Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

In my heart I became a mother many years ago.  In fact, I was just a small child when I knew that I wanted to be a mommy and only a mommy someday. 
When I fell in love with Daniel it was because, even as a teenage girl, I could picture my life raising our children.  He would be a great dad.  I would be a great mom and life would be grand.

This role of mom is so important.  It's so important and yet so draining.  It's special and unique to each child and to each day.  It is hard and frustrating and exhilarating and funny.  It is everything that makes me exactly who I have ever wanted to be-
crazy, spontaneous, centered, focused, passionate, loving, wild.
It is everything that I dreamed of and so much more.
 For 3 years I got to experience typical motherhood.  I had two 'healthy' and 'normally developing' children who were beautiful and lovely.  They smelled great, made me laugh, and fulfilled me in ways I never knew needed filling.  They were beautiful and life was just as I had envisioned.  I loved those years of raising redheads even though they were some of the hardest of my life.

Two years ago we thought that we were adding to our typical, white-fenced, middle class family with a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  This time things would not be quite like I had envisioned.  They would actually be much, much different. 
You all know the story because you've been with me through the heartaches and triumphs since having our sweet Mabel. 
So let me say with certainty to each of you today that on this Mother's day, two years later-
I feel so happy, so fulfilled, so content, so overjoyed and so honored to be Mabel's mom.
 Now I am many things in this role.  Wrapped into one petite, redheaded package I am a homeschooling, dancing, yelling, ice cream eating, yoga doing, husband loving, coffee drinking, run taking, special needs mom. 
It's all very normal and yet not so normal. 
I read with my 5 year old, dance with my 4 year old, and tube feed my 2 year old. 
It seemed daunting at first and yet somehow in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, it has become normal. 
I am this mom.
 I am so grateful for the gift of motherhood.  I love teaching forgiveness and grace to these children as I get it wrong somehow day after day.  I love that they can watch me and learn from my shortcomings while hopefully seeing how desperately I love them.  All I want to do is love them with my whole heart forever.  It's all I want to do.
 I love tucking them in their beds and saying prayers as they snuggle deeper into a slumber that will bring them peace in the night time.  I love waking up and watching them interact with one another first thing in the morning.  I love their voices and I love hearing their little feet as they run quickly through the house.  Usually I tell them to stop running, but it doesn't mean I'm not listening.  I love each and every detail of their faces, bodies, and lives. 
They are a most wonderful masterpiece of unique, awkward, hilarious components. 
 Mothering is long, hard, exhausting, frustrating and maddening some days.  It is not perfect bliss.  By reading here I will never try to fool you into believing that it is.  In fact there are some days that I count down the minutes to bed time and mentally check out until then. 
It is overwhelming and consuming.

But what I can say is that there are days that are so magical.  I snuggle a sweet girl in her tight jammies and I think I may actually die from an over abundance of love right then.  When I hear Braden singing a song about Jesus in his sweet voice, I hear the certainty that we are doing something right and it confirms to me that all of this is worth it.  When Nora wraps her arms around me in the dark of night in our big bed and whispers 'I love you mom.  You're the best...'-I want to tell her that I could be better but instead I thank her and pray that I will be tomorrow.
 This Mother's Day is entirely different for me than any other day.  I have been through a process of grief this year that was so secluding and painful and yet today I feel revived and renewed.  I feel a peace as I type this morning that reminds me that we are all here, we are all together and it is all ok-at least for today. 
God answered my prayer when I asked Him to make me a mom.  I know He has a plan for each of these children and what I hope is that it is far greater than I could ever imagine.  I can see that Nora's spirit will carry her far.  I know that Braden has a gift of song that I hope will be used in leading others into worship.  And I know with complete and total confidence that our littlest love is already fulfilling so much of her plan just by being her. 
She is leading people to Jesus every day when they look into her eyes and that makes this whole journey of motherhood worth it to me in every single way.

If asked to describe motherhood in just a few words today, I would simply say this:
Motherhood is what it is.  Just go with it.

It is never going to look or feel perfect.  There will be a lot of guilt, a lot of shame, a lot of questions and uncertainty.  But we are all doing it-one way or another.  We are all doing the best we can do. 
And that is something we should ALL be proud of.
Happy Mother's Day, friends.  However it looks for you.
To my mom:
Without you, I wouldn't be a mom.  You placed in me a desire and helped nurture it.  I'm so thankful!
I love you.  I hope that your day is full of rest and peace. 
Happy Mother's Day!
 To my mother-in-law:
I'm so thankful that you became a mother!  Without you, in essence, I wouldn't have the children that I have or the love that I share with Daniel.  Thanks for all you do.  You're so loved.
Happy mother's Day!

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