Mothering is hard work.
Even on the happy days when no one puts cat food in the washer, showers the kitchen with the sink sprayer or decides to potty train inside the lid to Candy Land (*sigh*).
Mothering is hard work.
It takes countless moments of dying to self, thinking first of others feelings and desires and can often leave you feeling quite defeated at the end of the day. But it doesn't have to.
As the years pass and I look back on the time I've spent being a mother I realize some of the biggest changes have been in myself. What started out as an unknown, unplanned quest has become my lifelong, joy filled adventure. I never expected this to become what filled my heart and planner.
15 years ago I discovered I was pregnant. In the bathroom of my apartment I took two pregnancy tests in hopes the first one was wrong. I had a vision for my future that didn't involve being a mother. Although it was the call I had always had on my heart, this wasn't the right time, the right guy, the right anything.
Everything was topsy turvy in my life, I couldn't possibly embark on this kind of mission.
God used for His glory what Satan set out to destroy me with.
I remember the first time I heard her heartbeat and was elated. This can't be true? There's a person inside of me. And I'm her mama. You could say I had a change of heart that day. An honest, soul clenching, eye opening change of heart.
Fast forward a couple of years and I recall diapers and baby food, bath time and first peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, raking leaves and swinging on swings, hanging up tiny clothes and scrambling only the whites of the egg (the days when the yoke was unhealthy, ha!)
Still at that time I had no vision for the future. I hadn't spent time contemplating how I wanted to raise my daughter, what things I had hoped to dispense to her through the years. I didn't know the importance of prayers covering her at night or church every Sunday morning. I hadn't gained the understanding of how precious a gift I had been given. My mothering was no deeper than bath time bubbles and healthy snacks.
But God saw more.
Through the years I saw trials and made mistakes, big mistakes. Ones that changed my course and left me with nothing but the edge of my bed to cry on. The answer came loud and clear, lean into God and trust Him moment by moment for the needs you have and the future your hand cannot unfold.
He breathed new life into me and every unexpected road I'd found myself on suddenly had a street name. I knew where I was going and I had a map to follow and a travel partner who knew every bend, corner and steep embankment. He didn't care that I'd neglected to graph out my own course, He was simply glad I had decided to unfold the map.
14 years of mothering and the vision for my children, my family is intact. I know what I want to give them, what I want them to stand for, the character I want them to hold tightly to and the ideals I'll earnestly pass down to them.
Although there'll never be a day I say, "Eureka! I've arrived." The Lord's given me this story to bring a visual to His profoundly deep and sincere heart of affection toward us when we're lost and can't find our way.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11