Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My 9th Mother's Day

Gifts from my hubby, children and in-laws
I can not believe I have had nine mother's days!! 

Honestly, I know the occasion of Mother's Day began as a means to further the card- and gift industry via the heart-felt expressions of children to their mothers.  And it's really not a big deal to me in that way.  I don't really care about cards, candy, flowers, gifts.  For me, this day is just one of many on which I contemplate my vocation in life: Motherhood.

(It's just A LOT easier to do when I don't have anything else I need to do because my children and husband are doing it for me.)   :-)

I'm not a mother to just any children.  I'm a mother to God's children.  God gave me these children with specific instructions: "Teach them about My perfect Love by loving them yourself.  Raise them to know Me.  Raise them to have hearts to serve Me and others.  Be open to each gift I give to you through them; from the first moment of their tiny lives in your womb until you are no longer with them."  It's a set of simple-sounding instructions but with very complicated measures, deep meaning, and hidden truths abounding.  It's a conviction and a challenge that often brings me to my knees.  I suspect that is exactly one of the main purposes of motherhood - to bring us to our knees....constantly.

Me and Angelina (7 1/2) at my 30th birthday party

In this post 4 years ago, I wrote about the first few mother's days I was blessed to celebrate.  My first was when I was two-months' pregnant with my oldest child, Angelina.  Now, here I am with my fifth child growing in my womb and I can't seem to grasp how time has passed.  I think about my mom and how she raised seven babies, all close in age like mine, in a smallish house like mine, staying home with us like I do with mine.  I think about how much she did right, and how much she did wrong.  She herself will tell you she failed at a lot of things (though many of those I think she is too hard on herself about). I think any mother who is convicted with the truth of motherhood knows too-well how much they fail at times.  BUT, I also think about the fact that my mother did not fail at the most important aspect - following that set of instructions God buries in a mother's heart and reminds her of with each child.

My baby belly - 4 months w/#5
Sure, just like with all mothers, the means to get there might not have been perfect, the path not always straight, the timing not immediate.  But my mother did succeed in loving us, teaching us of God's love, giving us hearts to serve Him and others, and being open to the gifts He gave to her through our lives.  Despite troubled times, difficult circumstances and imperfect timing, she allowed His blessing of SEVEN babies, plus one that did not make it.  She loved us with everything she had.  She planted in our hearts the knowledge of God's love, power, grace and plans; making sure we knew that He did indeed have a specific plan for each of our lives and that we *should* follow it.  She did her best, knowing full-well that we might stray from our paths in varying shades, but giving the control to Him with the understanding that He would bring us back.  My mother did the number one act of Love that every mother should do, and that was to pray for us.  Daily.  Everything else, all the blips, faults, failures don't mean too terribly much, for the most important instruction she was given was fulfilled. 

My mom showing Aidan and Bella their new little sister, Sophia (2009)
I often ask my mom questions about how motherhood has been for her.  On my bad days, when I'm overwhelmed with the task that lays before me; my entire vocation in life seemingly shattered fragments on the floor, I am desperate for answers on how to keep going.  Her answers are always the same....Trust in God, pray, take it one day at a time.  Sometimes, I just want to hear her thoughts on the simple things about motherhood, how she treasured certain moments, how she kept from frantically grasping at the time passing by.  At 64 years of age (sorry for divulging that #, Mama!) she relates so much that I am grateful for: admonishment, encouragement, snapshots of her life as our mother, wisdom, humility, sadness, conviction.  Every aspect of her as my mom makes me feel that much more assured that I am doing pretty good.  After all, I think I turned out okay, right?  RIGHT?!

On this day, 28 years after my mother celebrated her own 9th mother's day, I am convicted of a very simple reminder: I am called to LOVE my children.  I am called to serve them.  I am called to raise them to have hearts to serve and love the Lord.  There will be times I fail.  I am not perfect.  But in my failure, in my imperfection, I am brought to the Father (often on my knees) for the strength and grace I need to keep going.  Every single mother has this same calling, and this same aide from the Lord to fulfill it.

I wish each and every mother out there a very happy Mother's Day!  May you also be convicted of your vocation, not just today but every day.  May you realize that no matter how old your children are, you are still their mother. You are still called to serve them, to love them, to remind them of God's love and their purpose in this life.  And may you have the wisdom to accept your failures as a means to draw closer to the Lord, and celebrate your successes with humility and thanksgiving to the Father for His strength and grace that allowed them.

And especially to my own mama, I love you!  Thank you for giving me life.  Thank you for loving me and my siblings, and following that difficult set of instructions God gave to you 37 years ago when you became pregnant with your first child.  For every "failure" you have had in raising us, there have been many more successes, and I am grateful to you today and every day for allowing God to move in your life so as to raise us to know Him.

Me and my kiddos today.

1 comment:

Raising {& Teaching} Little Saints said...

"I am convicted of a very simple reminder: I am called to LOVE my children. I am called to serve them. I am called to raise them to have hearts to serve and love the Lord. There will be times I fail. I am not perfect. But in my failure, in my imperfection, I am brought to the Father (often on my knees) for the strength and grace I need to keep going. Every single mother has this same calling, and this same aide from the Lord to fulfill it." - I want to make a poster and put it in front of my computer screen so I read that DAILY! Thanks for this beautiful post!