Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
With all the dreaming I did as I grew up of one day getting married and having a family I never realized what being a mother would truly entail. The title comes with so much it so hard to express and put into words without it sounding like a jumble of oxymorons. I had a list of all the things I would and would never do and had all the answers when it came to disciplining children and was very good at getting other people's kids to do what I wanted.
I stopped knowing anything the day my Tati was born, she wasn't even born the way I planned! Its such an intoxicating fear that can take over when you realize they are actually sending this tiny bundle of lively little person home with you. By yourself. To keep. I felt the same way when they released me from the hospital with Bunni and then with AJ. You love them so much and want to keep them perfectly safe and fed and healthy and then you are just feeling like you are getting the hang of it and a fever happens, or a rash, or they just refuse to sleep. You start thinking that you will never sleep again and then they smile at you and look at you with adoration because all they know is you are Mama and Mama makes everything better. Then they say it, they say the thing that you are waiting to hear since you meet them, they call you MA-MA! (Or na-na or ba-ba or anything else that you swear is them calling you lol)
With my 1st, 2nd and 3rd child, every time I felt like I had received something so precious and lovely that I was sure I would buckle under the weight of it all. Its a title that asks that I put down everything I ever thought I wanted for everything I never imagined I would have, every sense of self fulfillment for the sake of shaping these little ones for the glory of the Lord. Submitting to the conviction of that title because I know that so much of them depends on how I allow God to shape me from here on out.
There has been so much laid down especially in recent years of what I think I want at the foot of the Father who has better for me, that has plans I can't even imagine. My hopes and wants and "needs" have all changed and I pray that I be convicted and broken every time I direct my monkeys to seek a happy heart in the Lord and a good attitude for service to each other, for them to share kind words to others and to ask God how best to handle situations. Am I being a good example of that to them? Am I finding my joy in all that God is instead of what I have or don't have? Do they see me honoring God in a way that leads them to the foot of the cross? I pray and hope that He gives me the opportunity to lead them alongside Adrian to the foot of the cross where they lay themselves down that Christ may fully live in them. My heart is never prouder than the moments that they acknowledge God and scripture and seek to do right. Moments like when my first-born baby tells me how she dreams of going to China to share Jesus with in a nation that tries so hard to suppress Him. Will I tell her that no matter how my heart aches I will do all I can to equip her with the faith that will accomplish just that if its what God calls her too? I have to take hold of every opportunity to teach them, guide them, and encourage them because one day their faith will depend on them alone and they need to have a firm grip on it.
For 7 years now my life has been surrounded by first and last times. Bitter-sweet moments, moments you want to laugh and can't because there is a giant lump in your throat and eyes full of tears. Moments when I'm so proud of their independence and yet would give anything to hold them as newborns again and just smell them and enjoy their immobility. Every first accomplishment is the last time they need me for that particular thing and all the while I am cheering them on in sitting up, crawling, taking steps, running, teaching them falling is part of living and they have to get back up; my heart is breaking wide open because I realize I'm cheering them right into needing me less but its also encouraging them to realize their need for God more.
The truth is they aren't mine, they are given to me for this little while to call me Mama so that I along with their Daddy can teach them about the perfect Father who loves them and has called them to glorify His name in all they do. Help me Lord to do so, to bear the title of Mama well, for Your sake and for Your glory.