She slipped her arm around her brother and pulled him closer to her on the couch. I watched as she played with his hair, instinctively. Soothing him, loving him. A mother in the making…
I hear the two of them in the bathroom…”your hair looks nice that way…wanna borrow my silver clip? It will match your shoes…” “Here, let me help you with your belt. See? This way makes your pants stay smoother…you look so pretty!”
She goes from bed to bed, smoothing, folding, arranging…wanting to surprise her siblings with already-made beds, a morning chore already completed. Because she loves them. Because she wants to bless them.
Maybe it’s in God’s plans to make them mothers. Certainly it’s in His plans for them to love. And they do. (mostly:)
It isn’t just my job to mother them…it’s my job…no, my calling…to teach them to mother. To be an example, to guide them and show them. And I get scared just thinking about it.
These three precious, beautiful, wonderful, little (and not so little any more) girls…they are going to first learn mothering by watching how I mother. Gulp.
As I travel the well-worn paths from bed to bed, checking, tucking, praying…I wonder if I am showing them godly mothering. Mothering that is fierce as a lion, and meek as a lamb. Mothering that isn’t about the mother. Mothering that is forgiving, encouraging, truth-telling, Word-centered. Mothering that isn’t afraid. Mothering that isn’t in a hurry, isn’t irritated, isn’t sighing and eye-rolling. Mothering that is quick to listen and slow and wise when speaking. Mothering with arms and heart wide open. Mothering with an understanding of sin. Mothering with two feet firmly planted and hands raised high, reaching and climbing…praising God for these gifts.
Mothering in total grace.
No. I miss the mark every.single.day. Multiple times. Like this morning when I used a sharp tone to remind them not to leave their toothbrushes out on the counter…again (heavy sigh and eye roll.) As if leaving toothbrushes on the counter was going to make or break our day, or take us closer or further from the gates heaven. Or, at dinner when I snapped at everyone when the trashcan overflowed…because I was more concerned with the garbage spilling out of the can than the garbage spilling out of my mouth.
Then God reminds me of where I started…bringing our first baby home…clueless. I didn’t know how to hold her or feed her or dress her…I didn’t know anything. But, I loved her. I loved her every coo, cry, giggle. I loved changing her diapers (really!), I loved walking the floors with her at night, I loved every new thing she did. And I loved seeing how unique and different her brother and sisters were, too. I still love discovering who my children are…
Love makes a mother. Love made me a mother. My love for them, Christ’s love through me…will make them mothers. So, despite my short-comings, my gracelessness at times, my impatience and poor attitude…love covers a multitude of sins.
Thank You, God for these beautiful girls (and boy!). Thank You for choosing me to be their mother. Help me, Jesus, to mother them well! Forgive me for not always having the right attitude, the right motives, the right posture. Forgive me for not always leaning on You. Give me a passion for my children that will bring them to You. Let everything I do point to You, point to the cross. Help me to love them as You love me…In Jesus’ Name, Amen.