Monday, May 10, 2010

Reflecting on Mother's Day

As Mother's Day approached this year, Brian started asking the usual questions... what would you like to do? anything in particular you would like to have? where would you like to eat? On his defense, his heart was in the right place, desiring to make a special day for me that filled my heart's desires. So in an effort to honor his requests, I gave it some thought. And I found myself asking him this very question, "Would it be terrible of me to say what I would most desire is to go away by myself for a while? Maybe even to a spa? Is it wrong of me to celebrate Mother's Day by being away from my very children that have made me a mom?" Terrible or not... I felt guilty for even considering such a day. Brian reassured me that he had already thought of treating me to such a day and that I certainly shouldn't feel bad about it. As he continued to pursue creating the perfect day for me by more questions of what and where I'd like to go... I finally told him I didn't even want to think about it... that somehow it made me feel like I was having to do the work if I had to offer all the ideas.

.... All of this said and after reflecting on how I was feeling, I realized I'm one tired Mama! I'm not any less in love with my children, don't absolutely delight in being a mother and feel richly blessed by the Lord to have 4 beautiful kids. I'm just in a demanding season of mothering. It's these seasons that make my survival (my attitude, my countenance, my patience...) so dependent on my fellowship and dependence on Jesus. Galatians 6:9 reminds me, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." I know I'm in the thick of it right now... all the training, discipline, day to day upkeep of home, laundry, meals, repeating lessons that in my mind should already be mastered... and unlike God, I can't see the big picture, and I don't know how all these lessons will work out when our children are grown up. How my heart longs for each of them to grow into delightful adults who love Jesus more than life itself and who desire to serve and love others unselfishly. And as I long for such things, Jesus whispers to me that just as I must be centered on HIM for a life that reflects His heart, so must my children. I'm convicted that I must pray more fervently and faithfully for each of them: Benjamin, Catherine, Mary Scott and Anna. I must pray for Brian, as well. And we must pray together. I'm also reminded that the Lord continues to love me and be patient with me as He teaches me the same lessons over and over again, ones that I well should have learned by now. I'm thankful for HIS loving example of parenting.

On this side of Mother's Day, I can joyfully say I had a wonderful day. We celebrated on Saturday and extra love and care were given to me the whole day through. A yummy breakfast prepared by Brian and served after he had allowed me to sleep in (woohoo!). A little gardening with Benjamin and Catherine. Hanging up the hammock that we've had for 13 years that was still in it's box followed by me relaxing in it for a good 3 hours Saturday afternoon with lemonade and book in hand. Once I finally got up, Brian and the children called me to the front porch where they had two knock-out roses and four gerbra daisies for me. Then a picnic enjoyed at Glyn Cairn Gardens on an absolutely beautiful evening. It truly was a glorious day... not free of some of the usual demands of parenting but definitely a day where I was celebrated and preferred.

For sake of encouragement when I feel inadequate and treasuring in my heart the thoughts of our children and Brian, these are things they noted about me:

from Mary Scott: "I love my Mom because... she makes me yummy food, she gives me bubble baths, she takes me to school, she makes pretty hair bows for me!"

from Benjamin: "You mean a lot to me. Love you!"

from Catherine: "'M'akes me happy, 'O'ut standing, 'T'errific, 'H'ard working, 'E'verlasting love, 'R'eally creative. Thank you for caring for your family. You are a very good mom. I'm glad you are my mom. If you weren't, I probably would have a terrible life."

from Brian: "I definitely found a virtuous woman. You are an awesome mom, and you show that love to our children daily. Thank you for how you live that out and make our home a home. Our children are truly blessed. I love you!"

In closing, my prayer is this, "Lord Jesus, thank you for the honor of being a mother. Thank you for entrusting Benjamin, Catherine, Mary Scott and Anna to my and Brian's care. Lord, I want to do this well, and the time is passing by so quickly. I want to enjoy the process and not waste a single day of life with my husband and children. I ask that you would give me strength and patience, especially when I'm worn down. I pray that my life... the way I love you and walk in daily fellowship with you, the way I love my family and others, the way I serve, my attitudes, my desires, the way I use our resources (money, clothes, food, time... ) would be a true reflection of you and what you will for my life. Lord that I would be a hero to my children. And Lord in these coming months, I pray that you would cause me to laugh way more often with Brian and the kids, that you would gently nudge me to be an active mom in our family's fun and activities and not just an "on-looker" mom. Help me to lighten-up and live in the very freedom that you talk about in your word. My heart is so grateful for this life you've given me. Above all, I want to love the way YOU love. Thank you, Father, for the gift of motherhood.


Corrie said...

great post monica! you are not alone in your feeling of weariness!!! i think as moms we need time to ourselves once in a while in order to be a better mom. sort of a recharge of the batteries :) and i love that first picture of you and the kiddos! beautiful! miss you friend!

Rebekah Judd said...

Thanks, Monica, for such an encouraging post. The longer I'm a parent, the more I realize I need to rely on Christ's strength and not my own. Thank you for the reminder! Enjoy your time on your own guilt-free!!

Christie said...

It is always so beautiful to see your heart! God uses the exposure of your heart to reach a voice to the feelings we all have! I love the part, "I want to do it well..." I feel this way deep in my heart, but know that only the Lord can "equip me with everything good for doing his will." Heb 13:21 Apart from Him, my flesh doesn't know how to do it well! I will join in on your beautiful prayer. You are a beautiful mom...Happy Mother's day!

Christie said...

Oh, are breathtaking! So sweet!