17 Jul Motherhood: A Journey, Not a Destination
Almost eight years ago my mothering journey began with an unplanned trip to the hospital after my water broke almost five weeks before my due date.
As I waited in the quiet of my dark bedroom, seeking to relax my nervous heart as my husband put together our car seat (which was still in the box) I learned my first lesson of mothering: the birth of a baby is an unpredictably timed wild ride.
The childbirth course I took prepared me for this as best as it could, but here I was – preparing to deliver a premature baby at a hospital I hadn’t even visited when I had been preparing for a home birth of a (likely) 41 week term baby, which is average for first time moms.
Motherhood: A Journey, Not a Destination
I spontaneously became a mom before I felt prepared –
My little girl erupted into my life that cool October day, messy, wet, and howling. As I stared over her tiny little body in the bassinet beside me I was overwhelmed with two totally different emotions: love and fear.
Love for a daughter whose bright eyes and soft coos made my heart melt.
Fear over the reality that I was now responsible for another human being’s care and survival.
I stood in humble awe at the great responsibility while simultaneously bursting with joy at the new relationship I had been given by God.
Mothering, I have learned over the years is a beautiful mix of both of these things.
Daily and hourly we learn to love our children by shepherding their hearts towards truth, goodness, and beauty.
We learn to find that balance of being the one who requires consumption of vegetables at meal times while at the same time being one who will spontaneously take everyone out for ice cream.
We learn to set healthy boundaries and routines for our kids while also growing in our discernment of when to let to those routines slide for the day.
We learn to respect these little people without letting them disrespect us.
We learn to bear with them in their weaknesses and find ourselves often asking that they would bear with us in our own.
Mothering with Joyful Intentionality
A lot has changed since the day I brought my firstborn home from the hospital. We’ve added three more since then and the longer I walk on this mothering journey the deeper is the conviction that moves me towards this goal – to live my life and to mother my children joyfully and intentionally.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive and in fact, depend on one another.
Real joy in mothering doesn’t come from perfect days of sprinklers, fresh-baked cookies and sunshine. Nor does it come with perfect behavior or routines or plans.
Real joy comes when we (and our kids) know our worth and are secure in our identity as children of God. Real joy also comes when we embrace with vigor the sigificant work that our Heavenly Father has entrusted to us today.
You, dear mother, have been created with joy in the presence of Almighty God. He has filled your hands with great blessings – the little ones who call you “Mommy,” who long to be nurtured and shepherded by your example and your training.
Consider me – and all of us here at Missionary Mama – your cheerleaders and co-workers on this journey together.
Because when your two year old has locked you out of the house for the third time today or your baby kept you up all night, you may need a little encouragement to keep choosing joy.
So come journey with us as we explore this beautiful, messy, challenging, life-altering mission called motherhood.