Honoring Motherhood

By Sammie Gallo, Guest: Taylor Zimmerman

Motherhood is hard. And all the mamas said, “Amen.” Last month as I celebrated Mother’s Day with my own family, in our own season of life, I was reminded that all mamas are walking through things with their families in their own seasons, that may require more or less demands than they are prepared to give. Motherhood has been one of the most beautiful journey’s of my entire life – but also one of the most challenging and sanctifying.

Motherhood requires every ounce of us. As soon as we sit down, the baby cries. As soon as we stand up, the milk spills on the floor. We try to finish just one task before the day is done, despite all our children’s best efforts to thwart it.

The demands of attending to small people are often mind-numbing. The pressures of decision-making, disciplining, and discipling are never-ending. The challenge of doing something we’ve never done before, only to see it change just as we get the hang of it, is enough to make us a little crazy.

And… add on top of that – managing working and living out other callings in your life (i.e. professional development, marriage, serving in capacities outside the home!) can seem downright impossible. 

Motherhood is so complex. It brings out a host of sins we never knew could come from our hearts, never knew could be expressed in such horrific ways. It exposes how deeply we prefer our lives and how desperately we try to preserve them.

What if God intended motherhood to be hard—for a holy purpose?

What if God, in his wisdom, ordained this particular hard for you? This strong-willed child. This lopsided marriage. These sleepless nights. This lack of support. This many kids in these many years. These limits, these parameters. This distinct motherhood.

What if, in his kindness, God ordained this particular hard to expose a particular sin? Maybe a root of bitterness. An unwillingness to forgive. A preference for self. A tendency toward list-keeping, entitlement, and pride. A sin that is keeping you from enjoying fellowship with him, separating you from his life-giving presence.

At the end of the day, the last thing any of us want to do is face our sin. We’ve given more of ourselves than we ever thought possible, and we resist giving into the gentle nudge over our latest outburst. It’s easier to disengage, to check our phones than let our hearts be checked on by Him. We’d rather do one more load of laundry than pause to consider the sinful roots digging into our hearts that God desperately is wanting us to hand over to Him.

I believe that in His mercy and goodness, God ordained this hard for you, not simply to expose this sin…but primarily to magnify His grace. God never intended for sin to have the last word. “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20b). His grace must become increasingly greater, increasingly more valuable to us as we journey on this road of motherhood. We need to live convinced that nothing good can come from us unless we abide in Christ. No good fruit will be produced in us or through us unless the Spirit is thriving within us. 

I asked my friend, Taylor Zimmerman, who is about to be due with her first baby, to share with us a little about what it’s been like to dig into what God says about motherhood, pregnancy, life, and all the things. I think it’s beautiful to see different people’s perspectives and what they are learning in their own relationship with the Lord. My hope is that this authentic and real conversation will bring you a new perspective about moms (and all that the title entails).

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Sammie: Let’s start off with a deep question 🤣How has pregnancy changed the way you view life (I.e. creation)? Have you struggled with body image at all and how have you combated them? 

Taylor: Pregnancy has changed the way I view life in maybe the most obvious way, but truly before I never really appreciated or fully grasped the miracle of it. Now that I am growing a child in my body and feeling her kick and turn and hiccup it is the most surreal experience. I really have never related to the “miracle” that babies are until I was pregnant myself. It just doesn’t even make sense sometimes. Like how are they drinking fluid? Or how is she able to hear my voice and recognize it when she comes out? It’s just such a wild miraculous experience and I think it has just made me appreciate and have a greater awe for God. 

Sammie: What is one thing you think the Bible emphasizes about motherhood (I.e. how does God speak about women and their roles?) 

Taylor: I have 10000% struggled with body image throughout this process of being pregnant. Body image is something I struggled with a little before being pregnant but I have grown a lot in that area. Being pregnant adds a whole layer to it that I wasn’t really prepared for. There are days where I’d say I’m pretty just like blah to my body. I don’t care to think about how it looks or look at it. There are other days where I really don’t like all the changes that are happening and seeing a 30 lb weight gain on the scale at the doctor’s office makes me feel really self conscious. Then there are days where I am proud of all this body is doing and love my bump and think it’s so cute. It’s a rollercoaster but on my bad days I just try to remind myself that I am carrying the miracle I talked about above and it’s a blessing that my body can be used in that way. Yes, all the changes are sometimes hard to handle but I think it’s just made me learn to love my body even more, and love my body when it doesn’t look exactly how I want it to. It’s still a great body, and a body that God created and I’m thankful for that.

Sammie: How have your own mom (and mother figures) influenced your faith in Jesus and how do you look forward to parenting your own baby? 

Taylor:  I think my own mom has majorly influenced my faith in Jesus. Being raised by a single mother I was always impressed by her faith. No matter what was happening in our life my mom quite literally never doubted that God was going to make a way for it to work out. Now I know that sometimes that meant someone anonymously paying our mortgage, or paying for me to continue to do gymnastics but truly so many times when I was worried I would look to my mom and she never wavered in her trust of the Lord. It’s something I want to carry into motherhood myself, there are so many things that are out of my hands with this child and I think continuously being able to surrender and believe that the Lord is going to make a way for whatever he wants to happen is all I need. Not only does that take the heavy burden off of me but it also will just continue to help myself and my husband live with open hands especially when it comes to being parents. 

Sammie: What fears do you have about motherhood? 

Taylor: One of the fears I have about motherhood is that I just won’t be a good one. To put it frankly 😂 I put a lot of pressure on myself to do everything the “right” way and I think a fear of mine is that maybe I’m actually not cut out to be a mom. 

I think wrestling with this before I got pregnant was something I really struggled with even when wrestling with the idea of when to start a family. I just kept thinking maybe I’m not really qualified to be a mom, or maybe I just don’t have those motherly instincts. I will say I’m not someone who has always had this deep longing to become a mom, I’m not your typical obsessed with kids girl who just loves babies and babysitting and all things kids. I think because of that I just felt like unless I was that way I wasn’t really supposed to be a mom. I think even before I got pregnant the Lord really affirmed in me that he has given me the approval of being a mom and that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. The amount of comments I’ve gotten about “I can’t imagine you having  a kid” or “I can’t wait to watch you with a baby” has happened way too many times to count and I think it’s because I’m just not your typical “mom” vibe. I don’t know how to totally explain it. What I do know is that God called me to it, has equipped me to be a mom, and his opinion is the only one that matters! 

Sammie: How do you think motherhood will sanctify you in your own relationship with the Lord?

Taylor: I feel like becoming a mom and just experiencing motherhood as a whole is going to be a sanctifying process. From childbirth to the newborn days to sending them off to their first day of school I can imagine all the times I will literally have nothing left in me and will need Jesus to pick me up. I think it will bring a new understanding of reliance on God and will continue to just deepen my relationship with him. With anything new I think that there’s a deeper need for his guidance and I’m hoping that motherhood is a beautiful journey of just continuing to know him more, love him more, and rely on him more! 

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Motherhood is meant to magnify His Grace- what a gift it is. No matter where you are in your journey, I pray that you would feel His grace magnified. Hug a mom that you know. Grab them an extra iced coffee when you’re out. Speak words of life over them.

Sammie graduated from Robert Morris University in 2017 with a background in biology and psychology and started working with Anglicans for Life (AFL) in 2017. In addition to her work with AFL, she spent 3 years going into public schools with the Women’s Choice Network, speaking to high schoolers about healthy relationships and sex education. She has a passion for making sure every teenager, parent, and youth leader is equipped, engaged, and encouraged to have Gospel-centered conversations regarding relationships, sexuality, and life issues.

Sammie married her best friend, Juan Gallo, in May 2019. During her free time, she and her husband invest in teenagers and young adults in their community, and disciple their two kids, Ofie and Leo. They’re expecting their third baby in August of 2024! Sammie is also a Registered Nurse (RN) and works as an Emergency Medicine RN.

Taylor and her husband Ryan are expecting their first baby this month! Join us in praying for them as they begin their journey as parents.