Sunday, May 8, 2016
I'd like to share some thoughts on motherhood. I know I've addressed this before, but I can't help but mention a few things regarding Mother's Day. While it is a very special day, I am aware that it also can be a painful day. For many of us, Mother's Day can be shadowed by grief regarding the loss of our own sweet mothers or mother-in-laws, or the longing to be a mother or have more children. I have experienced both. Or perhaps a season of a prodigal child brings pain to "Mother's Day". The Lord has met me in my place of sorrow and longing and He has reminded me that He sees my pain and has given me joy in the midst of it and answered many motherhood prayers. For those in a wounded place this year, I pray you will hear His voice as well.
We are adoptive parents as well as biological, so I have experienced both gifts of motherhood. For those adoptive parents out there, I want to celebrate with you, the special miracle of adoption. It seems normal that we would love our bio children beyond measure. But adoption is this amazing other miracle of loving a child not born to us, just as if they were! In addition to the gift of motherhood, adoption gives us a glimpse of God's love toward us, as He adopted us into His family. He has been faithful over and over and I pray we each feel His presence and peace as we celebrate both our own mothers and the blessing and privilege of motherhood.
As I mentioned, I am one of those "not so fertile Myrtles". For many years, that was understandably a painful part of my life. Then God blessed me with the GIFT of motherhood. He happened to do that through a pregnancy, and gave us our son. ( He could have given me that GIFT through an adoption... but that was to be a later GIFT!).
Having spent many years longing to be a mommy, I milked it for all it was worth. I was in no hurry to potty train. And I nursed him so long, I thought I was going to be nominated to be the president of the Leche League . : ) ... just kidding... it was actually only about a year and a half... a little long, but well within "normal limits". : ) But I knew I might never have the chance again to enjoy this season, so I took it slow. That is still my motto... while I enjoy and celebrate the milestones and growth of my kids, I am in no hurry to see them grow up too quickly. I enjoy them so much, I often wish I could just stop the clock!
I enjoyed every minute ( both the hectic and tranquil) of motherhood, savoring my time with my little guy, not wanting to hurry through any of it. When we began thinking about school, I didn't know just how it worked, but I knew I was going to homeschool. Among other factors, there was no way I was going to miss out on spending all those hours in a day with my child.
The Lord didn't open my womb again, but He did open the door for adoption, and gave us our 2 darling daughters. My cup runneth over! I found myself thanking the Lord for the "gift" of infertility!! As a result of that condition, I have the 2 children that He planned just for me, and they are a perfect fit. For many years, I prayed for the "miracle of healing from infertility", but the Lord had the "miracle of motherhood through adoption" planned for me instead... who knew!? What a good God, and we can trust Him. "For I know the plans I have for you... ".
Like all moms, I have crazy days that seem overwhelming, and I get weary, overwhelmed or side tracked and my joy can be diminished when I lose sight of the incredible blessing and honor of motherhood. On those occasions, when I examine the cause, it usually lies with me. My priorities are askew, and I am not devoting my time to my role of wife and mother. When I seek the Lord, asking forgiveness for allowing myself to become distracted, He restores my vision for my family, helps me reset my priorities to reflect my heart's desire for my family, and renews my strength and my joy. God is always faithful to give us what we need.
And now, here I am in a new season of motherhood. I am a mother-in-law. And I have much to learn before I can write in depth about this new role. But I've already learned that not only does this add a sweet new daughter for me to love (and I do!), it changes my relationship with my son forever, in a way that God designed, so I know I can look forward to the many blessings that will come from this new chapter in our lives.
I am so grateful for the Blessing of motherhood. Sometimes we tell our kids that the hardest day with them, is still waaaaaay better than the easiest day before them. They complete us. I can't imagine my life without my children... each one Hand picked by the Father, and given to us as a treasure to enjoy.
A lifetime won't be long enough.
This familiar article on being a mom is rewritten here by Tracy Klicka (the widow of HSLDA's Chris Klicka,) and adapted to reflect the heart of a Christian, homeschool mom.
We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of starting a family.
“We’re taking a survey,” she says half-jokingly. “Do you think I should have a baby?”
“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.”
But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.
I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.
I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.
That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.
I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish clothes and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mommy!” will cause her to drop her best crystal without a moment’s hesitation.
I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. I hope she decides to become a stay-at-home mom so she can savor every moment of motherhood. Those moments will become some of the richest treasures she will ever have on this earth.
She may choose to continue working, however, and arrange for childcare, but if she does, one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home just to make sure her baby is all right.
I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five-year-old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at a fast-food restaurant will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and customers talking all around, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.
Every decision she makes regarding the well-being and safety of her child will somehow feel like the most important decision she has ever made. However decisive she may be anywhere else, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.
Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.
That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but she will also begin to hope and pray for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her children accomplish theirs.
I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor, a visible trophy of motherhood.
My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, too, but not in the way she thinks.
I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who walks a fussy baby in the wee hours of the night, who never hesitates to play with his child and who kisses his children goodnight.
I think she should know that she will fall in love with him all over again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.
I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing her child learn to ride a bike or hit a baseball. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time.
I want her to feel the joy so real it actually hurts.
My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say.
Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter’s hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the women who will find their way into this most wonderful and holy of callings.
“Motherhood,” attributed to Dale Hanson Bourke, Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul; adapted by Tracy Klicka MacKillop, 2013
Visit HERE for a previous post on Motherhood, sharing two beautiful poems by Edgar Guest.