This week has been tough for me. Insomnia is raging, a problem I'm not use to having. Despite a tiresome day, I've been laying in bed staring at the ceiling til 4 AM, reading to keep my mind from going into those dark places grief tries to beckon you down. Then, once I do finally fall into sleep, I find myself shaken by Jake or jolted awake by the alarm. It's been wearing me down.
Yesterday, in the midst of finalizing Mother's Day plans, grumpy from my lack of sleep, frustrated by the idea of the holiday, this idea of celebrating the woman who birthed you, a job I continuously fail at, I mourned finally. I screamed. I cried. I thought of the missed moments, both with my three in heaven and with Mak, missed first words, missed poopy diapers. I seeth every time I read posts complaining of swollen ankles and stretch marks of pregnancy, late night feedings of newborns, or the terrible twos, because, let's be honest, I am so incredibly jealous. Those missing milestones nag at me leaving me feeling inferior as a woman and a mother, not to mention failing at carrying a child. Not good enough for the title, the role, the burden and blessing of the name Mom. I watch pregnant friends whizz through 9 months and suddenly land the mom-crown, quick and painlessly, fully respected, proudly showing the title. But me? I look sideways through narrowed eyes wondering deep down if everyone thinks I'm not really a mother, just a woman nice enough to raise this kid that's not mine. I'm just a "good person" who is doing the right thing. The idea that I somehow don't deserve the chance to experience the whole deal. It is a ridiculous fear, a stupid internal battle to fight, but it plagues me nonetheless. But somehow, today's sermon spoke right through this animosity in me.
Bro. Chip, our pastor is known to be a teacher-preacher. His sermons are not topical but rather chronological, as we dive into scripture. Just because of a holiday, he rarely goes off on tangents or out of the plan to suit the day. We've been in the middle of Isaiah, so today we happened to be on Isaiah 55. He discussed the troubled times in which the prophet lived, the danger and uncertainty, the prevalence of sin and corruption. The similiarites to today are striking. He then discussed mothers' role in shaping children's moral fiber, fighting the culture war so evident today. it is true. We are in the midst of war, a clash of core values where secularism seeks to stomp out the faith in more than just music and movies. Mothers are not just about wiping stinky bottoms and framing ultasound pictures. And it is foolish to think you define a mother by her baby wearing and nursery decorating skills. Planting God's word in the heart of your child is your ultimate job, and in doing so, you will train her up to be confident yet humble, respectful of all people, and equip her to go out into the world ready to make a difference. It's the seed time and then the harvest as it says in Isaiah 55:10 and 11.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
What hope this brings! I've been so blessed to have a godly mother who taught me right from wrong, self respect and humility, courage, and love. She never once failed to let me know that everything she did was to mold and shape me unto a Christ-like woman, strong and capable of whatever life would bring. My mother in law has done these things for my husband, and now embraced me as well, ever ready to listen with an open heart, quick to share wisdom and love to help guide us and point us in the way. Likewise, my aunts, grandmothers, and other family friends have also worked hard to set the example for me, embodying the description of a woman described on Proverbs 31. Their success as women has not been defined by the things mothers do, but by the example they've set for me in who they are as Christains and showing me the kind of person I was made to be. It's planting these seeds. My role is Makinzy's mother isn't defined by her baby scrapbook, missing of course, nor the hours of nonexistent labor, but the time we've spent praying together, writing the words of God on her heart. Praise Him for this chance to change the world.
Mother's Day was great. Saturday night, we went out to eat with my mom and we did facials and baked cookies before bed. My sweet mama has a way of soothing my spirit, and spending time together was priceless. My mother in law came over after church. We had pie, and the kids did dishes while she and I talked books over coffee. Then, Mak and I spent the evening cuddling and pinning ideas for future bedrooms (mermaid theme), sleepovers, and crafts. I've been so blessed to fight the war. Motherhood is war, and victory is sweet.