Thirty-one years ago, this week, I became a mother. It was amazing, wonderful, scary and filled with trepidation all at the same time. I have had the privilege of having a great mom. I had a perfect childhood by all accounts. Not really perfect in the ‘perfect’ sense of the word, but perfect in that there was no abuse, neglect, or abandonment. My mom is awesome. She cultivated a relationship with each of her four children. She was a stay at home mom, but she worked from home in the administration of my father’s company. She was also very present in our local church. She was the children’s pastor, ran the daycare and taught the adult Sunday school class. She was wonderwoman before there was Wonder Woman.
Tough shoes to fill. I grew up wanting to carve out a place for myself in the corporate world. I had dreams, and a bucket list that I wanted to complete by the age thirty. Being a mother was at the bottom of the list if it was on the list at all. You see, I did not think that I had the ‘maternal’ gene. I did not think I had the ‘maternal instinct’ necessary to be the mother that I had as a model.
As things happened, I married in my early twenties. Feeling fortunate I had married a widower with children, I did not feel that bearing children would be an issue. In fact, he was satisfied with the three offspring he had, and did not particularly need to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ again.
Surprise, surprise, about eighteen months into the marriage, suddenly I was desperate to bear children. No one was more surprised than I. It felt as if someone had flipped a switch, and the need to mother appeared out of nowhere. It felt as if an alien had abducted me, and changed my soul.
It took a bit of convincing, but within a short period of time, I was with child. Preparations began in earnest in decorating a nursery, preparing maternity clothes, and reading every child-care book on the market. Nine months later, I gave birth to a perfect man-child.
I was unprepared. Birth was relatively easy. What was difficult was seeing this perfect little human being, (that I had ‘made from scratch’ as my daughter Hilary likes to say) cause my heart to swell and expand aka the Grinch’s. You may remember the scene in the film where on Christmas morning the Grinch’s heart started beating and expanding to encompass all the love in Whoville.
As I lay in that hospital bed, holding my firstborn, the feelings of love and wonder overwhelmed me. In fact, I enjoyed the result of birth so much, I did it again two years later.
I can honestly say that being a mother changed my life. My bucket list had not been crossed off when I reached my thirtieth birthday. My garage did not house the Austin Martin; I didn’t have the penthouse suite in downtown Houston; I was not an officer in a multi-national corporation. What I was, was a stay-at-home mom, trying my best to channel my mother, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and grow mighty Godly children.
I can’t say that I was a perfect mom. I can say that I tried really, really hard. I can say that my children were my number one priority. As a spiritual woman, I know that the only thing that I can take to heaven with me are my children. The scripture says What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? My family, in many ways encompasses my ‘soul’.
Being a mother taught me many things about the heart of God. He is our father, and as a parent, I began to have revelation concerning the father-heart of God. I began to change from a selfish, legalistic, perfectionist into a more self-less, compassionate, grace filled person. Not that I was perfect, but my nature changed. My children taught me that God loves me even when I fail. He loves me even when I don’t do the right thing at the right time. Even when I do the wrong thing on purpose. My children have been my most faithful teachers concerning the grace of God.
As mother’s day approaches, I remember my own Godly mother. I thank her for the model she gave me. I did things differently in some cases, but she is my internal compass. I also thank my children for being the impetus that kept me on my knees, knowing that I needed supernatural help in order to maybe one day hear ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’
To all the mothers I know, and the ones I don’t know: Thank you for being the best mothers you can be. Our future generation depends on you. I applaud your efforts. On this day, I say thank you. Thank you for all the things you do that are unseen, unappreciated, and undervalued. God sees.
Until next time,