From Mommy to Mom to Grandma: The Mess, The Madness, The Magnificence
Some little girls are rough and tumble, while some are gentle and meek. I was a rough and tumble, messy, and silly little girl who loved playing with her baby dolls. I loved them all. But I didn’t yet have a “Baby Tender Love” and was determined to have one. I was only 3 years old when I went to buy her. My friend Mindy was five, and we were playing together in the front yard. I decided that it was time to get the new doll and proceeded to take Mindy with me to the corner of the busy street behind our house. We lived off of Montgomery Boulevard here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the neighborhood Piggly Wiggly was just across the busy street. Just before I walked across the street, Mindy informed me that she was not allowed to cross without her mommy. So, I ventured across the street by myself.
It was only after I crossed the street that I realized I did not have any money to purchase the doll. So, after I came to terms with my disappointment, I walked again across Montgomery Boulevard empty-handed. You might ask “how does a 3-year-old remember such a vivid adventure?”. Because Mindy ratted me out to my siblings who then in turn told my mom. The point of this story is that before I can even remember I badly wanted to be a mommy and would go to lengths to be one.
Thankfully, years later, God blessed me with four amazing and lovely daughters and one little boy waiting for me in Heaven. Our oldest, Lisa, had our first grandson a year and a half ago and our second daughter Lauren is expecting her first baby, a boy, at the end of September. To be a mom was one thing, but now to share my love and encouragement with my daughters as they become new mom has opened my heart to an even higher view of motherhood. I literally danced with joy as I held my newborn grandson.
However, in reality, moms know all too well that motherhood is not just smiles and dancing. Recall Genesis 3:16, “‘to the woman,’ he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.’” I love how the Bible gets real about motherhood. I am pretty sure this verse was not the theme of your Mother’s Day cards this year. Whether referring to the actual pain in childbirth or just the general pain of tribulations and trials that come along with raising children, motherhood is challenging to say the least.
James 1:2-4 states, “Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete and lacking in nothing.” The good news according to the bible is that trials, including those connected to motherhood, are productive. Especially when we lean on Jesus in our weakness. He holds us up in our brokenness. There, we experience his sweet and good work in in the bitterness of suffering.
This reminds me of another childhood story. As a young girl, I had a bad bicycling accident. It resulted in a terrible pavement burn. The treatment included scraping off dead skin every week for a month so that the healthy skin would grow back and the wound would completely heal. I told you I was rough and tumble and not gentle nor careful. Although traumatic and dramatic for me and my mom, (I am pretty sure my mom thanks me today for all the steadfast fruit God produced in her through suffering I caused) the pain wasn’t wasted as my wound healed in time.
Motherhood and the work God does in and on our lives through our children can sometimes feel like someone scraping our injured and dead skin. Remember healthier skin is better skin. This amazing gift of motherhood is a life of joy and heartache. It is a life best lived through Jesus’ work applied by Holy Spirit to the Father’s glory. His good work in us is sometimes extremely painful. But He is the only way to have true hope and healing, rest and rescue. Jesus has come for us to have life abundantly. He loved his mom. And he loves moms.