So many people said to me today, “Happy Mother’s Day!” and my response was something along the lines of “It is happy, indeed.” And it was. It was so happy. Joyous. Perfection. In case you hadn’t noticed, I absolutely love being a mother. I love our baby girl, I love this role, I love being home with her and getting to share almost every moment of my day with her, I love watching her grow and develop and learn, I love love love her. And I’m blessed beyond measure to not only have the opportunity to raise this child of God, but to have had some remarkable models for how to do it. Myown mother is my personal hero, my dearest friend, and my biggest fan. The older I get, the more I realize how sacred this relationship is, and how rare it really is to have an adult friendship with my mother that’s so….. good. She’s the best, y’all. Everything I am is because of her and I hope and pray every day that I might continue to become more like the woman that she is. My mother-in-law is pretty grand, too. I’m pretty pleased with the job she did raising my husband and am grateful that Clara has two grandmothers who differ in a million ways, but are alike in all the ways that matter: valuing family, loving fully, and serving God with a willing heart. So, it’s true: my cup runneth over.
But this whole thing with Clara has changed me, you know. And so today, while I felt so immeasurably blessed by my circumstances and affirmed and loved by my amazing family, I also had a heavy heart. Clara’s sickness, her near death, and the experiences of the past year have shown me that what we’ve got should never be taken for granted. I now have friends for whom today was very difficult. I know mothers who have lost their babies and whose arms were empty today. My heart was so broken for them today. I know they aren’t the only ones who hurt though. There are women who have lost their mothers too soon and with that have lost a connection to their own pasts. There are orphans who have no mother today. There are women who want more than anything to become a mother, a longing that I know well, but who are struggling with infertility or the complex adoption system and again, have empty arms. There are women who are estranged from their children or their mothers and who have strained, saddened, hurting relationships in need of healing. The bottom line is, there is a lot of brokenness in this world and a lot of it I simply do not understand. I know very well it could have been me and I’m sure I’ll never fully understand why it wasn’t. I am saddened by the grief that I know was made raw today for many others, and yet somehow, because I’ve had just the teeniest glimpse of that, a small small taste, the ability to sort of kind of not really but almost imagine it, my day felt so sacred.
I don’t say all this to be a downer on a day of love and celebration. It’s just the double edged sword I live with these days. My blessings feel so abundant, but I want to be so cognizant of it all the time, because I recognize that we are all always just a breath away….. And I guess I wanted to say to any and all of you who may fall into one of those categories that made today difficult, that I’m not naïve enough to think that all of life is as good as it feels to me right now. I wanted you to know that while I was treasuring time with my daughter and my mother today, that I was also hurting for you, thinking of you, and praying for you. I held Clara a little extra tight today. I gazed into her twinkling eyes just a little bit deeper today. I thanked God that although this world is not perfect, we are given glimpses of His love on earth and a taste of how joyous heaven will someday be. And for those of you who felt deep sadness, and emptiness and loneliness and hurt today, I remember you. And I pray that somehow God will fill the voids and sustain you. I know that as a mother, there is an overwhelming desire to comfort, to heal, to provide and to shelter my child. The image of “Mother God” is not typically one that I am drawn to, but I do believe that in moments like this, God wants all of that for you too. Peace be with you.
Thanks be to God.
* You may recognize this dress from Clara's birth announcements. It was mine, hand smocked by my great Aunt Shirley and worn in her daughter's wedding in the summer of 1983. Such a special piece for a special day.
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|So fun to watch Clara run all over the sanctuary, with a sense of joy and belonging
|Sweet Mama and Clara snuggled up on the screened porch reading while it thunderstormed outside. Life is sweet.
|Extra tight snuggles tonight
|"Can you believe it? She's upstairs, asleep, in our house. She's here. She's ours. She's alive."