Monday, September 15, 2014

gospel mama, part 1

I leapt into motherhood for shallow reasons. Go ahead, judge me, I don’t mind. I blame Pottery Barn kids, “bump” photos of famous celebrities, and all the cute maternity clothes at Target for my failed logic and selfish motivations. (Also, maybe hormones had something to do with it, as well as my desire to have a good reason to quit my job tutoring obnoxiously cocky college baseball players for the University of Texas athletic department.)


Prego with #4 in 2008



I have listed some of my reasons below, rated on a shallowness scale of 1 to 10, 1 being completely selfless and 10 being as shallow as a “reality” show that was actually scripted by Hollywood. I have also listed the appropriate blameworthy scapegoat. Here ya go:


  • I wanted to paint polka dots on a nursery wall. (rating: 10) {Pottery Barn Kids}
  • It’s fun to shop for baby gear. (rating: 6) {Target}
  • I longed to hold a baby that was “just for me”.(rating: 4) {Hormones}
  • I wanted an excuse not to have to go to work any longer. (rating: 8) {Baseball Players}
  • I wanted a reason to go into Pottery Barn Kids. (rating: 9)
  • I thought pregnant women were “so cute”. (rating: 10) {famous “bump” photos}
  • I was madly in love with my husband and wanted to see what kind of awesomeness our gene pools would produce. (rating: 3) {Hormones}



I had no clue that by becoming pregnant I was, in fact, stepping onto a roller coaster with highs that would reach heaven and beyond, and agonizing lows that would shred my heart.

Oh, I had loads of good intentions and good ideas, but very little good sense to guide me. Which coincidentally sums up the majority of my twenties. (With the exception of my decision to marry Mr. Fantastic. That was either pure genius or ridiculously good luck. Either way, I win.)

But there I was, a decade ago, in my little suburban-cookie-cutter-house bathroom, on a random day in May, peeing on a plastic stick. I hid my head under a pillow, awaiting the results. I couldn’t even look when the timer went off. When the moment of truth came, I made Mr. Fantastic look first.

“You can break it to me gently,” I said, bracing myself for a negative.


But he smiled big and wide, and his voice kind of squeaked when he let the words out, “You’re pregnant!”


Joy unbounded, untethered, and completely incoherent flooded through me: I was full of life.

What I didn’t know was that my own life would be changed so completely by this bearing of another. With motherhood, the tide of selfishness goes out one pound of baby weight, one stretch mark, one desperate midnight prayer at a time. The tide of love that returns to us brings unknown mysteries from God Himself.

Woven through every moment of motherhood is the highest truth: To love another more than yourself transforms the world. Gospel Mamas know this. We know that there is a loss we must bear and a pain we must embrace so that we can be part of a miracle. From the first breathless gaze we share with the face of the child we have carried in our wombs, or flown across land and oceans to bring home, we know we are a blessed breed of women. 


We are the mamas of the world.


We know we aren't perfect and we never will be. Our imperfection is a gift because the sacrificial love poured out for us will always be enough to transform our personal weaknesses and cure our family's pain.

The gospel means that God gave us exactly the right children for us- no matter how they came into our lives: through marriage, birth, or adoption. He has entrusted His beloved babies to us, and we consider that a compliment from a Holy God.

It means that if we are drowning in the insanity of sleepless babies, He will fish us out of those deep waters. If we are in the mix of school and activities and social events and rules and consequences and lessons to be learned, He is touching and tweaking and turning the wheels of our family so that we will all know Him better. If we are driving away alone from the new college dorm, He is with us in the car and He is with our not-quite-grown adult son. Or if, by chance, we are sitting by the door awaiting the return of a wayward daughter, God lingers with us tenderly.

He sees us. He loves us. The gospel means He is coming for us, for our children, our grandchildren, and even our whole family.

Because Jesus knows something about sacrificial love, and the lessons of motherhood hinge on our understanding of the gospel. We please Him when we walk in love the way He did.

Chin up, love. Today, you are a gospel mama, and Jesus is at your side. We will all get to the promised land one step at a time. Jesus never holds back the greatness of His love. Ever.

1 comment:

  1. So well said! I hold on tight to this Momma promise from Isaiah 50:11
    He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will carry the lambs in his arms,
    holding them close to his heart.
    He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
    So my boys aren't young anymore - I'm still their Momma and I desperately need his gentle leading! GREAT POST <3

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