Well, it’s that weekend again. Mother’s Day. I’m going to post a couple of times a day through the weekend, because there is just so much to blog about when it comes to having a mom, being a mom, wishing I was a mom long before I was, etc.
My first Mother’s Day, I spent very, VERY grateful, because I’d finally emerged from almost 4 years of infertility. I was also very grateful on my second Mother’s Day. The newness had not worn off quite yet. My son was a year old and I still logged his quirky church behavior under the “Baby” tag. He wasn’t expected to turn to the passages in his Bible quite yet.
But then I began to take myself a bit seriously. My expectations went up. The behavior went down. Then there were two boys. Somehow I thought they were going to weave me friendship bracelets and lanyards to tell me how much I meant to them as their mother and then they would wear knickerbockers and recite scripture during church. And then we’d go for Olive Garden after church and the boys would eat like angels, while I sipped my Diet Coke and twirled my pasta against my spoon.
Boy was I disappointed with a set of Tupperware and a load of defiance.
But then I got over myself. And with each child, I’ve learned more and more. My twenties (if only you could see how many times I had to backspace and retype that word) were about me. My thirties were not about me. (Please join me in a moment of silence for my thirties.) My forties and fifties will also not be about me.
Hold on. I think I just hit a nugget. I was about to type that my sixties would be about me again, but actually it’s never going to be about me. And it shouldn’t be. Life has nothing to do with me. God has placed me here, in these moments, with these children, and I have to do my utmost with all of it. And in light of that, I found a paragraph I wrote when Professora Destructo (Baby #4) was a newborn. I still feel exactly this way.
I just laid my youngest blessing down in her bed and paused to watch her sleep as the rain fell steadily outside against her window. She resides now in what was once MamasBoy”s room. I still have very vivid memories of rocking him to the sound of a similar rain. As I stood there, it occured to me again how much I have…how blessed I am. It also occured to me that it is very easy to love God with all of this around me, in my arms, in my face. Daily. If one of these children were taken from me suddenly, if my health were taken, or a friend, or a parent, what then? How much harder it would be to accept God’s decisions if I perceived that they were against me…if they disrupted the peace that I give Him credit for giving me. I take these things “for granted,” a phrase I’ve been thinking about for at least a week now. What is for granted? A phrase that indicates there is something that should be granted me…something I am owed. Is there anything in my life that I really deserved? Anything I was owed? We come to expect things that come with a territory. If I am in my 20s and seeking, I should be married. If I am married and financially stable, I should be able to conceive children. If I am young, I should be healthy. If my family is young, they should all be alive. The list goes on. We expect these things. We struggle when life takes a turn against the expectation…against what should be granted. Or so we think.
There is nothing “for granted.” Nothing. Nothing that I should not view as a miracle on loan. Nothing that I should not on my knees thank the Lord for. And NOTHING that should cause me to forsake Him if it were suddenly removed from me. This has made me think, because as I stated, it is EASY to love Him on top of the blessings He has given me. It is easy to love Him alongside what I have. The trick is to love Him more than all of that. The trick is to be closer to Him than I am to the gifts He has given me while I am journeying toward Him. He has to be my ultimate relationship, because the ones He has given me here for my own comfort and strength are just on loan. They are granted me for now, but are not to be taken for granted.
There’s much work to be done on this one.
Mother’s Day Top Ten Lists Coming Later Today.
3 thoughts on “On Being a Mom – Part 1”
Wow, Missy…so true and eloquently put. I think as I get older, this thought is just brought home to me more and more. By the way, I read all of your blogs and have been meaning to tell you (since I don’t see you) how much I enjoy them. It is always a little bright spot in my day!
you are my daughter, and i try not to take you for granted. what a blessing to me you are and the children, grands, that is as well as todd, amy, bart and their children. and the fact that we all live in the same place is such a blessing!
I love that you mentioned lanyards in your Mother’s Day post. Perhaps you did it because you have already read the poem “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins, but if not, you must go read it now. It’s perfect.