This year, I have a whole new outlook and approach to Mother's Day.
I could write to you about the joys of being a mom. Because certainly, there are joys.
I could write to you about the trying moments. Because with four and a half kids under 5 years old, the trying times can most days, outweigh those joys mentioned.
I could write about the moment I became a mother, or the moment I first realized my mom was right all along.
And those would all suffice.
But I want to remind myself, and you, about the divine selection process involved in each of our unique circumstances, and encourage you, because that's best.
We've instilled various "reminder" phrases into our kids, reminding them of character traits to possess. We will tell them "your sister is your best friend!" Amidst a sibling argument, to remind them of the importance of their family unit, and to encourage them to love each other. We will say "Rules are to keep you safe" each time one is broken, and ends in a scrape, bump, or bruise- be it on the knees or the heart. The simple phrase gives them a nugget of wisdom for their little character "bank", that says, one day, "rules will protect me- from the law, from emotional and physical harm, from sin".
The other night at dinner, I sat furious with "mom" problems. The house was a disaster after 3 days of me having been sick and on the couch. (Ps- my first question to God might be- why moms ever are allowed viruses or sickness. It shouldn't be allowed.) dinner was something store-bought, the kids were whining, Paco and I disagreeing on something (I honestly can't remember what now or I would write it here), and my stress level was soaring high.
In case you weren't aware- I'm literally on the clock as we countdown the days to my birthday, and Esther Jubilee's birthday, which could end in major surgery and possible death because of her diagnosis. So the last few days have only added to the intensity of any given situation.
I sat, and shoveled less-than-par food into my mouth angrily, as if the dinner had committed the offense, and the fork stabbing would help correct it.
McKenna started whining about what she had been given to drink, and I nearly lost it and screamed at her. Instead, I sat quietly and allowed my rage to boil inside. My face was probably blistering from the heat of fury.
After Paco answered her about why she's "only five" and doesn't get to "pick her drink" all the time, she muttered back something about how "other moms" let their kids choose their own drink.
All jokes aside, the poor girl almost got smacked in the mouth. My inner tantrum, combined with her talking back was creating an involuntary response in my right arm to swing across the table. Lucky for her, she was at the farthest possible seat away from me, and I would've only spilled all six plates of food and cups with liquid, to be cleaned up by yours-truly later. So I resisted.
Teaghan turned to McKenna, and calmly began to tell her what I should've said as my response. It's the same thing we tell them all, amidst confusion as to why we make decisions differently than other parents or friends and their houses.
"McKenna, God picked mommy to be our mommy. And Daddy to be our daddy. Because God knows best. And God picked Mommy because she's the best mommy for me. And she's the best mommy for you. And she's the best mommy for Wesley. And Mommy is the best mommy for Adalynn. And she's the best mommy for Esther."
She turned to me and with her big hazel-green eyes and long lashes against sweet brown skin, and said "right mommy? You're the best one for us, so God picked you, right?!?"
She beamed with pride because she knew she was right, and she wasn't in trouble at that moment to question whether the validity of the statement was in her favor or not.
I started to cry.
The stress of the day.
The worries of the days to come.
The anger inside me.
It all washed up on the shore of my eyes, and poured out over the edge as tears running hard and fast down my face.
As I smiled, and stared at my sweet four year old, who'd reminded my weak and failing heart of God's truth in that moment, and I said "Yes, Teaghan. You're absolutely right."
I don't know if your mom is even here on this earth to still celebrate.
I don't know if you've lost a child, or children, and the world can't understand your take on the holiday.
I don't know if Mother's Day hurts for you, because your mom walked out, or abused you, or lied and cheated her way through your life.
I don't know if Mother's Day reminds you of how your child abandoned all you invested in them, and now you're painfully watching them make mistake after another, as they buck and rebel against the truth you've shown them.
I don't know if you're surrounded by a "preschool" of your own kids, or grandkids, or step kids, and think "this is crazy, and waaaaaay too hard!"
I don't know if you're snuggling a sweet new baby, and all is right with the world because they just eat and sleep and poo, and when nestled on your chest, you both swoon with delight.
I don't know if you're rushing around today to grab last minute gifts or cards, because maybe you forgot or didn't have time to "buy" something for the mom in your life, and now you're seeing your FB feed, and panicking.
But what I do know, is that God knows best.
He gave you the most perfect mom for you. You were the best choice for her. And whether you can understand why, or see all the how's, or you're grappling with the understanding, I want to assure you, that He had your best in mind.
Sometimes I wonder why God gave us so many in such a short time. But He knew best.
Sometimes I wonder why I've had more kids than anniversaries. But He knew best.
Sometimes I wonder why He picked me to raise three and half girls. Cause that's a LOT of girls. But He knows best.
I wonder, quite a lot, in this moment, why on earth He picked me to carry a daughter with a diagnosis of death, and why He chose me to be her mom. Why He picked me to endure this battle, and why He ever saw me fit enough or "faith" enough to handle her. She has way more potential and way more purpose than I can begin to know how to steward. But.
To my mom, who birthed me, and raised me to know Jesus- I'm forever grateful. You've given me a rich knowledge of the Truth that sustains me today, and every day. Because of your pouring out, I'm able to keep going, in the hardest and most draining season of my life. You've become my best friend, because you never allowed my preferences to dominate your parenting as I was under your authority. And you've modeled wisdom in practical ways all my life long.
To my grandmothers, thank you for showing me compassion, grace, poise. Thank you for passing down recipes, and prayers. Thank you for giving me rich family history, and Godly inspiration for a life lived long, and full. And for all the #tbt photos I'll ever post.
To my mother-in-law, thank you for raising my husband. For showing him the things you know best, to equip him to serve our family today. Without your care and your wisdom, He wouldn't be the man he is, the husband or father he is. Thank you for making sacrifices for him, to show him how to make sacrifices for us.
To every spiritual mother I've had over the years, from Pastors, youth pastors, older women in the faith: thank you. You gave me skills and wisdom that I still use today. You gave me a fresh perspective, or the vision needed, when my mom just wouldn't do. You have prayed for, prayed with, and prayed about me - probably more than I can remember- but the times I do remember, are sweet, inspiring, encouraging- and they also have shaped me into who I am today. Your voices continue to ring out, loud, behind temptation in its many forms, about who I am in Christ and what God's word says.
So thank you. Thank you, to each and every one of you, who've been "mother" to me at some time. You were the best.
And to all the moms, both known by me, or not- thank you for being the best you- because you were hand-picked by God to be a mother. I can't explain why, or how, but I know who He is, and He knows best.
Maybe you're long passed the years when your children would do such a thing, or maybe you're in the throes of toddlers and can't yet see it ever happening, but the Bible says one day, that our children will rise, and call us as moms, blessed.
And whether they're doing it now, or will do it, or have done it- they will.
So be your best mom-self today. Because you are His best, for them.
Happy mamma's day!!!!