Sunday, May 10, 2015

What Mother's Day Means to Me

I shared this on Facebook in May.  I wanted to make sure I went back and added it here too.

Mother’s Day.  Yes, it’s all the “normal” things like little handprint poems and flowerpots.  Homemade cards.  Feet pattering down the hall.  Family movie nights snuggled together on the couch.  Mud puddles.  Jumping in leaves gathered in piles.  Hand-picked bouquets from the yard.  “I love you, Mommy!”

It’s also years of being foster parents to children who touched our lives for only short moments.  Where are they now?  What has become of their lives?  I may never know.  The twins who attended Christmas parties with us that year.  The adorable African-American baby.  All those wondering faces – my blonde hair, his dark skin – could he really be hers?

It’s miscarriage, broken hearts, a child we were never able to meet.  A little shoe that still hangs in my room, engraved with the name “Micah.”

It’s the one little foster child that changed our lives forever.  Therapies, walkers, home visits.  Learning to love.  How could one little heart already be so wounded by life?  The snuggles that took years to earn.  The one birthed in a judge’s courtroom.

It’s the one I nurtured from the womb – yet was still unable to shield from life’s harshness.  The years spent in agonizing pain, hospital stays, numerous tests, doctor visits.  The moments I pray I never have to revisit.  The tube in his stomach that provides relief.  It’s “Mommy, when I get to heaven, I’m going to eat pizza!”  It’s seeing him wish he were rid of this contraption, this hole in his body – yet bearing it all with a strength well beyond his years.

It’s 9 years of children that I cared for just for a school year.  The ones with loving mothers of their own – and the ones looking to fill that deep place in their hearts.  It’s seeing them with tears in their eyes as we do Mother’s Day activities.  Will they even get to see her this year?

It’s one more year to celebrate with my own mother.  Thankful for the two Mother’s Days we spent together on borrowed time.  They didn’t think she’d make it for these.  It’s unlikely she’ll be here for the next.

And for many today, it’s the longings of motherhood yet unmet.  It’s waiting on the call from a system or agency.  It’s an unexpected bundle on the way.  It’s sitting at the hospital with those you love, praying for more time.  It’s longing for loved ones that left this earth too soon.

It’s the days when I handle all of these things with gentleness and grace.  When wisdom abounds.  When love flows unconditional.  And it’s also the days when my words are not so kind.  When I want to hide in the closet with a bag of chocolate.  When it’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other.

It’s knowing that God has and will continue to sustain me through it all.  There is nowhere I can flee from His presence.  To Him, there are no surprises.  I am a child of the King.  One day, my faith will be made sight. 

Whatever Mother’s Day means to you this year, I pray you will feel surrounded by His everlasting love, upheld by His never ending grace, and filled with His mercies that are new every morning.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.  Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”  Isaiah 49:15-16

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