I married later in life. Mother’s Day was always about my Mom. Then we had children – a daughter, a son, and a second son who came home to us from across the globe. So grateful for a gentle and encouraging mom. And I can number other mothers in my life who God used to guide me through seasons of growing up which did not come instinctually to me…from the earliest years of our children’s lives right into the present and the strange and wonderful days of “parenting” adults.
Every season…every single one…has its unique joys and struggles. When our children were in their school years, we were in the Middle East managing a cultural exchange program for American students. The dilemma for some of those who were married was how to be immersed in the culture as well as properly caring for the needs of their little ones. Language learning to proficiency became a daily scourge in the lives of these young mothers. In anticipation that they would return to the Middle East later to some job when their children were older, they were hopeful that they could learn the language then…in that sometime later reality.
Truth be told, I was living that reality with children a bit older. The challenges were still there, and tackling language every day was still a stretching experience in the midst of family and work life and the responsibilities and distractions.
Mothering is an extraordinary opportunity, and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss it in the throes of work-life or perceived expectations of others. Wisdom came to me through other mothers – women who somehow were able to mother “in the present” and balance the rest of life within that. It was hard for me to succeed in this, but it was a daily quest, and sometimes I got it right.
One great piece of advice (there were lots of those; this is one) was to remember my goal wasn’t to be “the best mom I could possibly be” (which was heavy with my own and others’ expectations) but to be “the mom God wanted me to be”. This latter goal always had me yoked with God Himself and was full of grace. Amazing. Wherever you are in this journey of mothering, go with God. He will help you focus on His purposes – for you, your family, and the world.
If you have no children or your children are far from you, I hope you can find joy in the children near to you. We can learn a lot from each other.
I leave you with @debsfaves – sweet finds online that went up this week for Mother’s Day. And, I also leave you with two old worship songs of Twila Paris’ – they were already somewhat old when I had little ones, but they nourished my heart, alone in that kitchen, (my newborn finally asleep)…just God & me & Twila. And my arms go up…in praise…without thinking of anything else…but the Lover of my soul.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa-7jtvi7J4 – Salute to Moms – Mighty
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whahbpRd18w – Surprised by Motherhood
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRNFf3ykQvM – The Warrior is a Child with lyrics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=essnbl7pbAk – lyrics video for Do I Trust You?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pzu-jWpcdw – live performance with Warrior and Do I Trust You?