photo credit: Linda Carreira
Last Saturday we gathered at the beautiful home of a friend, surrounded by floral arrangements and soft blues and yellows and joy as abundant as the women joining to celebrate her baby boy. All baby showers are reminders of God’s miracle of life, but this one was a particular celebration as we had cried and prayed with her as she waited months that became years. And now – she is weeks away from delivering this miracle baby.
Words were in order. A combination of celebratory thanksgiving and thoughts from a mom four years into the lovely, hard journey of motherhood. And so I wrote a devotional for her, part of which I’ll share with you here:
May you never forget that as long awaited as this son is, even more so is the Son’s birth that gives you and your husband and son life, hope, and salvation.
As joy has come in the morning, let it remind you to wait for morning’s light even after the longest, darkest nights. Not only metaphorically referring to times when parenting feels exhausting, or you’re at a loss of what to do next, or struggles unique to motherhood (or related to it!) arise. But not just metaphoric long nights is it important to remember the surety of sunrise, but especially after sleepless nights of endless crying or feedings or illness! Let each sunrise be a reminder that it will get better and mercies are new every morning.
Motherhood will be wonderful, using all of your gifts in so many ways. And yet … there will be times when even you and your capable husband will feel at your wit’s end. Be quick to ask for help – to remember that Jesus is there, and so are all of us. As much as you’ve been showered with gifts, you are even more so showered with love and with friends who would delight to jump in and help at any point in time. Pick up the phone and call or text or email. Those of us who are moms have been there – guaranteed – and those who aren’t yet might have extra energy to help out (just as you’ve done so many times for me!). And sometimes it may simply be the act of reaching out that will help you to remember you’re not alone. Many days, a phone call with an adult was just what my heart needed to get through a particularly challenging moment.
Finally, use each of the abundant beautiful moments with your son – of peering into his face, making eye contact, catching his first smile, discovering what makes him laugh, snuggling him tight as he drifts to sleep – let all of these moments be a reflection of the love God has for you. James 1:17 says – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights …” I pray you will be closely tuned into the music of motherhood. I’ll close with words from a motherhood memoir I’m currently reading by Lisa-Jo Baker:
On our quietest, least interesting days, I got better at hearing the music of motherhood. Because I know what typically plays in the background is the chaos of squabbles and coats never put away in the right place or muddy boot tracks across the carpet. There are the to-do lists that never get done … In the dark and the tired and the everydayness of those moments, I started to feel it – the weight of glory, the glorious ordinary that is a gift to us who are knee deep in a world where it can sometimes feel like we have lost all the parts of ourselves we used to know like the back of our hands, our favorite jeans, our own names. A gift from God who names every part of who we are and what we do significant. Because “he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” There is no part of our everyday, wash-and-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and fights and worries and playdates and aching budgets and preschool orientations and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime marathons that Jesus doesn’t look deep into and say, “That is Mine.” In Him all things hold together.