Celebrate: Motherhood

Today is Mother’s Day.  What does it mean to you?

For me, it is a day that is significant because mothering is what I do now, its the largest slice of my “identity pie” at the moment, and it is the thing that from the moment the journey started thirteen and a half years ago, has caused me the most joy, and the most grief, the most hope and the most questions.  Mothering is a contradiction in every way.  My three children are the most amazing creatures, full of life and passion for life.  They are loving and full of kisses for me at times, and at other times their little mouths yell angry words at me.  They test my boundaries to the point of complete exhaustion, and yet their sweet sleeping faces give me peace like a calm moonlit lake. 

It is in this journey of mothering that I have been taken to places in my soul that I did not know existed.  Places of deep and overwhelming love…love that is so compelling that it causes fear and desperate prayers of protection for my children, for the thought of losing them would break me to pieces.  At other times, my soul has wanted to simply escape… the diapers, crying, loneliness and monotony of raising young children.  I have literally wanted to get in my car and drive away with no plans to return.  Yet, I stayed.   I stayed becasue of the other part of mothering, the part that fills me with purpose and calling and meaning.  The part that makes the insignificant parts of my day, like doing laundry or grocery shopping meaningful, because I am needed.  On rare occasion my children see me cry (simply becasue I am not much of a crier) and I can see their foundation shift just a bit…a little unsteadiness creeps into their face, and I realize that in my composure they find security.  I don’t think as parents we ever realize the impact of the role we serve in our children’s lives.

 I don’t always have composure…my kids will tell you my lack of composure  looks  like yelling, or snapping, or anger.   And that is the other part of my soul that mothering takes me.  That part that I didn’t really want to know was there…irritation, impatience, selfishness, rage.  It is this part that I struggle with the most.  Those pieces of luggage that I carried into motherhood from my past, that I choose to unpack in front of my children at the most emotion filled times–times when I have been stretched to my limit, Jon has been out of town for days, I am overwhelmed with life’s duties, and my children have been fighting with each other, or made a sassy remark to me, or just chose disobedience.  I open the luggage and throw it all over them, and then as I repack it later I am so sad at my inability to keep it all together.  And that is when God whispers deeply into my heart that He is present and able to heal what is broken in me.

 Mothering has taken me to the extremes of myself.  I did not know I had the capacity to love a much as I love my children.  They are the beat of my heart.  I also did not know that mothering would bring me to my knees in total desperation of just not knowing what I’m doing. 

I am convinced, now that it is just God’s perfect plan that we don’t have training for this calling.  He knows it’s challenges, and it’s joys.  It is in this complete surrender of “Help!” that God gives us strength and courage to walk the role of mothering.  A role that calls us to be steady, secure, wise women, yet vulnerable, playful, nurturing, compassionate.  It is a role that calls us to give every last little bit of our physical and emotional selves, and then just a little more.  I have realized that I cannot, cannot, cannot, do it without God in my life.  It is his strength, perseverence, patience, and wisdom that flows through me to my children, when I ask him for it.

I have a favorite place I love to kiss each of my children.  Hannah, on her temple in front of her hairline; Hunter, smack in the middle of his forehead, or on the soft hairy place on the top of his head; Maddie, on her soft cheek…right in the crease of her nose.   They make me laugh like no one else, and fill my life with a sense of meaning and purpose. 

I give you applause, all of you Moms out there.  It is a deep and passionate calling, and a road that is not easily traveled.  But, my friends, travel it with the Lord.  He is the original parent, and he has a lot of challenging children! He is love.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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  1. Nice topic – respect !

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