“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
There is no way I can let this week pass by without a post on motherhood.
From the time I could form a thought, I knew I wanted to be a mother.
It was a desire placed in my heart by God and I knew that one day, He would fulfill it.
My senior year of high school, I remember sitting in my guidance counselor's office. He asked me where I was planning on going to college, and what career path I was leaning towards.
I looked down at my feet, straps of my sandals pressing hard against my early 90's tanning bed colored skin...
Clearing my throat, I said, "Sir, I really want to be a wife and a mother. I am not sure of much past that."
I don't know why my cheeks flushed to a bright red, but they did.
He was surprised. He had not ever been told by a student those words.
My kids laugh every time I tell them this story. They are just shocked that my one ambition in life was "motherhood and being a wife."
My daughter, wanting to be anything but like her mother as an independent 16 year old, laughs the hardest. She tells me she wants to dress up every day and go to work and live in a big city.
"No pony tails and yoga pants for me!" She throws her head back and giggles.
I tell her to pursue those dreams of hers. God gives us those dreams and desires.
I also tell her that her heart may change...and that is okay too.
Perhaps the biggest thing in motherhood that I have learned...is to laugh.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:21
And to learn to adapt to change.
Change is inevitable. God is the only One Who does not change
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Our children grow up.
Our children will rebel.
Our children will let us down.
Our children will make us wonder where on Earth we went wrong as parents.
Our children will break down every single solid ounce of PRIDE we have ever had...and then some.
Our children will make us eat our words.
Our children will make us realize how little control we really have in life.
Our children will bring us flat faced to the floor in prayer more than anything else in life.
When my kids were little, I would dread them growing up. I would picture them grown and independent and I would cry and beg God to let the years go slow.
What I did not know at that time, was how incredibly fun it is to watch your children grow.
Yes, it is hard.
But, it is so rewarding to see them become who God had designed them to be.
When my son was a senior in high school. I felt two very distinct feelings...
One feeling was that of relief that he had made it through high school, and all of the teenage angst it entails.
The second feeling was that of sadness that a huge part of my daily routine with him was over.
His entire high school years, I spent on my knees in prayer.
I asked God to open my eyes and to help me be INTENTIONAL in every way.
I stepped back from social media, I stepped back from anything that would take distract me from being present during that time.
I knew that these years were important. Even though he was more independent in some ways, he desperately needed me in other ways.
I became a better listener instead of always talking, talking, talking to him.
I became an observer. I did not want to miss a second.
When he graduated from high school, my heart was prepared for the next step.
What I did not know was how my heart would be ready. All those years worrying and fretting about the day he would leave the nest...I was not factoring in God's Faithfulness.
Friend, God is Faithful. Every step of the way.
Factor in His Faithfulness.
The more my kids grow, I am learning that my plans for them is not God's plan for them. I have to ask for forgiveness over and over for trying to force my agenda at times.
God's plan is better. Even if we don't see it at the time.
I believe that motherhood burns away pride and sometimes it is painful.
There are several scriptures that I cling to on a daily basis when praying over them. I will share a few...
"Lord, whether they turn to the right or to the left, let them hear Your Voice saying, "this is the way, walk in it." Isaiah 30:21
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on my children; establish the work of their hands -- yes, establish the work of their hands. Psalm 90:17
Help my children to grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4
In everything they do, let them have great success, because the LORD is with them. 1 Samuel 18:14
The Lord is their Shepherd, they have all that they need. Psalm 23:1
Lord, contend with those who contend with my children. Fight against those who fight against them. Psalm 35:1
Let my children be still, and know that You are God. Psalm 46:10
One of the hardest parts of motherhood has been trusting God with my kids. It is true.
Slowly, I have had to loosen my grip and let God have his way. I have seen time and time again that the sweetest fruit comes from the hardest times.
When I think that there is NO way that something could be God's will for them, I eventually see the humility and character that was developed due to the struggle.
Not just for them, but for myself.
If you are reading this post and you are not a mother...
God has probably put someone or maybe even a few people in your life to pray over and mentor. Motherhood is not always biological. Motherhood takes shape in many ways.
The heart of a mother prays, tends to those who need an ear to listen, or a table to sit at.
The heart of a mother makes sacrifices for others, often putting herself last.
Teachers are the first people that come to mind. Perhaps no one spends as much time teaching and pouring into our children as their teachers. Pray for them often.
Many women are spiritual mothers to those around them...and they are very important to God's Kingdom.
I will end by telling you a little secret. Keep it just between us...
For many years, I begged God to let us have more children. I begged my husband as well. The answer seemed to always be a resounding No.
Not long ago, God opened my eyes to something beautiful.
If I had more children, I would not be able to be as close and involved with my nieces and nephews and other precious younger ones God has put in my life.
God knew what was best. He always does.
Factoring in His Faithfulness,