Before I speak from a mother’s perspective, I’d like to acknowledge my mom from a daughter’s perspective. Mom, I don’t know how you communicated love so easily. You may not even have realized it. I never felt controlled by you or uncertain of your love for me. The confidence I had and have now about your thoughts toward me was and is a foundation that gives me wings. I love you.
Mother’s Day is my favorite day. I cherish it above all the others. It’s the day my heart rejoices with gratitude that God gave me children and made me a mom. I’ve been a mom for almost 25 years, and sometimes I still get overwhelmed with the gift. The night I gave birth to my oldest son I was in a comfortable king sized hospital suite (I don’t think they do that anymore), and I should have been exhausted into involuntary sleep. Yet I couldn’t sleep. My heart REJOICED over my son in the most profound and stunning way. My heart had never been more complete. I was lost in love.
My next two sons’ births held the same feeling of my heart soaring with love and purpose. I had never known love like that existed before becoming a mom. My entire identity I gladly gave over to raising my boys.
What I wasn’t prepared for was their adolescent – teen years. I parented much of those years in fear and overreaction when something scared me for their future. Thank goodness my husband was more confident that everything would be okay than I was and God used him to bring stability to our household when needed. He was and is a rock.
We have many happy, fun memories during those years, but I know that a lot of the tension and heartache we endured could have been walked through in better ways if I’d known better how to trust God. I just didn’t know how to let my kids find their way by giving them the room they needed to grow. It seemed like GRACE was often an afterthought. If I could keep an eye on EVERYTHING I could guarantee no brokenness. This wasn’t my job, but I thought it was. I tried to control outcomes in an effort to protect. I unintentionally communicated conditional love at times.
There have been times when I felt so woefully inadequate and unworthy to fill the role of mother. I tried so hard to be a good mom, loving them with all my heart. By God’s grace, there were a lot of things I did right, but I didn’t realize that some of my earnestness in raising them was misguided until it was too late to go back and do things better. I wish I had known more about the human heart in my younger years. There are some gaping holes I left in my parenting that only God’s grace can fill.
Through the years that powerful love for my children has been refined with more awareness of how to care for their hearts. As the years go by, the love is better lived as the wisdom grows. The grace of God mercifully stands as my rescue and my hope. Restoration of broken moments seem impossible in our regret, but my God is bigger than my failure. He restores what cannot be restored.
My precious sons have so much love and grace that continues to fill my heart. Since they were tiny it’s been our tradition to go on a Mother’s Day Hike. I have a scrapbook dedicated solely to those hikes – pictures of love expressed and Mother’s Day bliss – year after year spending it celebrating ME. How can that be?
(Here are a few shots from the Mother’s Day Scrapbook Archives)
Even though they are now adults, I am a mom to them still. They still let me speak into their lives and they still spend time hanging out with me and my husband. My heart is full. I am immensely grateful to God for teaching us to grow together in grace and love and wisdom. Where would we be without Him?