Updated: Jun 16
Not a single one wished me a Happy Mother's Day all day. They didn't even know it was. Ralph didn't know until last night when I said, "for Mother's Day I want to hang up shelves and have the lawn mowed." He responded with, " When's Mother's Day?" I answered, "tomorrow" and he said, "Oh!" Liam was the only one who sort of figured it out as we were walking into church talking about the photo op that they usually have set up. "Wait, it's Mother's Day today?"
I don't make a big deal out of this day. I don't make a big deal out of most Holidays...especially Hallmark ones. However, I appreciate that the vast majority of America wants to honor mom's and dad's. Heck, even people from certain religions who don't celebrate Christmas or Easter will acknowledge this day. I guess I should, too. Drawing attention to myself and asking to be pampered is just not my idea of fun.
However, I still wanted to pause and share some thoughts I've been having. Like the one where I look at my three boys and think, "I can't believe I am their mom." And I don't mean this with an excited tone. It's also not the opposite in having a melancholy one. It's the sobering realistic tone.
Nothing more in my life has caused me to die to myself more than motherhood. You can't shut it off, though it may be tempting at times. You can't run away from it, though the desire has risen in my most exhausting and frustrating seasons. Nope, this is my reality whether I like it or not at times.
I asked the Lord to be a mother and he answered that prayer by surprising us with Liam. After that, Ralph and I both wanted a sibling for Liam and God gave us Devin. At two years old, as hard as I felt parenting was, I felt like our family was not complete. Ralph was content, but agreed to try for one more. On 7/3 at 7:30, weighing 7.3lbs and 21inches (7x3) long, Connor entered our clan. Through those numbers we knew God was saying, "your family is now complete."
And we are. Nothing has made me die more to myself. Whether that sounds depressing to some or not, it's just a fact. I have chosen the harder route in homeschooling and having them around all of the time. I know I can put them in school anytime I want. The temptation has been strong on more than one occasion. But, I have this continuous conviction that comes so strong from the Holy Spirit that I cannot ignore. That conviction is this:
I have been given these children by God for a purpose. He didn't give them to anyone else. My boys didn't come to this earth just to grow up and do whatever they want until they die. They are God's incredible creation that He wants to know personally through Jesus. He wants to show His glory and power through them to a scoffing, wicked, and faithless world. And God chose Ralph and I to teach them those things.
Though the days seem long, our time is short. It's the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives. Motherhood is easy to start well, but not to finish. Ask any seasoned mom or ones with adult children. My prayer is constantly this: That my children see Jesus in me more than anything else. That they choose to follow him all of their days. That God gives me the wisdom and discernment to raise them in the way that He wants. That I see and love my boys as God sees them.
There is nothing else more important than that. No money. No job. No house. No fame. No blog post. No video. May the Lord never take that conviction away from me.
I asked Ralph to take photos of me with each of the boys this time instead of all together. I am in love with them and will cherish them forever. What a beautiful perspective I was able to see through these!
Liam, our 10 year old. The one that is proud when I call him, "the one that made me a mother." I wanted to show how tall he was in comparison to me.
Devin, our 7 year old who is the first to encourage me, express his love to me multiple times a day, and reflect on whatever is going on.
Connor, our 3 year old. He's determined to be as big as his older two. It is true what they say. The youngest grows up the fastest. And yet, he still constantly plays with my hair like he has since he was a baby, runs into our bed practically every night to snuggle, and climbs up into my lap every chance he can get.