Happy Friday! And a beautiful Friday it is here in my neck of the woods.
This weekend, as thousands anticipate Mother’s Day celebrations, I have a few thoughts on my heart. I thought I’d share them with you. Enjoy!
We used to tease my mother, and sometimes still do, when each and every Mother’s Day was accompanied by tears. Even before she breaks the seal of the first card’s envelope, the tears have begun to well up. She’ll read each card and brush away the silent tears that fall onto her cheeks. When I was little, I didn’t understand why a happy celebration would bring tears. But now…now I’m a mother. Now I understand. Now I, too, brush away tears each Mother’s Day as I open cards. “Happy tears” is what I tell my children they are. And for the most part, they are just that…happy. Joyful.
But, being the realist that my own mother has told me I am, I’ll be honest and admit that sometimes the tears mean more. I think each season of motherhood brings different types of tears. Tears are an outward expression of a person’s heart, and motherhood, encompassing all parts of a woman’s heart, naturally turns on those tears. While I have not experienced all seasons of motherhood, I have walked through several, each one softening and molding my heart. Maybe some of you can relate?
Some of you are reading this, your hearts aching to become a mother. Your tears this weekend will be tears of longing, wondering when your desire for a child will be fulfilled. May I encourage you that even now, during this time of waiting, God is preparing your heart for the journey that awaits? While I know it doesn’t make waiting easier, please know that you are loved and prayed for often. May you walk in strength this Mother’s Day, knowing you are loved with an everlasting love, and that your Heavenly Father will fulfill your heart’s desires in His perfect timing.
Psalm 37:7 “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.”
You may be reading this, your heart aching for a child you never got to hold. Or, maybe you’ve had to do the unthinkable and say goodbye to a child who, by human standards, should have had longer on this earth. Or maybe you’re holding vigil night after night next to your child, both of you fighting with all you can for the healing you long for. Your tears this Mother’s Day will be tears of heartache and hurt. I personally know loved ones who are in each of these situations, and my heart breaks right along with theirs. Again, while I know it doesn’t make it easy, please know that you are loved deeply and prayed for daily. Please know that this Mother’s Day, while many are celebrating, there are people who have not forgotten you in your time of hurt, and would love nothing more than to hug you and cry alongside you. Tears in this season are not only okay, they are expected. And I wouldn’t want you to cry alone.
Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”
Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Maybe this is your first official Mother’s Day, and to that I say a huge CONGRATULATIONS! I remember vividly my first Mother’s Day, and I imagine you’re experiencing the same thoughts and emotions that I did. You may have tears this weekend of thankfulness for the life growing inside. You’re probably overwhelmed with both excitement and nervousness, as you embark on a new journey that will forever change your life. May I encourage you to open your heart to another mother who has walked this path before? Someone you admire and feel comfortable confiding in? The women who have invested their time, advice, and love into my life as a young mother have been an incredible blessing! I love how each of them have never pretended to have all the answers to this journey of motherhood…but their camaraderie and willingness to listen and help when needed have been immeasurably wonderful! Soak in this Mother’s Day, and enjoy every moment. Oh, and try to sneak in a nap…it might be a while before you get one of those again! :-)
1 Samuel 1:27–28 “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
Oh my goodness…I look so tired in this picture! I had no idea as a new mom how much sleepless nights would affect me!
New Mommy Season
This Mother’s Day you might find yourself snuggling your newborn baby, or like a good friend of mine, you new twin babies. :-) Your tears this Mother’s Day might be tears of joy and thankfulness for the new life God has gifted you. But, if you’re anything like I was as a new mommy, you’ll probably have tears of exhaustion, frustration, and overwhelmedness, as well. That’s totally normal and completely expected in this season of your life. Know that there are many of us celebrating alongside you, and many of us who would love to snuggle that new baby for you while you sneak in a nap! :-) Even though I remember all too well how exhausting those first few weeks and months can be, I’d encourage you to try and soak in each moment. Those little tiny baby toes…the way he or she curls up against your chest when you snuggle…the squeaks and squeals…the newborn baby smell…that will all pass more quickly than seems possible right now, and someday you’ll wish you’d have paid closer attention to all those details.
Psalm 127:3-5 “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”
This is the season of motherhood in which I’m currently camped. I’ve often wished I had a quarter for every time I heard the words, “Mommy, help!” There’s potty training, homework help, lessons to teach, clothes to purchase, noses to wipe, books to read, laundry to do…over and over again, without much of a break. This season has sometimes felt all-encompasing, and there’ve been tears of exhaustion. But more often than not, this season is wonderful and I’ve found myself having tears of thankfulness and joy. When my 2-year old tells me I’m the best mommy ever…when my 6-year old asks me to teach her how to cook…when my 9-year old asks if I’d be in a book club with her. These moments make my heart smile! And while I feel like I have a very small amount of experience/advice to share with new moms, in this chapter of life I often feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants. And so, while I encouraged new moms in the paragraphs above to find a “seasoned” mother to learn from, I’d also encourage you “seasoned” mothers to reach out to us younger moms. We need you!
Logic might tell us that what we need during the busy season is a vacation, a nap, a pedicure, or good grief…even just one time that we can use the bathroom alone without little people watching! But on Sunday, when we open the cards and gifts from our children…backwards letters scribbled on construction paper, little trinkets to fill our shelves, tiny handprints lovingly traced onto crinkled paper…we’ll probably shed a silent tear of thankfulness because THIS is what we need. This is what shapes us into women whose hearts continue to grow with a capacity to love more deeply. These little ones…they are our gift.
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.”
All Other Seasons
I know that there are many seasons of motherhood I have not yet experienced. Some of those seasons excite me, and some honestly scare me! ;-) While I know nothing of motherhood during these seasons, I do know one thing…I know that I loved and appreciated my mom more than I ever actually let her know. I know that becoming a mother has taught me more about my own mother than I ever thought I’d realize. I know that the world needs mothers, and I know I would not be the person I am today without the love, attention, and care from my mother.
Mom, if you’re reading this (which I know you are, because all moms read their kids’ blogs) :-) thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. Everything. You are a gift to me, and I can only hope to be the kind of mother to my kids that you’ve been to me. I love you. I know as you’ve read this, I’ve probably caused you to cry more of those tears, but that’s okay. Tears speak our hearts, and your heart is full of love…I now know that’s why you cry every Mother’s Day. Thank you, mom, for all of your love. And guess what, Mom? I can guarantee you 100 percent that I’ll shed a tear along with you on Sunday. Because you taught me to love without abandon, and I’m forever grateful for that.
Happy Mother’s Day to each and every one of you ladies reading my blog today!!!! Many, many blessings to you all!!