Sometimes I think I have a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde-esque thing going on in communicating about my mommy hat. Half the time when I talk about Reed I cry happy tears like a weirdo. And other times I just say silly and detached things—like stealing my friends line and telling Reed he owes me a quarter when he wets a diaper I’ve just changed. I also recount lots of funny stories, as if Reed’s primary purpose is for my entertainment.
But what I really feel toward Reed is so deep and so much that I don’t really believe I could adequately put it into words. I am sure you have heard others describe parenthood and the way that you gain this new understanding of your own parents’ love for you. And a life-altering glimpse of God’s love for you. The whole experience must be so alike for every mother, but at the same time so singular, as each of us brings our unique person and our life’s journey to our mothering heart.
I think one part of the uniqueness that defines my heart as a mom is the path God carried me through to get here. When Matt and I experienced loss with our first two pregnancies, my sadness was so painful. God met me in a place of deep heartache, and showed me in a new way (that I didn’t know I was missing) that He is for me. And it was separate from the gift of Reed on the other side of that valley. It was purely a work in my heart, and a revelation of His deep love for me. And for you. I have to believe that my journey of loss in some way defines how I wear my mommy hat.
Shortly after Reed was born, my friend Lauren lent me a little book by Stasi Eldredge called You are Captivating: Celebrating a Mother’s Heart.
I found passage after passage in this small book that echoed with my soul. Eldredge put words that I couldn’t find to my mothering song, and gave shape to hopes and dreams for further down the road in this adventure that I’ve only just begun. I wrote down some of my favorite excerpts, and wanted to share them today, as I believe they will echo with your heart as well.
"Becoming a mother is an amazing thing. Just ask a mother to tell you her birth story or her adoption story, and she will gladly do so with the same zeal as a soldier recounting a victorious battle…"
"...but this! This was altogether different. This fierce, abandoned, protective, devoted love was wholly new and profound. I had become a mother. Everything in the world changed. Now, not only had my body grown, but my heart had expanded to the point that it no longer fit inside me. It now took the form of an eight pound mystery that was intensely vulnerable and demanding and hard to figure out… The joy of being a mother is so very closely linked with the sorrow of being a mother. It is holy ground."
"…so much of our lives as women is lived in secret, hidden from the eyes of the world and the accolades of others. So much of it feels mundane… But God sees. And He esteems most what is done away from the eyes of others. He loves hidden, secret, small places. He does his best work there—in the home, in the womb, and in the heart."
"Every single time we choose to put our children first, before our needs and our wants, before our dreams and our desires, before our rights and what we deserve, a little bit of our selfishness dies and a little more holiness takes root in our hearts."
"We don’t mother alone. We partner with God in mothering—in bringing forth life in another! While our own hearts drink deeply and rest in God’s good heart, he “mothers” us—so that we continue to become ever more truly the women he created us and intends us to be—the women we truly are.
And utterly captivating."
Happy Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother’s day to my own utterly captivating Mom!
And may the peace and comfort of God be with all those for whom mother’s day is bittersweet—those who miss their moms or have broken relationship with their moms, those who long to be moms, and those being carried through loss. He is for you. Oh, how He loves!