Thursday, May 7, 2015

Smiles and Tears

Yesterday little J turned 7 weeks old.  When I was talking with my mom the other day, she asked if he had smiled at me yet and I very sadly told her no.  Then during the convo with my Mom, little J started cooing (for the first time!) and then let out a series of big smiles at me!  It was such a sweet moment and my mom got to witness it over the phone, which was special since our family is so far away.

I have such mixed feelings about this little holiday coming up on Sunday.  It's a great idea, but at the same time it brings up a lot of different feelings.  Thankfulness and grief to name a couple.  It has a pretty interesting history, but I found this interesting since I share the last name:  "In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers." (Wikipedia

When I think of Mother's Day, I think of my beloved Mom.  The woman who birthed me and later became my best friend.  I am thankful for her and forever indebted to her for everything she taught me, for listening to me go on about everything a teenage girl does and for listening to my playlist (consisting of one song) on repeat permanently.  (Did finally grow out of that last one!:)  I feel like there is no possible way that I could ever express to her how thankful I am for her and that God chose her as my mom!  But then I also have such mixed feelings of Mother's Day because I really think that we shouldn't just spend one day a year celebrating our Mothers.  When I think of my Mom I am reminded of Proverbs . . .

25 "She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

Proverbs 31:25-31

I also think that Mother's Day, while it is well-meaning is polarizing and hurtful.

I think of the women who so desperately want to be mothers but have been unable to have children.

I think of those women who have lost children, whether they were in utero, 3 days old, 25 years old.

I think of those waiting on children through adoption, maybe they have been matched and maybe not yet.

I think of those single women who long for a family.

I think of those husbands who lost their wives too early.

I think of those birthmothers who placed their children for adoption.  They are mothers and yet, they won't get any sweet scribbles this year.

I think of the mothers who were unable to care for their children...

I think of those who have lost their mothers too early.

I lift those women and families up in prayer this weekend.  May the Lord of Peace be with you as you go through another painful holiday.  

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 
Phil 4:6-8

...I was one of those women until 5 weeks ago.  Now that I'm on the other side, I can't say all that pain is gone.  Our adoption has yet to be finalized and though I'm trusting God and His plan, I still have some fear that something will happen.  People have said a lot of helpful, and some hurtful, comments along this whole process.  But I think that one of the most thoughtful things someone said came very unexpectedly from my maternal grandmother when I called her on our "Gotcha Day".  She said, "I know you're happy, you've been waiting so long for this moment." (to be a mother)  You know, she was right.  To make a long story short... I still have yet to know if we'll have biological children, but we're planning on having more children.  It's clear that God has His own, perfect timing for things and that meant for me to become a mother just two weeks before my 31st birthday.  One thing is for sure, that I'm confident that I have no idea what the timetable will be and I'm cool with that. (Well, I strive to be!)  I have confidence that I am exactly where God wants me to be, and that is more than enough for me.

But I can't just rely on my feelings, we have to rely on the truth of the gospel.  We were going through a series on the hope at Church in April and there was one week where our Pastor said "the scars which were shame will be glory" which makes me think of all the hurt that those listed above (and others) go through.  We have hope in Christ.  Our pain is only momentary (although it may not seem like it) and it will be glory one day.  I hope that gives you something to hold onto.  Christ didn't die for nothing.  His resurrection was the beginning of the possibility for new life, together with Him forever.  One parting quote from another sermon from our Pastor on hope...

"What you believe about the future determines how you will live in the present."

I also think of those who just had a baby and are worried you're not doing it right. (I'm with you!)  Great read for first time mommies! 

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