5.10.2009

Happy Mother's Day

I like my kids. I mean, of course I love them. But, I really like them too. The little ones are scrumptiously adorable and as they get older, they are growing into quite funny and clever little people. They are sweet and kind and they make me laugh...a lot. I really enjoy spending time with them and I am blessed that God has placed these little souls in my care. But like most of life's great journeys, motherhood is so much more difficult than I'd ever expected. "You don't know what you don't know" and there is no way that I could have imagined the enormity of the task I was undertaking. The bulk of mothering requires the laying down of self to serve others...all of the time. Really...is that what I signed up for? I must have missed the fine print. Loving and serving all day, every day? When children are little, the physical nature of the care leaves many women (myself included) exhausted. The lack of sleep alone can turn even the most stable woman into a pile of blubbering mush. The day of any mommy consists mainly of care-taking...dressing children, cooking for and feeding children, doing laundry, driving, amusing children, picking up after children, bathing children, getting kids to bed and then collapsing from exhaustion - just to start the cycle over again the very next morning - it can make you crazy. Still, as the kids get older, I find myself fondly reminiscing about how easy it was when all that I had to do was meet their physical needs...because shepherding hearts is much more difficult and scary territory.

What I never understood prior to becoming a mom was that these kids would be a glimpse into God's love for me. That He would use them to shape my soul, to hammer out selfishness, to teach me to rely on him alone as I begin to fully realize my weakness and sinfulness. I was dreaming about gummy baby grins and a cute accessory for our Christmas card photos and He was thinking heart-changing and life-altering. Hmmm...I can see where my expectations may have been a bit off. I've found this process uncomfortable and at many times, excruciating. Being stretched out of my comfort zone is not always enjoyable and growth hurts. But how amazing it is to glimpse the bigger picture...to see how He is working in us, through us and in our family.

Motherhood isn't all work. There are many treasured moments and those times are what keep weary mothers moving forward. The other day my littlest ran to me with arms open wide and said, "I lub you mommy!" I melted. These morsels keep me going. God is so good to provide these little nuggets of joy to encourage us when our spirit wains.

I love being a mom, but the experience is long and full of much adventure. To all the mommies out there, may you have a wonderful day. Do not grow weary because raising little people is tiring but worthy work. If you are feeling loss on this Mother's Day, may God bring you peace. Before we are mothers we are women, and that journey is fraught with its own perils. Hopefully we can love each other well in both the joy and the sorrow.

Thank you to my mom for being a faithful prayer warrior for all of my years. Thank you to my mother-in-law for raising a man who knows how to love and serve so well. Thank you to my children for allowing me - with all my flaws, sin and yuck - to be your mother.

Happy Mother's Day.

2 comments:

myfourgems said...

this brought tears to my eyes. You wrote and summed up perfectly my own feelings about being a mom...loved it.

i know you have a fraudulant picture of how i operate in my home and as a mom! i am a mess during all my waking hours, i think i could learn a thing or two from you!

thanks for a great post!
M

Shea Gilbert said...

tiffany. I love thinking about the "before kids tiffany".....who knew this would be a post you would write way back then? 5 kids????? You are awesome. I miss you, friend!