Interview... Megan Landreth-Smith

Hi Megan, thanks for joining me!  Please could you introduce yourself and your role at the NPI? 

Hello! Yes I live in the West Sussex countryside with my family. My husband Joseph and my two kids: Moses who is 18 months and Heppy who has just turned 4! I joined the NPI almost two years ago now and am the social media lead! 

When did you become a Christian?            
I was bought up in church, but it wasn’t til 18 that I had my first true encounter with God that really marked and changed me. I was on a gap year in Kenya and I realised on arriving and being alone and in a new environment that I was insecure, uncertain and had no idea who I was. I called my parents asking to get me on a return flight immediately and I remember my Mum saying ‘talk to God, it will be okay’. I remember thinking how many times I had heard that and I thought it was so empty! What could God really do? Well…that night however with nothing else to lean on and feeling completely alone, on the bottom bunk in the tea fields of Limuru in a pitch-black room, I said ‘God if you’re real, you have to do something!’. To my surprise, I heard the audible voice of God say my name. He just said ‘Megan’. I sat bolt upright in bed in complete shock as there was no one else in the house I was staying in. I could go on and on in the story, but the tone of His voice in the way He said my name was all I needed to hear. I had grown up believing God was cross with me, wagging his finger from a distance with a frown on His face.  I realised He was full of love, kind, and gentle and had been waiting for me to come back to Him. Over the next few months and years, I saw my life completely 180! I am very thankful!
What does your faith look like in your day to day as a Mum?  Have any parts of your faith become more significant since being a Mum?
Wow! Before having kids my time with Jesus looked like hours of soaking in a room with worship music on, a hot cup of tea and a locked door. 
There is definitely a lot less of that but I do believe it has evolved and deepened in ways I may not even recognise right now. 
My faith may not be as wild in expression as it had once been - I may not be travelling the lengths of the world rescuing girls from brothels like I once was, but God made it really clear to me one night when Heppy was a newborn and I was crying in a pit of sleeplessness and a healing body postpartum and asking Him ‘how on earth will I ever love the orphan again or be a missionary when I’m struggling here?’ And he clearly said to me ‘are you saying Heppy is not enough?’  
I’ve found it’s easy for us to determine what is pleasing to Him. To say he valued my time abroad more than my time here as a mother, however mundane that sometimes may seem is not true. My kids are enough, and I don’t want to miss that. And it’s my job to bring Jesus here to our home, to invite him into everything and watch them flourish.  
I would highly recommend the book ‘Domestic Monastery’- a very short and digestible book.  it made me realise that truly each and every moment with my kids is an invitation to knowing him. And it is one of the greatest places to learn the attributes of Jesus, patience, kindness, and gentleness.  
So my faith has grow I believing that He delights in us. And that family life truly is the heart of God. 
How has becoming a Mum been different or similar to what you imagined?
I had nannied a lot before I became a parent and if I’m totally honest, I thought I would have parenting DOWN! Then along came Heppy, my breastfeeding was not how I’d imagined it at all in my head and I was SO overwhelmed?! She was losing weight and choosing to exclusively pump for her I was losing who I was too. I had made motherhood harder for myself through the unhealthy expectation I had put on myself. I didn’t know about the postpartum sweats or the hormones being all over the place. But in the midst of that, I had never felt love like it. I don’t think there’s anything to sum up motherhood, it’s beautifully messy but I wish the first time I had been kinder to myself. It’s easy to want to keep up appearances but the truth is the mum sitting next to you is probably struggling with something too! 
Please could you pass on any encouragement to any new Mums out there?
Run your own race. Our worlds now exist a lot on social media platforms and levels of comparison are probably at an all-time high. In front of our faces are the mums feeding without issues, mums with devotionals open at 4am as their kid's sleep, and families laughing and playing on the beach together on a weekend.
No family is free of struggle. Keep your eyes on your family. Find out what matters for your family. You are the best person for the job. 
I know when I started out I just wanted someone to tell me I was doing a great job. I didn’t need someone to recommend another book or another product I could buy, I just needed someone to say WELL DONE! YOU ARE A GREAT MUM! So if you need that encouragement today take it! And communicate with your person or partner what you need. I heard this once and found it useful- do you need me to fix it, or do you need me to listen. And listen was often what was needed!
Thanks for sharing your story, Megan.  We love having you as part of team NPI! 

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