The other day I heard a woman say, “there is nothing inherently wrong with choosing to be a mother..” She went on to express her concerns for those of us who choose children over liberating careers and lives focused on ourselves. You see, Mama, you could have it all- if only you didn’t have children. You could have really been someone. All your potential, your creativity, your ambition- you could have really done something with it. What you chose isn’t inherently wrong, but you could have done something so much greater with your life.
This has become a common thought in our culture. Feminism liberated us and yet we keep caging ourselves back up by having children. And Heaven forbid you should choose to stay home with them rather than embarking on a career path!
We had so much potential- too bad we traded it all in for cribs, casseroles, and crayons.
If only she knew. If only she could see. We didn’t abandon our calling- we embraced it.
But what if I told you- you’re actually exceeding your potential?
Your body grew a human- your favorite little human.
Through sickness, aversions, reflux, pain, and insomnia. Your body was the vessel that God used to bring a new precious life into the world.
And when the pain came like waves that you couldn’t withstand- you surrendered to the tug of the undertow. You underwent the sacrifice, the scalpel, the syringe, or the transition. Though your lungs gave out, you still endured that final push. What felt like your dying exhale gave way to their first inhale.
Your eyes have seen the witching hour through tears as you latched your baby again- digging your feet into the hard floor in anticipation of the pain. You’ve smiled as bright new eyes traced your silhouette in the moonlight. The depression, the loneliness, the vastness of it all- nothing prepared you, but you’re here. So you suit up and face the next day because you know beyond the fog- there is a sunrise.
It’s a blur sometimes- you try not to blink. You don’t want to miss a moment and yet somehow you wish you could skip ahead to the part where you feel like you again. But you aren’t ‘you’ anymore. Deep down you know that and secretly we are glad about it. Because no title we ever had before bore the weight, the glory, the honor, the worry, or the joy that the title “Mother” bears.
A Warrior- An Archer
Before we were moms ourselves, we pictured flowers and frills. The sweet spirit Mama Pinterest portrays. That is part of the picture- but only a small part. The truth is Motherhood is a battlefield. The homemade meals, mundane tasks, and baskets of laundry are all part of the picture. But it’s the quiver on your back- the bow clutched in your hand, and those precious, precious arrows that really show your identity.
You never knew how strong you could be until you came to the end of yourself and had to carry someone else. You never dreamed you could swim in such depths, lay down so much of yourself, or scale such great heights until you had to do it for someone else. There is a roar in your throat, a new hope in your chest, and when your knees hit the floor and you cry out to heaven- you suddenly see it all so clear. You’re a warrior now, an archer– and these arrows are too wonderful to launch a single one without knowing exactly where they will hit.
Those boo-boos you kiss. The millions of tiny messes each day brings. Those tiny clasped hands that are somehow always filthy. Every non-food item you dig out of their tiny mouths. Every reading lesson, every first. From riding a bike to driving a car. From reading Jonah and the Whale a million times to teaching Apologetics. It’s all aiming. Every single day you weren’t living up to your potential in the world’s eyes, you were aiming an arrow for the Kingdom of God.
So today we celebrate you!
Because 364 days of the year you are perfectly invisible. You give up the piece of cake you really wanted because some big puppy dog eyes showed up and asked for it. You always eat dinner cold and stand through lunch. The quick showers filled with phantom cries. The tears wiped away so no one will worry about you. Today we celebrate every little victory, every little win, and every big sacrifice.
The truth is most likely this day will be like all the rest. You’ll still nurse the baby and wrestle your toddler. You’ll still suit up and sip cold coffee. You’re still required to discipline your children and feed their hungry bellies. But I hope that you do it all with a genuine smile on your face. This Mother’s Day, I hope you don’t desire a break from your life- I hope instead you realize how valuable you are and how precious this calling is. And I hope you just want to indulge in it!
You live in a battlefield, but look around you- isn’t it beautiful? Messy, probably, but there is so much beauty here. A garden of precious arrows. A house that you have made feel like home. Joy. Laughter. Safety. Peace. It’s all so beautiful and it is all worth fighting for. So aim on, precious Mama, today we celebrate you!
To all the Moms,
To every Mama still waiting on an Arrow,
To those who Arrows launched into eternity before you were ready to let go, (I hope you know you hit the target, and our prayers are with you today!)
To those whose arrows have already launched from their homes,
To those cleaning up the same mess every single day and yet it never gets clean,
To those in a season of laughter,
To those in a state of mourning,
To those seeking to understand,
To those aiming alone,
To those missing their own Mother today,
To every Mama dreaming, hoping, or planning-
To every Working Mama,
To every Mama choosing to stay home,
To every Mama who has opened their body or opened their home,
To every Aunt, Grandma, Sister, and Friend- you all help us aim!
To every single Mama teaching their babies to love Jesus with all their hearts for all their lives-
To every Mama- of every story, background, nation, and tongue-
From the bottom of my heart,
Happy Mother’s Day!
Share this with reminder with all the Mothers in your life!
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