|Photo Credit: aophotos at morgueFile.com|
I was chatting with a few friends the other day and the topic quickly turned to motherhood, as it often does with my mommy friends. I especially like to chat with other moms who aren’t afraid to share their mothering mess-ups, mistakes, and blunders. It’s so comforting to know that I’m not alone in this journey, especially the parts that I goof-up.
We discussed how Pinterest is so bittersweet. In one moment, we pin some life-changing inspirational quotes, awesome do-it-yourself projects, and some can’t-live-without recipes. And, in the next, we are sobbing because we feel so inadequate by the Pinterest-perfect home décor, latest fashions, and all the childhood photographs that we forget to take for our could-be-fabulous collection of hallway pictures that would be treasured forever and ever….Amen.
We enjoyed our adult conversation. We talked about the fact that we didn’t have quite as much time to prepare a nursery for the child(ren) who came after our first born. We assured each other that the baby wouldn’t know (or care) that she was sharing a room with a computer desk and a file cabinet. The only thing our little one would remember was that she was clean, fed, and dearly loved.
We shared that each of us has (on occasion, uhem) turned the dryer on “just one more time” because we weren’t ready to fold the clothes. We promised ourselves that it wasn’t laziness, but that the clothes were really and truly still damp. Who else out there hates stinky, musty towels, huh?! One of the gals even admitted that she has smelled a slight tinge of something burning in the air because she had restarted her dryer one time too many. Oops!
We’ve all done it. We’ve all done those oopsy-doopsy things that make us feel like we should get the facetious and coveted “Mommy/Housekeeper of the Year” award. Let’s face it, gals - we’re not perfect. None of us. We slip up. And…it’s okay.
I enjoyed Katie Davis’ description of the word, Mommy. In her book, “Kisses from Katie,” she writes: “It’s such a powerful name. Mommy means ‘I trust you.’ Mommy means ‘You will protect me.’ Mommy is for shouting when you need someone dependable and for laughing with when you are excited; Mommy is for crying on and cuddling with when you are sad or giggling and hiding behind when you are embarrassed. Mommy is the fixer of boo-boos and the mender of broken hearts. Mommy is a comfort place, a safe place. Mommy means you are mine and I am yours and we are family.”
While Katie does not have biological children of her own (yet), she adopted thirteen young Ugandan girls and became a Mommy. She said that one of her daughter’s questions that surprised her the most was, “Mommy, if Jesus comes to live inside my heart, will I explode?”
Her slingshot response was, “No!” but then she pondered the question a bit more and the answer became, “Yes, if Jesus comes to live in your heart, you will explode.” She said this because “that is exactly what we should do if Jesus comes to live inside our hearts. We will explode with love, with compassion, with hurt for those who are hurting, and with joy for those who rejoice. We will explode with a desire to be more, to be better, to be close to the One who made us.” Doesn’t that sound awfully similar to what happens when the title, “Mommy” touches our heart?
Katie so desperately wanted to teach her daughters about the love of God. But, how could the children of
(with some who’ve never had a parental figure on earth to love them), be expected to understand the love of a heavenly Father that they couldn’t see? Katie knew that in order to teach them about God’s love, SHE had to SHOW them. Uganda
Isn’t that what we are doing as mothers? We are giving our children just a teeny tiny taste of the love that God has for us? As Albert Einstein wrote, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” We choose how we will live this life. Our children themselves are miracles. As mothers, we had the unique opportunity to work so closely with God while He knit them together in the miracle of life. He knew our children before they were born, as He did each and every one of us as well.
I love to think about the life that we've each been given - our one chance on this earth. Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. We have to choose to live a life that matters. There will come a day, and only God knows, when there will be no more sunrises, sunsets, days or minutes for me…for each of us. It has been weighing on my mind more and more lately of just how fragile and short life truly is. Each time I hear of someone whose life is changed by the diagnosis of a terminal illness, it comes to the forefront of my mind. Each time someone’s life is lost to a senseless tragedy, a reminder of the brevity of our earthly existence inches its way to the front of my thoughts.
Similar to Francis Chan's experience, I remember telling my older children to be careful when holding our youngest when she was a baby. I recall telling them that she was fragile and that we needed to take great care when holding her. I’m sure you’ve done the same. I wonder though when we are no longer considered “fragile?” When we are three years old? School-age? A college grad? Married? When I think about it, isn’t life always so incredibly fragile? How often we forget…
Not too long ago, I noticed that there were many facebook posts that included pictures of rainbows and even double rainbows. Rainbows are such a rare treasure…double rainbows…don’t even get me started. It had rained here for the first time in a long time and the excitement over the colorful arches in the sky was palpable.
I remember our enthusiasm, too, when we recently saw a double rainbow hugging our city. We quickly pulled over in the parking lot of Walgreens to let the kids get out of the car to see it. We stopped everything. We soaked in its beauty. We realized that it wouldn’t be there forever. We embraced the moment.
I should remember that our lives are like a beautiful double rainbow – here for just a short while – vapor in the wind. We don’t live forever on this earth. Sometimes we live like we’re going to. I know I sometimes do. I look too far ahead and try to plan too much, when technically, we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. If I want to get nit-picky about it, I might not even finish this sentence.
Still here. Whew! J
When our day comes, it won’t matter what we owned, bought, or got. Our anger, grudges, resentment, disappointments, and anxieties will all disappear. Our dreams, aspirations, and perpetual list of things to do will fade away as well.
So, how WILL our days be measured? By many things, I’m sure. But a few of them include what we gave, what we taught, and who we encouraged and showed compassion for. Did we empower others to be the best version of themselves? Did we forgive? Did others see a glimpse of Christ in us? Did we live a life that mattered? How long will we be remembered? And for what will we be remembered for?