To The Mother Hearts
Mother’s Day takes on a multitude of forms depending on who you are talking to. I have friends who are mothers of biological children and adopted children, step-mothers, foster-mamas, moms who have lost children, friends who have lost their moms, and friends who long to be mothers but have struggled to conceive.
Here’s what I want to say to each of you--
To the mother-to-be, anxious with anticipation, nervous about the unknown, hopeful for a bright and exciting future-- you have so much cause to celebrate! Pregnancy is one of the hardest things some women will ever experience, but the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will add a thousand new shimmering dimensions to your life. Cut yourself some slack this season. Your body is currently doing superhuman things. Also, allow yourself to get excited. Yes, motherhood is hard, but all of the best things are. And it is, perhaps, the most important, hard thing you will ever do. Remember, God saw fit to assign you to the task. You already have what it takes.
To the woman who has longed for motherhood-- I am celebrating you today because even though you may not currently carry the official title, your spirit encapsulates the very heart of what it is to be a mother. I understand that there will be moments this weekend of heartache and hurt, but I want to encourage you not to lose heart. Some of the world’s most recognized mothers were barren for years and years before the Lord called them to rise up and take their place in the motherhood lineage. Let this holiday be an anthem of hope that your time will come, no matter what that may look like or when it may happen. But also know, today, in this moment, you already carry a mother’s heart.
Enjoy this time of exploration and opportunity, but don’t write off the next phase of your life, because it very likely could be the best.
To my friends who are just trying to suck everything they can out of life before taking on the daunting role of motherhood--keep doing what you’re doing. Backpack across Europe, land the dream job, fall in love, adopt a dog, volunteer, write the book, start the business, embrace this season fully. But please don’t think when the day finally comes to start a family (if that's what you feel called to), that you will be signing your death wish. Josh Garrels once said, “you can do anything with kids you could do without, it is just harder.” And it’s true. Sure, things will look different for a while, but I think as parents we do our children a disservice by halting life when they arrive. When Cyrus was born, Matt and I vowed to keep dreaming, traveling, and fully pursuing our callings, and I honestly think that is one of the best things we could have done for Cyrus. So, enjoy this time of exploration and opportunity, but don’t write off the next phase of your life, because it very likely could be the best.
To all the step-moms, foster-mamas, and adoptive moms--I am in awe of you. You have voluntarily taken on the role of motherhood with confidence and grace. Maybe the transition has not been easy, or you struggle to find where you fit among other mothers, but you are doing something incredibly brave and beautiful. Your heart is perhaps the purest of all because you have embodied the very heart of Christ by choosing to love one who was not your own. You are a mother among mothers, and I admire you to no end. Know that this holiday is every bit about you as it is other mothers. Thank you for showing the rest of the world the power of loving another.
And to all the mamas out there who have lost themselves amidst the spit-up stains and early mornings. Who have looked in the mirror and seen a scary-eyed, yoga-pantsed stranger staring back at them. You’ve given up your body to nourish and grow another human. You wake up early and go to bed late, and sometimes six more times between. You stress over what to feed your kids or how much tv they should watch. You work tirelessly keeping everyone alive and relatively healthy and happy, and you still lay your head down at night wondering if you are doing enough of the right things. Some of you have full-time jobs or kids with special needs or are single parents. The thing is, we each have our own battles to fight.
But I need you to know that no matter how you think you stack up against the other moms, you are precisely what your child needs. No one can replace you. You are seen and you are enough. One day is a laughably insignificant amount of time to celebrate you, but you don’t mind because you care so much more about making sure everyone is taken care of than you do being appreciated. And that’s what makes you incredible.
Here's to you, sweet moms. ♥