“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
And the number one thing I will ever do is be a mother.
A friend this week asked me why I wanted to become a mother. At first I was a little taken aback. This is not something I ever really questioned. I had always wanted to be a mother. In high school I kept a carseat in my car for the days I picked up the kids I babysat after school. I worked at daycares and summer camps and I spend everyday with 60 kids who aren’t even my own. I didn’t choose this life, it chose me.
But I am so thankful that she asked that question because it has prompted a little bit of reflection in me.
I gain so much joy simply from being around this little person that my body helped usher into the world. He is mostly sweet with a splash of independence and strong will and oh so funny. But that’s not my greatest blessing since becoming a mother.
I thrive on the planning and organization it takes to keep a household together- clean, well fed, and well rested. From meal planning to birthday parties, I love being my family’s chief executive. But that’s not my greatest blessing since becoming a mother.
I am thankful for all of the little gifts along the way. The handprint pictures and wiggly worms found in the garden and the little bunch of weeds that rivals the most beautiful bouquet. But these precious acts of kindness are not my greatest blessing since becoming a mother.
My greatest blessing since becoming a mother is the realization that I am not enough.
I will never be enough to fill my children’s hearts in the way that they are meant to be filled. I am flawed. I have major character defects that keep me from offering a perfect love to my children. So thank goodness that being a perfect mother is not what is asked of me. The thing that is asked of me is to daily point my children to the One who does offer that perfect, merciful love.
Since becoming a mother, I have become more aware of those character flaws. Its one thing to have moments of frustration with your husband, but its another thing entirely to look into the eyes of an innocent child and know that you will brush up against one another with negative emotions at many points throughout your relationship. Two years in and we already have. But the redeeming notion is that within our families, every time we have one of those rough, sandpaper moments, its just another opportunity to remind those little hearts in our charge that though our love is not perfect, God’s is. And it belongs to anyone who simply lets Him in.
So what is the purpose of mothers and mothering? The joy of our children, peacekeeping in our homes, and precious gifts along the way are the extra blessings that I am eternally grateful for. But the truly sacred calling we as mothers must answer is to use the strength of Christ to daily point our children back to the One who lent them to us in the first place.