Friday, May 10, 2013

Being a Mother....

Mother's Day. It's a time when mothers reflect.

I have much to reflect on.

Just over 10 YEARS of pregnancy. Yes, I said years.

Twenty years of changing diapers. (July of 1988 to July of 2008 with no break in between.)

Twelve years of homeschooling 7 of my children.

Countless boo-boos, tears, fears and my all time favorite: chubby cheeked kisses.

Most people think I'm nuts. I kind of am, I can admit that.

I was crazy enough to believe that love would be enough.

I was crazy enough to think that each life entrusted to me had a destiny greater than anything I could've mustered up and that it was my mission to see to it that they fulfilled that destiny.

I was crazy enough to believe that God was my kids' Father and that He would never fail them. Even if their earthly father was an alcoholic and their mother was a card-carrying enabler.

I was crazy enough to believe that for all that we lacked, both their mom and their dad, that their Heavenly Father would take care of them, some how, some way.

I was crazy enough to say, "Lord, you decide what lives come into this world through this body and this family." And I have the stretchmarks to prove it. On my belly and on my heart.

Having a whole bunch of kids was the smartest 'dumb' thing I ever did. (Yes, people have thought and said that I must be flat out DUMB. That's okay with me. I live for an audience of ONE.)

My children have been the greatest hardest thing I have ever 'done'.

I started out as a 16 year old mother with braces and 80's hairband hair. My pride was as big as my hair, too. I was selfish, foolish and naive. But I loved my son. I adored my son.

I didn't care much about me... but he was reason enough for me straighten up and fly right.

I married at 18 and had 3 kids by the time I was 20. I loved my babies. I had no idea how to teach them but man, did I love them.

I had 8 more. And then got one more to make it an even dozen.

I made so so many mistakes. I wanted every good thing for them and I couldn't give it.  Most of all, I DIDN'T want every bad thing for them that I couldn't prevent.

Being a mother taught me to pray.

Here was my most profound prayer: "Please, Lord, don't let me ruin my children!"

Do you know a parent who hasn't ruined their kid in some way??? We do the best we can with what we know, right? Imperfect parents raise imperfect children. We are all flawed.

But I wanted to get it right so so bad.

I read every book and article I could get my hands on. I went to conferences, bible studies...I talked to other moms. I tried SO HARD.

I cried out to God. And He heard me.

He began to shine His light. I began to see things I didn't see before. I began to sound a little bit like I had always wanted to sound. I began to act a little bit, like I had always wanted to act. Then a little bit more. And a little bit more.

(I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be!)

Being a mother changed me. 

By loving them, I learned how my Father loves me.

By wanting every good thing possible for them, and not being able to give it to them myself, I learned how to pray with faith and receive.

By watching them struggle through pain and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I learned compassion.

By watching them grow into the men and women they were destined to be, I have become the woman I was meant to be.

How do I tell my treasures, my babies, my gifts from Heaven.........

I'm sorry that your dear little lives had to be a tool to grow your Momma.....

And yet.... I am not sorry. Because we have grown together. And on this Mother's Day, each one of your lives and hearts is a gift to me all over again.