The other morning, I peeked out our window at o’dark hundred. The weak glow of the nearby street attempted to cut through the fog on our street. A couple hours later, I drove four active children to school in soft sunlight and no fog in our neighborhood. As I drove, I glanced toward the mountains.
I’ve always considered myself a fairly independent person. I can hold my own in social situations, business interactions, and in dealing with people who come into our home to do work on it.
This autumn, our colors have been particularly brilliant. Or perhaps, I’m more aware of them. Maybe it’s because I’m growing older, but I find that I want to soak in the beauty of each moment. . . .
Walking around our neighborhood and glimpsing two trees side-by-side—one sun-kissed yellow, the other rich shades of magenta—stops me in wonder.
Last weekend, Peter and Edmund accomplished a challenging task. After five weeks of hard training, they tested for their black belts. This training required two-hour-a-day work outs seven days a week, a restricted diet (“What do you mean no chocolate, or sweets, Mom?!”), and push ups every morning. And don’t forget the one hundred sit ups in varying positions. These boys worked H-A-R-D. In addition to all this extra training, they had to keep up with school work and homework.
“We do not live for ourselves. We live to serve Christ.” ~Steve Rundle
In a day when we are encouraged to live for ourselves—the above quote sounds so counter-cultural. Yet, having this mindset and being attuned to Jesus’ promptings within can lead to heroic actions.
As a girl, almost every time I saw still water, I peeked my head over one edge, with the hope of seeing my reflection mirrored back at me. Puddles in the sidewalk, quiet ponds and rivers . . . they all drew me to their sides. I loved seeing blue sky or trees in the background behind my face. Watching the water ripple with a breeze or a falling leaf or a fish kissing the surface and disrupting the reflection always fascinated me.
Has one word ever changed the course of your life? I’ve been thinking about one word that changed my life forever, for the better.
Eighteen years ago, I said, “Yes,” in answer to a question. I was in my late twenties, single and wishing for a change in my “status.”
I just read the story of a mother of young children (you can find it here) that tightened my perspective, reminding me nothing in this life is certain.
Hubby and I spent years praying for children, weeping over our barren arms.
Through that season of aching, joy and sorrow walked hand in hand each time a friend told me she was pregnant. I attended baby showers. Until it became too painful to hold in the tears.
We stopped attending church on Mother’s Day. One year we went and carnations were handed out, and then collected back when I admitted that, no, I was not a mother.
Even though my heart yearned to wear that title.
When we were both ready to consider adoption, God worked. And fast. He filled our empty arms with a wiggly baby boy who had ten perfect fingers and ten kissable toes. And a set of lungs to wake us from sleep in the middle of the night.
Seventeen months later, God gave us the gift of adopting another precious boy with deep blue eyes. We’ve rocked our boys to sleep, tucked them in each night. We’ve read them bedtime stories and prayed with them.
We’ve watched as they fell in love with the written word and pored over books, learned to play piano, and they’ve begun to dream of what they’ll be when they grow up.
I love being a mom.
So, why is it so easy for my to-do list to steal the joy of single moments with my children?
Sometimes, I forget the blessing God gave me when He placed two boys into my heart. I forget how precious they are. It’s so easy to focus instead on training them up to be men of integrity. Sometimes, I forget to bask in their hugs, their exuberance, their smiles.
The story I read reminded me life can be stripped away unexpectedly. It’s got me thinking about the memories our children will carry into adulthood.
If I was to be called Home tomorrow, what lessons would our boys take into their teen years? Adulthood? Hopefully, they’ll embrace the lessons we’re trying to instill in them.
Even more than training, I hope they remember shared times together—bowling for the first time, encouragement from their parents, family game nights, hikes, swimming in the ocean.
I want our children to know—and believe—they are cherished and loved beyond measure.
I’m praying for a tighter perspective when it comes to living out the gift of motherhood. It’s a hard, dying-to-self kind of life—this being a mother—but it’s one that fills me deep and overflows me with wonder.
For these children I prayed.
God said yes to my pleas. May I mother—and love—in a way that fills our boys with confidence and points their hearts to Him.
What about you? What have you prayed for that has changed you? What have you learned through the gifts God has given you?
Okay as I was thinking about today’s blog, one of my favorite songs by Tenth Avenue North kept coming to mind. It’s a little like my postscript for these past couple blogs (if interested, you can read them here and here) about Identity.
This song speaks to my heart, reminding me of God’s truths, and of all He’s done for each of us. The video gives a poignant glimpse as to how we see ourselves and how God sees us.
Take a few moments to listen. And I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments.
What about you? Do you ever get caught up by your failings and mistakes? What do you do to get out of that cycle?