The one with the kids. The one with the backpack, purse, and grocery bag all in tow!
I’m talking to you.
You are rockin’ this parenting thing. You really look like you got it all figured out. You are taking home the prize today!
The way you wipe noses while taking that phone call.
How you stir supper at the stove with one hand while consoling the little one on your hip
And you always arrive just in time for the scheduled parent-teacher conferences
That birthday party? Boy, you are a master planner!
You drive that minivan like a BOSS… you get everyone buckled in record time
After a long day at work, you show up on the scene and conquer homework
Wow. You. Are. Something.
We see you. And we appreciate you.
Mothers, how can anyone adequately define your love? How could anyone possibly know the depths of your commitment?
A dear friend of mine once described her love for her son as an ache--a feeling, a knowing so deep, so personal, so intimate and unique, that it grips you down deep and never lets go.
It’s a love that grows during pregnancy. It’s unconditional. It becomes part of you. It’s inside of you and outside of you all at the same time. You can’t ignore it. You can’t escape it. There’s no denying it. It’s a state of being. It’s realizing “I am a mother.”
Mom, your job isn’t easy. It’s late nights and early mornings. It’s sickness and injury. It’s problem-solving and paving the way. It’s discipline and forgiveness. It’s encouraging and persevering. It’s tough, and it’s tender.
And it’s okay that you’re not perfect. You’re not supposed to be. You can mess up. You can cry. You can doubt. You can question. You can fear. You can get it right, and you can get it wrong.
In fact, it’s okay if you were actually a little late getting to that parent-teacher conference. You made it.
So you dropped your cell phone in the dog’s water bowl while wiping noses. You don’t have to be a professional juggler.
Don’t beat yourself up if dinner burned while you were consoling the little one. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are just fine.
No one cares that you didn’t make the perfect birthday cake, that you picked it up last minute from the grocery store.
No worries that you showed up to the wrong baseball field for your son’s game. It’s understandable. You’ve got so much stuff crammed into that box on the calendar.
And the buggy you hit with the minivan while backing out because you were in such a hurry? That’s okay, too.
I have the pleasure of knowing some pretty fantastic moms—ordinary women like you and me just trying to get it right and not mess up our kids. I’d like to share some of their stories with you. You just might see yourself in them.
It was winter. They lived in a small apartment. Money was tight, so the power bill did not get paid. Daytime was bearable since the sunlit and warmed their tiny home.
As evening approached, the mother knew the apartment would get cold and dark. She thought about her options and then came up with a plan.
She gathered blankets and pillows and brought them into the kitchen. She lit candles and turned on the gas stove. She called her young daughter out from her room and into the kitchen.
With excitement in her eyes and worry in her heart, the mother explained that they were having a camp out in the kitchen. She said they’d roast marshmallows and tell stories until they fell asleep.
And that’s exactly what they did.
Today it is still one of the daughter’s sweetest memories of childhood.
Grocery Store Run
Watching the time closely, she picked up her son from school and headed to the grocery. Her son was four.
There was no time to waste. She needed to grab a few items for supper, get home, cook, and take care of evening chores. She explained this to her four-year-old so that he would understand this was to be a fast in-and-out kind of shopping trip.
The mother quickly pulled into the first parking spot she found, threw open the door, grabbed her son by the hand, and marched to the store entrance.
As the mother walked, she noticed there seemed to be extra weight pulling on her arm. She looked down to discover she was dragging her son. Through the parking lot. He had lost his footing and was struggling to get up.
Immediately she stopped and knelt down to help him. She realized then there was no real reason to hurry. Together they strolled into the store.
Her son is now 18, and they still remember this event as hysterically funny and somewhat embarrassing. What they must have looked like that day in the parking lot!
Friday Nights at the Mall
On most Friday nights, Mother would agree to take her teenage daughter and a few friends to the mall.
The mall was the hangout. There was pizza, two record stores to hear the latest hits, two arcades, and a movie theater. There were usually cute boys as well.
Mom always understood that the outing was for the girls, not for her. She wasn’t to walk with them or escort them anywhere in particular. She was just their ride.
She seemed to accept her role and respected the space her daughter desired. She gladly walked behind and watched the interactions from a safe distance.
The mother knew her daughter needed her, would need her, just not right now. She was finding her place in the social world, and mom was okay with that.
Today the daughter is parenting her own teenager. She too is watching from a safe distance as he finds his way in the world.
She is a new mother. She is young and parenting in the age of social media. Her Facebook friends know her son as little man, as she affectionately calls him.
It is clear from her posts just how much she is enjoying motherhood. And we get to enjoy it right along with her.
We were there when little man was born. She invited us all to share in the sweet moments following his birth.
We were there when he took his first steps. We cheered, we liked, and we commented.
When he learned to eat with a fork, we celebrated with her.
We’ve tagged along as he went to birthday parties, the campground, and the zoo.
If you follow this mom on social media, you too will fall in love with little man. He is her profile picture and cover photo. He is her smile, her heartbeat, her every breath.
Trust in the Unknown
Hers is a story of trust.
Trusting that she made the best decisions she could. Trusting that she raised them right. That she did it differently.
When faced with divorce, she did not cave. She did not crumble. She trusted that there was something better.
As her children grew, she prepared them for the future, trusting they were destined for something great.
When her son chose the U. S Marine Corps, she entrusted his life to the recruiter and commanding officer.
She doesn’t talk with him every day. Their visits are months apart. She’s not always privy to where he is or where he is going. But she trusts.
What courage it must take to be a Marine. What courage it takes to be a mom.
Here’s to you, mom. For your wisdom, your ways, your discernment—we thank you. May your influence shine in our lives as bright as Proverbs 8.
Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice!
On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads.
By the gates at the entrance to the town, on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
“I call to you, to all of you! I raise my voice to all people.
You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding.
Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right, for I speak the truth.
And detest every kind of deception. My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge.
Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption, and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.
Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees. Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments…”