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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mothering

I've spent this Mother's Day just like all other 364 days in the year . . . mothering! Let's just say my family isn't exactly the breakfast-in-bed-for-Mom kind of family! Today has been a regular, ordinary Sunday. We woke up. We ate breakfast. We got dressed. We brushed our teeth. And we went to church.

I actually began the weekend partying. Not that kind though. I had one of those feeling-sorry-for-myself parties . . . a big fat PITY party. I spent a few hours wallowing in the grief of my-husband-has-to-leave-after-church-on-Sunday-to-go-to-work-and-it's-Mother's-Day-for-goodness-sakes kind of parties. It was just plain ugly. I know. It's just ridiculous. I mean . . . my children are beautiful, healthy, smart (at least in my opinion) . . . my husband has a great job that provides abundantly for our family (realizing that we know WHO provides for us through Seth's job) . . . we are safe . . . we have been blessed with a nice house . . . the kids' rooms are brimming over with toys . . . we have a huge supply of food in the pantry and refrigerator . . . I could go on and on and on. But I won't. You get the idea.

So yesterday I was driving back from Beaumont (I'll spare you the details of that story, but let's just say we left on Friday and came back yesterday with a new-to-us truck for Seth), and I decided that I would spend the majority of that time in prayer instead of flipping through the radio stations and whatever CDs I had on hand. The first thing I asked the Lord was that he would lift my burden and instead give me joy in this Mother's Day weekend, specifically joy in mothering.

Because I'll be really honest with you . . . mothering is hard! Or at least it is for me! I mean, I love it, and I love my children with my all. But mothering is hard work! And I'm just plain tired! I read other blogs, and I see the Facebook status of my girlfriends . . . you know, they all talk about how wonderful being a mother is and how they love it and all that. It just seems like they all have it together on this journey of motherhood while I'm sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire or something! I'm right there with them on the part about it being "the most wonderful thing ever," but it certainly isn't the easiest thing ever, and most nights I go to bed wishing I could have a "do over!" I've made so many mistakes. I know I have many more to make. I've had so many less than stellar moments. Someone once made the comment that it takes a village to raise a child. But, as of yet, no one has told me where this village is! But my children have loved me unconditionally through it all. That's what's so amazing!

So we pulled up in Seth's parents' driveway yesterday to get Mason and Hannah Kate. They were playing outside. I didn't see Mason at first, but I saw Hannah Kate. She stopped what she was doing, gave me the heartiest wave and the biggest grin and came running to me when I got out of the Tahoe. I got one of those really good around-the-neck hugs. Then I saw Mason come around the corner of the house. When he spotted me, he took off running, and I got another hug! That's not his typical response these days . . . remember the kid who gets off the bus and whizzes past while I'm standing there with arms wide open that never get a hug? And then they had to tell me all about their day. Now that is MOTHER JOY!

When we got home, I spent some time practicing the music we were going to sing at church this morning. I'd already decided one of the pieces I was going to play, but I hadn't decided on the other one. I was thinking about it as I was driving home, thinking about the songs I knew we were going to sing . . . and then I decided I was going to play a simple arrangement of Be the Centre. It would go well with the other music, and I felt like it really expressed my heart when it comes to mothering. So I grabbed my song book and turned to the arrangement. That's when I saw this:If you look closely, you'll notice that someone (a cute little 2-year-old at the time) took a pencil and added some of her own notations to my music. I never erased them. And I'm so glad I didn't! I had forgotten that this was the piece of music in question, and when I turned to the page and saw all of the pencil markings, my heart just melted. Now that is MOTHER JOY!

I guess I just needed a little encouragement this Mother's Day. In the midst of the skinned knees, spilled glasses of milk, bedtime stories, chicken nuggets, mounds of laundry, constant discipline and reminders . . . the day in day out mundane tasks of home-making and mothering . . . I often times forget that MOTHERING MATTERS. My children aren't exactly going to rise up right now and call me blessed (Proverbs 31:28) . . . they're ages 5 and 3 . . . but what I'm doing, what we're doing, MATTERS to the Lord. And I believe He knew that young mothers would need such encouragement.

" . . . admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers . . . " ~Titus 2:4-5

My absolutely favorite parenting / mothering book is Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman (a must-read if you haven't already). In it she writes:

"Sometimes I feel like just getting dressed and making it through the day is all I ever accomplish. (Can I hear an AMEN?) 'Isn't there something more that You wanted me to do today, Lord?' . . . Yes, my greatest accomplishment today was nurturing the two precious children that God has entrusted to my care. Now let's talk about my greatest challenge today . . . and everyday. It is raising these two precious children in the ways of the Lord. God does have an important job for me, and it does require much skill. It is my calling, my priority, my struggle and my goal. I will rise to the occasion and accept the task at hand. I will love, nurture and train my children the way God has called me to do. Moms, we need to be reminded of the awesome responsibility that God has given us. When we respond to the high calling of motherhood with passion, the rewards are far greater than any we could ever gain outside of that calling. The joys of motherhood are rare and beautiful treasures that can be easily missed if we don't seize the opportunity to grab them. Being a mom is more than being a cook, chauffeur, maid, counselor, doctor, referee, disciplinarian, etc. (just to name a few). It's about molding character, building confidence, nurturing, training and guiding. There is nothing like the influence that a mother has on her child. A mother's influence has enormous potential to shape the person a child becomes, for good or ill."

I don't know about you, but I needed to hear that today. And listen to what Thomas Edison said about his mom:

"My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt that I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint."

This is my favorite Mother's Day picture with Mason and Hannah Kate . . . Mother's Day 2009.

I'll leave you with the words of a Puritan prayer:

"Let those that are united to me in tender ties
be precious in thy sight and devoted to thy glory.
Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
instruction, discipline, example,
that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
my church the garden of the Lord,
enriched with trees of righteousness of thy planting,
for thy glory."



3 comments:

Bonnie said...

We could never THANK YOU enough for mothering Connor for us. It is a great feeling to know that he is in a great home being loved and taken care of by a wonderful family and especially a GREAT second Mom. We Love You and Your Family.
Bonnie (Connor's Maw Maw)

The Applings said...

Your blog entry was just what I needed. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart. Your children are very blessed to call you "Mom!" Love you!

Mama said...

You, sweet daughter, are the best Mother ever! It is my honor and joy to be your Mama. God bless your sweet self in a big, big way this week! I love you!