We’ve had an amazing weekend, from a mother’s tea with Lucas and his kindergarten class, to a dual birthday celebration for my boys at Disneyland (complete with Nonna and Papa Price), to seeing my exuberant kids running to and away from the waves of the Pacific and seeing Nicholas feel sand, eat sand, and dip his tiny toes in the frigid water, to shopping for Nick’s birthday and mother’s day, ending with my favorite blackberry sauvignon gelato before I head to bed.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I am so excited to share the day with my little gifts and to see their smiles as they reveal the treasures they’ve made for me. As I sit in anticipation, my eyes tear with gratefulness for the precious lives that are entrusted to me and sting with guilty realization that I am not the mother I want for them.
Every once in a while, when I am least expecting it, out of the deepest, darkest depths of my humanity I see the ugliness of my mortality emerge. Sometimes with great embarrassment, I stifle that which I wish I wasn’t. Other times, like tonight, I give way to the self righteousness, feeling wholly justified in the action, but rather than peaceful satisfaction, I see the ugliness from outside of myself and realize, I am not the person I would choose to raise these children.
I am inept.
I am hateful.
I am inadequate.
… and yet, I am forgiven.
I am equipped.
I am chosen.
Wholly incapable am I on my own, but with deep thanks I rejoice in knowing that “His strength is made perfect in my weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I admit that after a year of being a stay at home mom, and completing my daily tasks at the height of exhaustion, never being able to check everything off a “to-do” list, and getting no high-fives for a job well done, I have been able to think of many things I would like tomorrow to be. I’ve thought of shoes I want, dresses to wear, pedicures to receive, a day of rest, children sleeping through the night … creme brulee.
I have considered myself deserving of being celebrated in a way I never have before, and yet when it comes right down to it, what tomorrow will mean for me is exactly what motherhood is.
Tomorrow, I will teach my children how to love and accept and to welcome with the love of Jesus.
Tomorrow, I will lay down my pride.
Tomorrow, I will show grace to my children when they make mistakes …
to those who have not yet grappled with Christ’s grace to them …
for myself as I grow in accepting that I will never get it exactly right.
Tomorrow, I will take another stride toward gentleness …
Tomorrow, I will rest in the knowledge that I am a work in progress and though I cannot do everything on my own, I am being led in raising these gifts by the one who loves me too much to not be the strength that I don’t have on my own.
Tomorrow, I won’t celebrate myself, but I will celebrate the precious privilege I have been given in being mom to Lucas Emanuel, our little light bearer who reminds me that I serve a God that comes near to me in my imperfection, Bethany Jordan who helps me remember that I have a safe place to hide when the world is too much to bear, and Nicholas Judah who is evidence of a God who knows my heart and brings victory to his children and accepts my praise, even when it seems a sacrifice of a broken heart.
To me, mother’s day is no longer about my daily sacrifices on the journey, but rather about celebrating the three lives and one angel baby that bespeak my name as mother, and how the Lord uses them to draw me closer to his heart.