Monday, November 11, 2013

there is nothing common about motherhood

Boy 2 was baptized yesterday.

One day last year, alone in the middle of the day, he quietly asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins and to be the Lord of his life. He felt compelled in his heart to do it, and told us that afterward he felt "really good inside".

This boy is my quiet warrior, full of grace and mercy, and mighty in love.

So yesterday, he went under the waters and came up rejoicing. How can a mother hold all this in her heart?

After church we all took a walk through the neighborhood, enjoying the cool weather. Boy 1 threw a football with Mr. Fantastic. Boy 2 and Boy 3 made their way along with bounding steps. The Lady ran ahead of me, golden hair flying behind her.

I willed my mind to remember everything. Can I do that? Can I press the memories in a book like flowers from summer camp, and pull them out in twenty years and relive the smell of her shampoo at bath time, the sound of his laughter booming in the backseat, the way he slips his hand in mine on late afternoon walks, and the feel of four sets of little arms wrapped around my waist when I walk into the kitchen in the early morning hours?

I realize that I am simply a mama- like millions of other women. it's a common thing to birth a child and raise a human.

But nothing about this feels common to me. It seems monumental. The love I feel towers over every choice I make, every plan I devise, and every dream I hold. Each morning I wake up knowing that this is love, that I lay down my life for these people God has trusted me to nurture.

At some point, in the middle of my life, I quietly chose to love my children without expecting anything in return. I feel compelled in my heart to do it, and when I succeed I feel "really good inside".

I have gone under the waters of motherhood, and I will come up rejoicing.

I will come up with memories of football games and princess dresses. I will be carrying scraps from old beloved blankies and scrawled love letters written with backward letters. I will miss their squishy cheeks pressed up against mine and the sound of them calling my name in the middle of the night.

But great will be the gain of all who know these four children-turned-adults if I mother them well and send them out with great fanfare, gracious wisdom, and the blessing of knowing love.

The truth is that I can't hold all of this in my heart. But we are all held in God's gracious hand, and He will carry me, them, and all the pressed flowers of yesterday straight ahead, down the narrow path to His throne.

Then He will say, "Well done, Mama," and I will wonder how I got there so fast, and be grateful for all those pressed flowers I have to lay at His feet.

And all I will ever feel is "really good inside" forever and ever after that.

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