Psalm 127:3: "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."
When God created moms, He made sure to sprinkle a little extra superpower in them, knowing it would be one of the toughest yet most rewarding role they would take on. Each little bundle of blessings would definitely bring love and laughter to the home, but they would also bring tears and heartache too. Above all He knew that mothers would love their children unconditionally and move heaven and earth to protect and help their children find a way in life that would lead them to Jesus.
Although, all mothers are still human and have been born in a world of sin and we sometimes mess up and don't get it right. Some more than others, not one mom is perfect, but we all are children of God and when our earthly mother has dropped the ball, we know we will always find a perfect Creator and Father that will pick up the pieces and love us.
I have had the privilege of having three bundles of joy, and I will admit it's been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I would never quit on my children, but I have also felt those moments when I've asked, “Why did I want kids?’ They have brought us many tears of both worry and frustration but the years of laughter and watching them grow and become who they are now, far outweighs those momentary times of wanting to pull my hair out. My mom has coined a favorite phrase that has helped me through all of motherhood, “This is just a stage they are going through; this too shall pass.” And each stage has passed, and they have all grown into young responsible adults who love Jesus and can and will accomplish what life has set before them.
The infant stage can be a fun new stage from late night feedings to lullabies. Learning to crawl, walk, and talk. Hearing the first Mama and discovering their hands and toes and all the giggles from each tickle. The sound of your crying baby will break your heart, but the joyous sound of your happy babbling baby can fill a home with an unexplainable joy and fulfillment.
The discovery stage is still perhaps my favorite years. Two to four when the world around them starts to make sense. They can hold the most interesting conversations and come up with such witty logic that can bring you such laughter that you want to share it with everyone. They are like little sponges who take in everything and learn quickly and mimic everything, so be careful of your words and actions. Yet they are also learning the word ‘no’ and defiance begins to creep in, and that little bundle of joy can become a bundle of stubbornness. The unconditional arms thrown around you next with the ‘I love you mommy’ always gets us through those tearful moments.
Once school starts it seems that each stage begins to fly by faster than you can count birthdays. With more children in the home the days go by even quicker and the saying is true, one day you blink, and they are all grown up.
When your kids are in their single digits to 12 it will be truly a time of ups and downs. We want them to become independent thinkers, we want them to grow into a well-rounded person, yet we want them to learn to become adults in a healthy way, so why don't they simply listen and do things in an agreeable way? Oh yeah, because they too have been given their own personality by God and He is still in the business of shaping them into who He has planned.
God also created moms to be jugglers and during those years I had to learn to juggle my three children’s ever-changing personalities, time spent with all of them, and teaching moments. I think those were the years my mom began to use her phrase the most. I shed tears of frustration when I felt I was failing, I spent many moments worrying about their health and well-being but along with their dad we spent countless moments creating a happy home with hours of memories. Looking back the hardest moments have faded but the great memories of time spent with them playing, singing, and laughing have been permanently cemented in our hearts and minds.
The next stage is perhaps the hardest for any mom. Those teenage years. They creep in quickly, feel like forever of back and forth but when you celebrate your baby's 18th birthday you long for those years back with all of them still there to share moments with. The fights, the ‘I'm too old’ phase and the slammed doors, the unrest. All but fleeting moments once they've been through them. Hugs and the ‘I love you’ are harder to get, quality time hard to find as they learn to drive, get their own friends to go out with, acquire jobs. Each stage brings their own kinds of worries, but I think the teenage stage brings on the hardest and most difficult times. I'm so thankful for our Sabbaths on Saturday because nine times out of ten my children still join us in church and still want to spend the day with us in family time. As a mom, you want the best for your children especially in this stage, but it doesn't come easily, and I think it's been the time I have shed the most tears. Watching them spread their wings is rewarding but losing the babies and little ones they once were, is difficult.
Yet again the stage has passed, and I've entered yet another difficult stage that is perhaps even harder than teenagers. I have an 18, 21, and 23-year-old. Now my husband and I have entered the ‘I'm an adult, I can live my life the way I want to’ independent stage. For my youngest she's just graduated and just turned 18 so we're not entirely there with her yet but like her older siblings we will be entering it over this next year. This is the time as mom I have to begin to loosen the apron strings and eventually cut them all letting the children go and spread their wings and fly from the nest, even if they crash. This is a time to transition from mommy to their friend, still holding strong to your beliefs and ideas but not enforcing them, just lovingly reminding them. The letting go as a mom is exceedingly difficult because we've spent our life protecting them and guiding them and teaching them and now, we have to take a step back and pray that they will carry everything they've been taught into their own lives. Again, I have found the tears especially with my oldest because she was the first to get to this point, but the stage has passed for her and I've seen her grow into a great adult who will and is making it in this world. My middle child is a boy, so it's been a little easier of a transition as we have a different bond as mother and son. He is still my boy, so my worry is different. For my youngest, although I know the next few years will be hard, I think that it will be easier as I've been through it with my older ones, yet, she's my baby. With God's help, this stage too will pass, and we’ll be entering a new stage as parents, the empty nest stage. For now, I'm going to live in the moment and make the memories here and now.
One thing I would say to all mothers is, whatever stage you're in, this too will pass. Tears and all, find the memories and hold tight to them because you will blink, and they'll be grown up. If you're a new mom congratulations and hold on the ride has just begun. If you're a seasoned mom congratulations, you're making it through. If you've passed from mom to gramma, bless you and enjoy those bundles of grand babies. If you're unable to be a “mom” remember all your nieces and nephews. You can spoil and help shape them into adults and be glad you can love all over them and then hand them back. Every woman has something special God has sprinkled in them, be the blessing He has made you to be in whatever way He has opened the door for you. Happy Mother's Day, and remember, this too shall pass.
Have you been able to further your studies along with us through 1 John, if so have you been blessed in new ways? Today we will continue our study with 1 John 2:22; 4:1-3; 4:9-10. I will leave the link to the lessons we've been following but if you'd rather read on your own and let the Holy Spirit lead I encourage you just to pick up your Bible and listen to God's teachings.
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