Life's Uncertainties: Mothering By Heart, Mothering, Perspective, Relationship

Life’s Uncertainties: Mothering By Heart

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I just read the story of a mother of young children (you can find it here) that tightened my perspective, reminding me nothing in this life is certain.

Hubby and I spent years praying for children, weeping over our barren arms.

Through that season of aching, joy and sorrow walked hand in hand each time a friend told me she was pregnant. I attended baby showers. Until it became too painful to hold in the tears.

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We stopped attending church on Mother’s Day. One year we went and carnations were handed out, and then collected back when I admitted that, no, I was not a mother.

Even though my heart yearned to wear that title.

When we were both ready to consider adoption, God worked. And fast. He filled our empty arms with a wiggly baby boy who had ten perfect fingers and ten kissable toes. And a set of lungs to wake us from sleep in the middle of the night.

Seventeen months later, God gave us the gift of adopting another precious boy with deep blue eyes. We’ve rocked our boys to sleep, tucked them in each night. We’ve read them bedtime stories and prayed with them.

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We’ve watched as they fell in love with the written word and pored over books, learned to play piano, and they’ve begun to dream of what they’ll be when they grow up.

I love being a mom.

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So, why is it so easy for my to-do list to steal the joy of single moments with my children?

Sometimes, I forget the blessing God gave me when He placed two boys into my heart. I forget how precious they are. It’s so easy to focus instead on training them up to be men of integrity. Sometimes, I forget to bask in their hugs, their exuberance, their smiles.

The story I read reminded me life can be stripped away unexpectedly. It’s got me thinking about the memories our children will carry into adulthood.

If I was to be called Home tomorrow, what lessons would our boys take into their teen years? Adulthood? Hopefully, they’ll embrace the lessons we’re trying to instill in them.

Even more than training, I hope they remember shared times together—bowling for the first time, encouragement from their parents, family game nights, hikes, swimming in the ocean.

I want our children to know—and believe—they are cherished and loved beyond measure.

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I’m praying for a tighter perspective when it comes to living out the gift of motherhood. It’s a hard, dying-to-self kind of life—this being a mother—but it’s one that fills me deep and overflows me with wonder.

For these children I prayed.

God said yes to my pleas. May I mother—and love—in a way that fills our boys with confidence and points their hearts to Him.

What about you? What have you prayed for that has changed you? What have you learned through the gifts God has given you?

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Fear

Dogged By Fear

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Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti and freedigitalphotos.net

“Mommy, will you please hold me?” Peter asked as we knocked on the door at a friend’s house. The thought of being greeted by a dog, no matter how small, nice or mellow struck fear into the deepest part of my then five year old son.

I wanted to reply, “Honey, God doesn’t want you to be afraid.” To me, facing a dog is a normal part of life. To him, fear of the unknown loomed larger than anything else in the moment.

As I considered the terror my son had of dogs, I thought about a Bible verse. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).” It is easy for me to spout these words to my boy, but how do they apply in my life? What are the “dogs” I face? An unstable economy, difficult people, sickness and other concerns all fall into the “Things I fear” category.

This verse made me realize I cannot react in fear to a situation and still think clearly about it. And, I can’t work through it with God’s power and with His love if fear determines my steps. One half of the verse or the other will dictate how I respond to life’s challenges.

A spirit of fear persuades me to flounder through trials and uncertainties with my own strength rather than trusting in God. It encourages me to focus on myself rather than on Him. When I choose this manner of getting through tough circumstances, I end up confused, exhausted and defeated. If I choose to trust God in the scary things of my life, I can rest in Him and know that He’s “got it.”

That day at my friend’s house, I held Peter’s hand and stepped inside with him close at my side. How wonderful to know that God does the same for me. When I call out to Him, He gives me what I need to overcome fear and to walk with confidence through the situation.

Your Turn: What helps you to work through fear?