For the past 11 years of my life, coffee shop conversations and after church chats have always centered around the topic of children. We can't help it, us moms. Our tribe is our 24/7. What else would we talk about?? Inevitably, another mother will often share such things as, "I've known forever that I wanted to be a mom" or "I could never see myself doing anything else but being a mom."
You can't quote me saying those words. The thought of being a mother didn't cross my mind until my early 20's. As a young college student, my pea-brain was a bit consumed with thoughts and ideas about studies, traveling, friends and a future career. And, my heart was closely tied to those things that I thought were oh-so-important. Looking back on that period of my life, I must have just thought that I would wake up one day and hear the voice of God streaming in through the window with the sunshine announcing my vocation to me. So, there was no need to ponder it all. Pea brain, pea brain.
The summer before my sophomore year at K-State, my brother Steve and his wife Julie had a baby girl. They named her Lauryn. The anticipation of her birth brought about feelings of excitement that I had never experienced before. Feelings that resonated so deep in my soul that they were like ribbons wrapped around my heart pulling me toward this new little life. It was then that I recognized that I wanted to be a mother. The first moment I held Lauryn God spoke to my heart and I knew that one day I would hold my own first born....
Fast forward 15 years, and I am immersed in the miracle of 5 precious living breathing (booger picking, dirt digging, sports crazed, and very strange noise-making) souls. They are the tangible reality of that moment that I experienced years ago, the moment I felt God breathe motherhood into my very being. (Thank goodness he spared me visions of the nitty-gritty or I would not be typing this or come running to the name Mommy.)
Every day, I am in awe of the love and strength God has woven into the nature of mothers. Because I realize how very weak my will can be and how narrow my understanding is of God's great design for our family, it is only by grace that I am able to love, to give of myself, and to recognize the beauty - even in the imperfections - of our family. Isn't it funny how the sweetness of messy hair mornings in jammies wrinkled warm and rosie cheeks can cast a shadow of forgetfulness over yesterday's boxing matches, broken vases, muddy boots and other mishaps?
St. Catherine of Sienna once said:
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.
We all know that it takes but the smallest spark to ignite the biggest fire. While sometimes I feel that my flame is very small, the fire I hope to create is one of love. And I desire for that fire of love to burn brightly in my children, because when I look at them, I not only see our Lord, I see a marvelous vision of the light they will be for the world - not a distant glow, but a brilliant fire of God's love.
To all the mom's out there who may be reading this - no matter who you are, where you've been or hope to be, take heart in knowing, in believing, that God, who has done a great work in you will see it to completion! I will offer prayers for you this Mother's Day, prayers for continued strength to keep up with your tribes, good health, fortitude in difficulties, and peace in your hearts and in your home. May you be blessed beyond measure!
Happy Mother's Day!!
One of my favorite songs about motherhood:
You Cannot Lose My Love