Is there anything that makes you feel more like a Mommy than caring for a sick child?
Both my kids have been sick with strep throat for the past two days. Brown-Eyed Girl has thrown up a couple of times, and Brown-Eyed Boy has had such a high fever he was miserably whining and crying while he was trying to rest. My heart has been aching constantly.
Aside from selfishly wanting to curl into a ball in a dark quiet room – ALONE!, all of this “tugging on my heart strings” has served to remind me of this wonderful calling of motherhood that God has placed in my life.
When I think back, I remember that for a very long time, I didn’t want to ever have kids. Even when my close friends were starting to have babies of their own, I remember wondering if I was ever going to “catch the fever”. Thankfully, my hubby and I were on the same page on the subject of kids, one of us not pushing the other into a decision. We both were in agreement with the sentiment expressed by Elizabeth Gilbert’s friend in Eat, Pray, Love: “Having a child is like getting a tattoo on your face. You better be fully committed before you do it.”
Considering my past reservations about motherhood, I am continually amazed at the joy that being a mother brings to me. I am in awe daily at the privilege of caring for another human being. Teaching them things about life. Learning from them things about life. It is definitely a two-way street.
In those “teachable moments”, I am forced to cohere my own thoughts on whatever the subject may be. The most recent “tough Mommy moment” was when my daughter and I were talking about having babies, how long it takes, the pain, etc. I told her that it was very hard but it was very worth it, and I can’t imagine my life without her in it, and how thankful I am that God chose me and Daddy to be her parents. Enter her next comment: “But you don’t have to be married to have a baby. Lots of people who aren’t married have babies. Aunt ______ did.”
Ouch. Aunt ______. My sister. I love her dearly, and it’s hard to believe we are so different, given that we were raised by the same people. Deep breath. This is where grace comes in to account.
Without focusing on Aunt _______, I tell my daughter that while it is *possible* to have a baby without being married, it is not God’s best for anyone’s life. That it is hard work and that babies do best when they grow up with both a mommy and a daddy.
She quickly lost interest in the conversation (thank the Lord!), and I didn’t want to drag it out unnecessarily, so we just left it at that.
And *that*, my friends, is a textbook example of a teachable moment. You never expect them, you can’t plan for them, and they might even come out of nowhere. And when they come, you’d better take advantage of them, cuz you may only get two sentences worth of wisdom in before your child loses interest.
Motherhood is not for sissies. Quite frequently, I feel like a soldier enlisted in a war of wills, a battle of personalities, fighting on the front lines of this thing called Life. Losing the fight or even the will to fight is not an option. My children will not be casualties. We will all come out winners. Both sides will profit from this experience.
Please don’t mistake my attitude for hubris. The stance I take is only possible because I have the One who has already won the war as my Field Guide. He is a seasoned Advisor, a Medal of Honor-winning Veteran who goes into battle alongside me to spur me on to greatness, on to feats I would otherwise not be able to accomplish on my own.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
Suit up, ladies. God provides tools in all sizes, for every circumstance. You will not be under-equipped or misguided. And with God on your side, you will not fail.
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
~ Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)