Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Not "Just" A Mom

This year on Mother's Day, I didn't get breakfast in bed.  Instead, I got my preschooler snuggling into bed with me and my husband at 6:45 that morning.  As I kissed his cheek and put my arm around him, he said "Happy Mother's Day!" and told me excitedly that he had made a card for me the night before with Daddy's help.  This past Sunday, I didn't get pampered.  Instead, I got a huge smile from my daughter that was meant only for me as I lifted her out of the crib.  There was no parade held in my honor, no declarations about how much I do for our family. Just quiet undertones of recognition from my children, found in their giggles, laughter and hugs.  Gentle reminders that I am blessed to be not just a mom, but their mom.

Two days before, I attended a Mother's Day Tea at my son's school.  The children sang songs and we were treated to a special snack that they helped make.  Then all the moms were invited to take a look at the bulletin board in the back of the room, where the teacher had written what each child appreciated about their mom the most on construction paper flowers.  Colton's read "She plays and does games with me".  He could have chosen a million different things to say, but that's what stuck out in his mind the most.  It was an acknowledgment of the time and energy I invest in him daily.  When it's not convenient.  When I am exhausted.  When no one else sees.  When it seems fruitless.  

Rachel Janokovic wrote a post at Desiring God Ministries about motherhood that resonated with me:

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.
"Objects of cultural dislike" seems pretty harsh at first, until you consider that the abortion industry has now wiped out 1/4 of an entire generation of Americans and that society pushes more and more for children to grow up faster through media, education and clothing.  Kids' childhoods are being diminished and even obliterated today in the name of progress.

There are many days that I wonder if what I'm doing really makes any difference at all.  Sometimes all those menial, monotonous tasks and hours spent in child's play don't appear to have lasting value.  They might not seem like much to the world, but I know that they matter greatly to at least two people.  Two beautiful, precious kids that God has given me to mother.  I'm not just someone who feeds and clothes them, does their laundry and shuttles them around from one activity to another.  I am someone who invests in their lives and raises them to be contributing members of society.

And that is not just something.  It is everything.

Two of the best reasons I love being a mom.

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