April 16, 2008

Nothing Like Being a Mom

Simply put, I was made to be a mom.

After I married my husband in 1978, I discovered that my history of job descriptions all added up. I was meant to be a mom. Following high school I worked as a dishwasher, child care provider, cook, teachers’ aide, sandwich maker, and building maintenance worker. My free time was spent in Bible study, singing and playing guitar, outdoor adventures and journaling.

My faith, which I also call my “self-talk”, said that if God created my body to bear and nurture children, then he must have intended me to be a Mom. Out of respect for his design, I must say that he did a complete work; therefore the next step in my reasoning faith was to say “I can do it, because he designed me to”. Because of his loving creative power, I would see tremendous success, enjoyment, and satisfaction in this. Besides these reasonings, my desire for motherhood was strong (second only to my desire for a godly marriage).

Sure enough, when my first child was born – I knew my calling. I was made to bear and raise and teach and lead my children! There was no doubt that this would require my almost continual presence in the home. Like Jesus, who lived with, walked with, slept near, shared meals with, and talked with his disciples on a daily basis, I committed myself to “being there”.

My faith also caused me to say “if I follow his design, he will make the way”. My personality strengths include creativity and independence. These gave me the power to stand out in a crowd, to be more than what was considered normal for my time. I stayed home.

I encouraged myself that as my children saw the real me – with all my own needs and shortcomings, they would realize how much I relied on God’s presence and strength every day. The disciples of Jesus saw him heal. They saw him weep. They saw him suffer abuse, and they saw his love endure all things. They worshipped with him. They heard his voice, and they learned of his correction and his anger. They saw miraculous provision. They came to know God.

As a mom I could express my creative nature and choose to drop my duties on a whim, in order to engage in all-out play. I could capture a teaching moment as it came by me, like Jesus did when he pointed out an unfruitful fig tree on the path and taught his disciples a life lesson. I had the power as a stay-home mom to reorganize my plans for the day when a child was sick. When one of the children started singing, we could all bust out in unplanned worship. How could a mom do these things if she weren't there?

The heartfelt hugs, the pockets full of bugs, the off-the-wall questions, throwing rocks in mud puddles, the giggles – even the whining, all had their place. The challenges of growing and learning . . . . There’s nothing like being a mom!