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Morphing Motherhood

Have you seen that commercial that’s on a lot right now? The mom keeps saying, “What? What? What did you do?” Mostly in a moment of disbelief or being woken up from a dead sleep, in the shower, etc… I laugh at that commercial every time because I have been there. The days of children being little and totally mystifying you in their actions are comical when you look back, but in the moment it is chaos all the way around.

If you look at this mom on that commercial, she has this look on her face that says “Did I sign up for this?” I am sure if you are a mom, you might be reading this thinking, “Yes, I have thought that!”

It starts with that positive pregnancy test, then the fun of the baby bump and suddenly you have pride that your stomach is no longer flat. Then, the baby showers and the anticipation and nervousness of giving birth but nothing, NOTHING, can prepare you for the life change you are about to experience. I just described the common entrance to motherhood, but for others it may have looked very different. Adoption, failed pregnancies, maybe help with fertility made it a long journey to get there.

I want to be sensitive to everyone with this upcoming weekend. There are so many that this is a hard weekend for. I want to challenge you to honor a mother this weekend. Whether it be your own mom, yourself, a grandmother, or maybe just that special person who was a mother figure to you. Or maybe you have never had children, but you were the person who was like a mother to many. You know who you are!

I was very young when I became a mother, but that is all I ever really wanted to be when I was growing up. I was married at 18, and had our first baby at 20. CRAZY-but it was all part of the plan and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way! The key thing I remember when they placed our baby girl in my arms is being totally, instantly, and completely in love. I thought to myself, “My mom experienced this same moment; she loved(s) me this much when she held me for the first time." It was an incredible aha moment.

That’s how our God loves us: unconditionally, beautiful and perfectly with a fierce protectiveness that only a parent can possess. Think of Mary when she held baby Jesus and knew that her baby would be hers only for a little while. Oh, how she must have cherished the moment she got to hold him close, if only for a short while.

There are so many seasons and stages of motherhood that you morph into over the years. What I have learned, is that you never quit parenting. From toddlers to adulthood, you are always mothering and will never stop. My children are in my prayers constantly all day, every day. A mother’s heart never stops thinking about her children. It’s how we are wired and that will never go away. I don’t know how you can be a mom without God to guide you. There are so many times I have thought, “I need to give them to God” and I do.

My youngest daughter gave me a mom’s prayer box. When I realize I am worrying about my kids and trying to fix things in my own power, I take a slip of paper, write down my prayer and place it in the box. When I shut that little box, I have given it to God. When I do it with my whole heart, I find a lot of peace in doing this.

I reached out to some friends and asked them to share with me the first thought they had when I asked them about their moms. So here they are. Maybe you could write down what you would’ve shared and put it in your mom’s card this year. Or if she’s not here with you anymore, share it with someone you love this weekend.

“I just can't imagine my life without her. She has been such a strong, positive role model for me. After my Dad died, she picked herself up, dusted herself off and moved on. I really thought she would crumble, but not at all. She taught me that after the love of your life passes away, you need to focus your life on other things, not drown yourself in sorrows. She is my best friend, and always will be.”

“The first thing I think of is putting aside the things that make me crazy about her and thinking about how they sacrificed to send us to Christian schools and had a strong commitment to church, God, community and family. What I didn’t know when I was a kid is how rare that is in this world and how we take that for granted.”

“My mom instilled in me to respect EVERYONE, no matter what our differences may be. I miss her with all my heart everyday!”

“She is quick to assist anyone in need and reaches out to help the poor.” Proverbs 31: 20

“mom loves to laugh and often once she starts, she can't stop. She also loves deeply and loves just about anyone. She finds the best in people, encourages them, and is their biggest cheerleader. I have the awesome privilege of being her daughter and while everyone else only gets pieces of her, I get it all!”

"Strength and Dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come." Proverbs 31:25

“My mom was the most amazing, selfless, woman of God I have known. She would give of herself (time, talents, finances, and goods) to/for others without batting an eye. She was an awesome example of Christ's love. She was my spiritual mentor (as well as countless others) and I miss her terribly.”

“While my mother passed away many years ago, she never truly goes away. I carry with me her joy of family, love of cooking, and her stories. I let her words twirl and turn in my heart daily.”

“My mom was a mother of seven children and yet strived to keep a clean and tidy home. She taught me things that stay in my mind like:

Look around the room before you leave.

Put things in their place.

Don't do a half job.

I thank her for all she instilled in me and because of it, I've become a pretty "tidy" person myself. Although, my sister and I have a pact not to be too freaky clean about our oven or showers because who really sees those things? Right?

We also had an embroidery saying framed in our home that said, "The hurried I go, the behinder I get." I try to remember that when the craziness of trying to keep everything in order gets away from me. I think that's why my mom needed to post that as a reminder to her. Just to slow down and do things slower rather than doing things in a hurry and not doing them thoroughly.

Love you mom!”

“As a child while I was going through medical issues my mom did EVERYTHING she could to make things easier for me. Sacrificing her time and energy. She taught me how to be a loving, giving mother - life's greatest profession.”

“My mom is my best friend, she always has my back no matter what.”

“She always loves me no matter what.”

“My mom is one I can tell anything to without judging me in any way.”

“My mom is truthful. If I asked her if a shirt looked good, she would tell me the truth.”

“I always converse with my mom when things are bothering me. She always has a way of calming me down even if it is something I don’t want to share. She tells me the way it is.”

“I remember in high school I hated swimming every week. For swim class she wrote me an excuse to get out of swimming, as she knew I hated it. Haha. She always had my back.”

“Love my mom, my best friend to the moon and back.”

“My mom has never left me with any doubt that she loves us. My mom has had the ability her whole life to accept anyone for who they are and has been an example for the rest of us to follow that rule as well. To always give grace and love others as Christ loves you.”

“One of the things I love about my mom is that she is both tough and tender hearted. She can deal with difficult situations gracefully, like caring for her ailing father and grieving mother while working full time, yet she is so gentle that she cries over my sister's sick cat. She demonstrates love selflessly and I am so grateful for the example she is to me and my children.”

“Give her the reward she deserves. Praise her in public for what she has done.” Proverbs 31:31

Aren't those inspiring?! I am so blessed that in my life I have a mom, a mother-in law, and a stepmom. I know that each one of them prays for me and my family every day. I am triple blessed in that department.

When I think of some of the defining moments in motherhood, it goes way beyond the baby stage. There are these pictures in my mind of field trips, proms, graduations, and weddings.

The picture I really wish I had though, is one of us worshipping together. That is truly the only thing that matters. My number one purpose as a mom, is fulfilling this huge desire I have to make sure my children know the love of Jesus. If they know this, I know they are going to be okay no matter what this cruel world throws at them. In fact, I might just write that down and put it in my “mom box.”

Mom is the proof God exists

A Mother's love is something

that no on can explain,

It is made of deep devotion

and of sacrifice and pain,

It is endless and unselfish

and enduring come what may

For nothing can destroy it

or take that love away . . .

It is patient and forgiving

when all others are forsaking,

And it never fails or falters

even though the heart is breaking . . .

It believes beyond believing

when the world around condemns,

And it glows with all the beauty

of the rarest, brightest gems . . .

It is far beyond defining,

it defies all explanation,

And it still remains a secret

like the mysteries of creation . . .

A many splendored miracle

man cannot understand

And another wondrous evidence

of God's tender guiding hand.

-Pat O’Reily

Blessed Mother’s Day to you this weekend.




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