Sunday, February 19, 2017

This Thing Called "Motherhood"

I can remember being a young girl and dreaming of the day that I would be a momma. Rocking my baby dolls, I imagined how it would feel to one day hold a baby of my own. I had their names all picked out (and, no, I didn't use a single name I had picked in the fourth grade--go figure!).
Point being, as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a momma. I've always dreamed and longed for a house full of kids. The chaos of them fighting or trying to get them out the door in the morning that often has me sighing and testing the limits of my patience is, at the end of the day, more perfect than I ever imagined. We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the chaos, the imperfections, the love and commitment, the struggles, the days when my patience is shorter than usual...when all of it is wrapped together at the end of the day, it's incredible.

This morning as I jokingly (but completely serious) told others at church that my morning could be described by the fact that "Don't lick that" was a phrase I uttered in the car this morning, I couldn't help but reflect on the morning. I thought of how out of breath I was by the time I finally arrived in my Sunday School room after shuffling them everywhere that they need to go. I thought about the car ride to church and how it was a mix between singing praise and worship songs and breaking up back seat fights. I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with how blessed I am.

This thing called "motherhood" is nothing like I imagined as a young girl. I never thought that my motherhood journey would begin as early as it did. I never imagined that I would bury one of my children a few days after giving birth to him and holding him for the first time. I never imagined that I would completely lose my fertility at 26 when my heart was still longing to be a mom again. 

(Side note: And to be honest, that's not something I share often because I worry about the criticism that will come from those who think "we should be happy with our two" [we are more thankful than you could imagine, especially after burying a baby, but that doesn't change the desires of your heart], or "kids are expensive", or any other reason someone can come up with to make the size of your family their business. But y'all that part of my motherhood journey has been incredibly hard for my heart.)
When I was a young girl, I dreamed of adopting internationally one day, but then God said, "not quite". In my dreams motherhood was always smooth and beautiful and instead it's constant chaos and sometimes after a long day, my parenting isn't always as beautiful as I would like for it to be. And it's in those moments that I have to seek forgiveness from my precious kiddos. But all of that to say that this thing called "motherhood" is hard. It's never like you imagined it would be. It's hectic and you never know what to expect (also, I never know what to expect out of the three year old's mouth so every day is like playing the lottery in public). Motherhood is messy.

But it is an absolutely beautiful, messy, chaotic, masterpiece that I never could have envisioned. I never could have imagined the incredible girls that my daughters have grown into. I never could have imagined the legacy that my son's short life would leave. I never could have imagined all of the children that I didn't give birth to, but that I have had the privilege of pouring my momma heart into their lives. 

I'm sure in a few years I'll be saying this again...that I never imagined it could get better. But I know God has great plans for our family that we can't even imagine. For now we embrace the busy, we embrace the messy, we embrace the crazy. And most of all, I wouldn't change a thing.
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