Wednesday, May 7, 2014

motherhood - it's not what you think

It's almost mother's day.
I've been sitting here thinking of some of the moms that I know - or even the ones that I don't know. Moms who aren't in the thick of the curly toddler locks, the teething babies, the laboriously printed block letters...
Motherhood goes beyond all the things that are physically hard and sweet and poignant. All the things that the internet highlights as motherhood?  They're our very best side.
The side that we hardly dare to speak of - let alone post it on the internet... that's the side that has been on my mind. The gut churning days where adolescent lives are wept over. The adult child who is full of seething hatred. The families struggling with mental illness and begging social services for a hand.

Oh, and I love me some baby love.

Who has loved motherhood like I have? Blogging the precious night wakings and the nursling, juggling the sweet elementary homeschoolers with gap toothed grins and scraped up knees... oh, I love it, I love it, I love it...
But mercy...
There are mothers who are spending their lives humbling themselves yet again in the face of extraordinary circumstances beyond anything that a sane human being would willingly sign up for. Loving beyond broken relationships, physical ability, beyond the gates of heaven that welcomed children before the parents who never stop longing for them.
I was thinking that maybe we should just scrap this whole divisive mother's day thing... So many women pained by infertility, singleness - and a callous culture that undervalues women in almost any life circumstance and pits us against each other in the most unfathomable ways.
But then I couldn't help but think of the women who are mothering through the darkest of days. The ones who reject any honour that might try to land on them on mother's day. The ones who grimace through the airy compliments from others who know nothing of their struggle - because the story isn't theirs to tell, it belongs to their suffering children - and amazing mother that she is... she'd cut off her own arm before she'd spill the howling pain she's in as she goes about her days praying for respite.
So this mother's day, I want to honour *that* mother.
The mother walking in the dark.
The mother trying to find an empty room so she can scream into a pillow.
The mother who looks like she has it all.
The mother who is being faithful.
The mother who is a lifeline to the human souls entrusted to her.
The mother who personifies hope.
The mother who needs some herself...

Happy mother's day.

Keep on, precious woman... one foot in front of the other...
You are doing Kingdom work - and it is not in vain.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (phil 3)

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