Motherhood is indeed a high calling. When my first son turned a year old, I celebrated the fact that I had made it a whole year and had not left him anywhere unintentionally. For scatter-minded people like me, who are forever losing things, this was something to celebrate.
Since then I have learned that motherhood is much more than just keeping up with where your kids are…. Even though it is important and gets monumentally harder the older they get.
I have often wondered when I would feel success as a mother. When does that day come for a mom? When can she sit back, put her feet up and say, “Yep, I did it. I am a mothering success.” For most days we go through life feeling as though we have fallen just a bit short of the mark. We loved too much, or not enough. We disciplined too much or not enough. It is a rare day when we actually tell ourselves, “You are the mom of moms. Accept your trophy!”
My first son graduates high school in a few short weeks. In all the time since his first birthday, I still have not left him anywhere unintentionally. He has his own wheels now, and while I may not always know where he is, thanks to GPS phone tracking, I at least know where his phone is.
My kids are all growing up. The clock ticks louder in my ear now, telling me my time with them at home is growing shorter. As I watch this happen before my eyes, I am evolving a little as a mom. God has shown me recently a few things I didn’t used to understand completely.
Mom’s are really in the middle. We stand in the middle between our kids and our heavenly Father. We besiege the Father with prayers for our kids. Prayers for safety and health. Success and happiness. For salvation and faith. For good grades and good friendships. Thanks be to God for His abounding love or He would have tired of my frequent petitions for my kids years ago.
We also stand in the middle for our kids as we lead them to follow the Father. When they are little they follow us as we follow Him. They learn by our example, whether good or bad, how to follow Him.
While as moms we will pray for our kids until our dying breath, at some point we have to step out of the middle and allow our children to follow Him on their own. At our house we call this making your faith your own. This isn’t something that happens overnight. But I am seeing it happen and maybe for the first time in my life as a mom, for just a moment I think, “Yep, I did it.” But then I quickly step aside and know that it isn’t me.
To watch your child follow their heavenly Father apart from you, is truly splendid to see. For as they let go of your hand, and take hold of His, the peace in a mother’s heart is unmatched. While mothers try so hard to be all things to their children, in our imperfections, we fail. But our perfect God never fails. As I see God taking the hand of my oldest child, I can almost see His face as He looks to me and says, “It’s okay, I’ve got this. He’s going to be fine.”
And I know he will be.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the tireless mothers who love till it hurts, work till they drop, go without so that their kids don’t have to, and pray till their knees wear out.