with babies.  there was so much i just didn't get about becoming a mama and so many fears i had stored up that i didn't even realize were there.
and yet, God gave me the gift of being a mother, anyway; fears, misconceptions, inexperience and all.  a real one.  he does crazy things like that, doesn't he?   it's still too much to comprehend.  there have been so many hard days that if you would have told me about them beforehand, i'm not sure i would've signed up.  then again, i was a different person then.  and then again, the glorious, deep and beautiful parts of it all far outweigh the hard that i wouldn't have signed up for.  everything has gotten richer and deeper.  and to think there was a time in life (before motherhood) when i thought i felt so much i would burst.  wow.  i must have burst at some point.
anyway, i know it isn't my designated "thankful mondays" posting time...but i'm really thankful for the real moms (in my small group as well as outside of it) in my life.  aside from being fun, beautiful, smart and godly women, they have encouraged me to no end by just being real.  many of them have more kids than i do but they don't make me feel like i don't get things because of it.  can i just say:  humble moms = breath of fresh, encouraging (literally, courage-giving) air.  they are real about their imperfections but so earnest in their desire to be wives and mamas who give glory to the King and love others well.  none of them are know-it-alls.  and it makes me like them so much more because of it.  i couldn't have made it this far without them.  relationships like these continually remind me why i am convinced that we were made to do life in community with others who are real, as we ourselves brave being real..until all of the pink sateen is rubbed off of our noses.