Monday, April 12, 2010

Meditating on motherhood....

Some times I'm hit with these realizations, and they really make me stop and think.

Some are pretty simple.

Some are profound, but they are always really interesting to me.

I'm reading a book right now that's prodding me to think about motherhood and all that it means, this is a sad, sad book, and it's bringing out some pretty deep considerations on what it means to mother a child.

We're talking big time, serious stuff here.

Motherhood is such a big and important job, so much so that "big" and "important" seem entirely inadequate word choices to describe it.

I'd go so far as to say, that it's one of the most important roles anyone can ever play. Think of it, mother's are so paramount in the formation of who a child will be in the future. Mother's are critical in their childrens development, critical to the role they'll play in the world.

What mothers give to their children shapes and sculpts the person they will be, and what a mother withholds does the same. Who our children become is dependent on us as mothers, what we provide, what we sacrifice, what we supply, what we lovingly donate to their upbringing. Conversely what we don't provide, what we won't sacrifice, what we will not supply or donate to their raising up, makes just as big (if not bigger) an impact on who they will become in the future.

On reading this very sad book, I'm struck with thoughts of how deep and primal the bond between mother and child can be (and I say "can" be because not all mothers want to be mothers, and not all mother's want to bond with their children). Whether they are biological mother and child, or adopted mother and child, that "want" between them is what ties them together and makes the dance between them so incredibly foundational to the child's life, and dare I say the mother's as well.

Mothers provide warmth, nurturing, security, discipline, guidance, training, teaching, tenderness, and in the case of Christian mothers, they display for their children a model of what a Christian woman and mother look like. They provide tenderness and adoration, and unconditional love. When a child receives these things from their mother, they flourish, they thrive, and their future opens up before them. They can get this from any woman wanting to call themselves "mother", it's not all about biology here, it's about that call from within a woman to care for children, it's deeply ingrained on many women (I say "many", not all), at the core of our being, and it's God given.

When a child is denied the tender love of a mother, what becomes of them? When a child has security, discipline, guidance and nurturing withheld from them, how does that shape them? What does that teach them? It may not ruin their lives, but it changes them most certainly.

Mother's are paramount. A good mama makes the world a brighter place don't you think?

Back to this book, this sad, sad book, it's about motherhood, and the bond between mama and child, from conception, or first sight. One mama births her babies but is not permitted to keep them, and she endures the agony of loving her babies deeply and having to live without them, and live with the uncertainty of what has become of them. Heart breaking. One mama finds her body prematurely shutting down reproductively and has to become a mother through the process of adoption, which is a life changing experience for her, and she instantly feels like this child's mother, though she didn't birth her, because it was on her heart to mother a child, any child, the child they adopt is instantly their child, it's amazing. It's touching, it's heart wrenching, it's thought provoking, and it's powerful, and I am not even done yet!

I'm in awe of motherhood. Of mothers. Of good mothers. Determined, sacrificing, loving, devoted, hard working, tender, smart, strong and amazing mothers. I've got one (how blessed am I?), and I strive to be one. I pray God will help me each day be the kind of mother my children need to grow up happy, healthy, secure and pointed in the right direction, and He knows I need help!

Dads are paramount too, but that's another post all together! I guess what I am thinking of is how happy I am to be a mother, and how seriously I take the role and it's responsibilities. I think all too often it's easy to forget that motherhood is not a pastime, or just something you are, but rather it's a role, it's a job description, and when your job is done, it produces a product, an outcome. Your children are the product of your parenting, and who they will become 20 years from now is up to us right now! That's HUGE! What we do today is slowly sculpting who they will be tomorrow. That's exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Overall it's motivating!

I want to create an environment where my children will thrive.

I want to be the sort of mother that cultivates trust, joy, confidence, ambition, motivation, faith and devotion. I want my arms to be a safe haven, I want my voice to be a comfort, I want our home to be a shelter from the rest of the world. Am I there yet? No. I have work to do.

Thank God for tiny little reminders that I have big work to do, and how worth while the effort will be!

Thank God for mothers (my mom especially), and for motherhood.

Thank God for children who provide us with a purpose unlike any other.

Thank God for my children, children unlike any other who have changed my life and have bettered me in every imaginable way.



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