I'm lucky to have so many amazing Mama Bear friends in my life, and am thrilled to kick off the MAMA BEAR SPOTLIGHT SERIES with a real good one -- Rebekah Gough. Let me brag on Rebekah for a second because she is one talented, strong, wise woman. This Seattle-based jewelry designer and blogger is a mother to 4 of the cutest kids around. (And the fact that she had 4 kids in 5 years earns her several trophies!)
Rebekah recently designed this popular Mama Bear necklace (pictured below) which, of course, I'm all heart-eyes over. She's got a knack for making anything beautiful, cultivating a cozy, well-styled nest, and creating space for the important things in life. She's a true inspiration!
Here's what Rebekah has to say about being a Mama Bear...
IN A SENTENCE OR TWO, WHAT DOES BEING A MAMA BEAR LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
It’s actually taken me a really long time to fully grasp and step into the role of Mama Bear. Obviously, we are all born daughters so that feels like the natural identity to assume in so many aspects. We often take on the role of sister, friend, and eventually wife, even. But the role of a Mama Bear takes deep courage to embrace. It means stepping forward into new leadership with confidence. A fierce and protective spirit and a call to nurturing with grace and passion -- Mama Bears take care of their charges and steward what they have been given with a deep sense of responsibility, pride, and power!
MOTHERHOOD IS STRANGELY POLARIZING IN OUR CULTURE. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GET SUCKED INTO COMPARISON AND NEGATIVITY?
This is such a hard. I have to guard my heart and mind about what others think of me, or rather what I think others think of me, and I have to let go of the “highlight reel” comparison games that are so easy to fall prey to. In this amazing age of social media and instant filters it’s a massive temptation to sit and watch the highlight reel go by online and feel less than, lacking, not equipped to handle what has been given to me to steward. I try to constantly remind myself that I have enough for each task today.
As a friend once told me, when you walk into a room and feel like you’re starting to get pulled down into the fray, you have to mentally move to a different atmosphere and listen to the voice of truth… to rise above the negative insecurity trap into a place of love and grace for yourself and others. Easier said than done but so necessary!
WHEN LIFE GETS CRAZY, WHAT TRUTH OR MANTRA DO YOU ALWAYS COME BACK TO?
Honestly, it’s a daily battle to stay inside the truth of who I am, apart from all the striving and producing. When I get discouraged or feel the pressure that I am not adding up as a mother or a woman I have to just stop and remember who I am. Sometimes I literally have to lock myself in the bathroom for five minutes to get re-centered on my faith in God.
WHAT ARE THE PIECES YOU HOLD ONTO TIGHTEST IN MOTHERHOOD? THOSE NON-NEGOTIABLES YOU PRIORITIZE NO MATTER HOW WILD THE LAUNDRY PILE GETS?
For me it’s the kitchen sink and the kitchen in general. I have four little ones and the kitchen is truly the heart of our home. The house can be the biggest disaster in the world (it usually is) but I always take a few minutes at the end of the day to make sure the sink is neat and tidy so that I don’t have to come downstairs to a sink full of dirty dishes staring at me the next morning. It’s my one thing.
NAME A GREAT MAMA BEAR EXAMPLE.
It’s hard to pick just one because I am inspired and encouraged by so many wonderful Mama Bears in my life. My pastor’s wife, Kim, comes to mind. Kim is a huge encouragement and example to me -- her family moved here to Seattle from Chicago a little over a year ago with a passionate vision to start a multi-cultural church congregation and face racial reconciliation head on. Our church is full of a multitude of races, backgrounds, and walks of life. She inspires and encourages me to be brave in this day and age where it is so tempting to stick with people who are just like us, think like us, and look like us. Instead, she and her husband are leading the charge and together we are learning what it means to have multi-cultural worship and fellowship. It’s been really amazing and truly challenging and every week she gives me a big Mama Bear hug and smile and I find myself feeling stronger and braver in my own role as a woman and mother.
Find out more about Rebekah and her jewelry line here.
Rebekah's family photos by Stacy Bostrom.