Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Motherhood Is The Longest Labor



They who I labor for
The Lord has blessed me with babies.  Lots and lots of babies.  He’s also given me a somewhat-introspective personality, and the desire to convey my thoughts to others, in order so that they may grow in understanding of themselves and of the Lord’s will for their own lives. (Specifically as it pertains to motherhood, but other aspects of life as well.)  I love to not just sympathize with others, but empathize.  To commiserate.  To encourage.  I want to cry with people as well as laugh.  Sit and ponder, as well as dance and sing. I want to go deep, and then deeper still on the important things in life.  The truth is we all have our little nuances.  We all have our distractions.  We all have the things that seem so big and so blaring in our minds every single day.  Facebook. Television.  Music.  Our jobs.  Shopping.  Food.

But those things, while aspects of our life here on earth, do not indicate to ourselves or to anyone, or most importantly to God, that we are really living.  And that’s what this is about.  I want to really live.  I want to live and I want to be a light.  Especially to other mothers, other parents.  I want to let my light shine.  Not because I think I’m so important or special; but because I’m not.  I’m just like you. I’m just like every other mama on this earth, going through the parenting tunnel, trying to do my best.  Sometimes I have good things to say. Other times, I’m just a shout in the void.  

But here I am anyway, trying.

The inspiration for this blog came from a piece I’m working on.  I say piece but I’m hoping it’s a manuscript.  I’m hoping that in the midst of homeschooling, chaos, coffee and laundry, I can etch out the parts of motherhood that really mean something important enough to share.  But not just share- make a difference.  I spent the last ten years of my life being told that I can’t make a difference.  That my attempt to share my little light with people was my trying to be controlling, or my trying to change people.  That what I had to say didn’t matter.  I spent this time with negative people who were always downing me, my words, my desire to help or console or encourage, and I started to believe them. I started to believe all of it- I have nothing new to share, nothing important to say.  I can’t save anyone.  

The truth is I don’t want to save anyone.  That’s not my job.  My job is to be a light. To serve.  It’s such a simple concept, one we were taught even as wee ones in Vacation Bible School.  We sang it loud with the song, “This Little Light of Mine.  While making sheep-shaped soaps to go with our wooden shepherds and elbow-macaroni Crosses, we were taught to be servants.  We were taught to have compassion.  To love.  To bring others to Christ.

Motherhood has given me that platform, to rise up with my light and draw others into the light of Christ in our vocation.  

Motherhood is in fact the longest labor of our lives, and we need to encourage each other through it.

Below is an excerpt from that manuscript.  (In its raw, infant stages..  Keep that in mind as you read!)  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


There’s nothing more terrifying than a blinking cursor against the backdrop of a stark-white blank screen.  Nothing, except giving birth to a baby.

And there’s nothing more terrifying than giving birth to a baby…except raising one. 

Or, in my case, six.

The methodics of gearing up for a birth, laboring and then pushing that bright-eyed wonder out into the world are really comparable to life itself.  Everything is new, everything is different.  Everything is delicious and electric and frazzled.  And everything sparkles like cool dew drops on blades of summer’s emerald-green grass.  You gear up, pack your bags, assemble your supplies, eat, drink, heave, sigh. You grab a hold of your husband’s strong hand and together you coax the child into the world with shaking legs and furrowed brow.  Out of darkness, into light.

A big.scary.world.

Yet we don’t remember.  We don’t want to recall.  We forget.  Time passes, another babe comes and we forgot that terror, that paralyzing fear that crept up on us somewhere in between contraction one and baby delivered…   You know that fear?  It’s the one that tells us this will be the longest labor of our life.  The longest one.  It dares to ask us, are we ready?

The truth is, no one is.

No one is ready to raise a child.

No one is ready to raise two children, or three.  Or more.

Especially not in the culture we live in today. Let’s face it.  Our days are numbered.  Everyone’s.  But particularly those of us who choose to allow the Creator of Heaven and Earth to also bless us with new life as many times as He wants.  Big families are much the circus side-show these days, aren’t they?  After two or three, we are already put into a category all our own, the word “Freaks” as the topic.  That is because…greed.   How in the world will we afford all those kids plus a big fancy house and at least one car for each of us, vacations twice a year and dining out every weekend?  How else will be able to do whatever we want if we have more than the allotted number of children whom we can’t wait to help grow up and scoot out the door so we can get back to really living? 

This is what is pushed on us from this culture these days.  Why on earth indeed!

Since Eve’s first trot into the land of motherhood, women have been bearing and raising children like nobody’s business. Only it’s everyone’s business, isn’t it?  Isn’t it everyone’s business when you’re expecting number six even though you just had number five less than two years ago?  Isn’t it everyone’s business that you’re going forth, being fruitful and multiplying as the Lord said to do?

Is it?

Yes and no.  But mostly no.

In reality, it’s no one’s business.  It’s not my business if you have but two children for any reasons, be it selfishness or be it health or be it God’s divine hand itself closing up your womb.  And in turn, it is not your business if I have five kids, or six.  Or ten.  I don’t want to hear any of that nonsense about the earth being completely unsustainable if the population grows much more.  It’s a load and I’m not buying.

I remember not too long after my fifth was born, I knew there’d be a sixth.  I wasn’t happy about the notion.  I honestly was not.  I was terrified and angry.  But deep, deep down in my heart, I still somehow knew my womb would be opened once more and God would write yet another baby into existence.  I knew in that quiet secret place, another tiny life would be knitted ever so gently.  While it frustrated me, and I wasn’t sure I could handle it, somehow, the knowledge that her existence was already in the story had made its mark.  Life was difficult, yes.  So much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.  But there was no question, the Lord had placed it upon my heart that there would definitely be yet another.

And here I have to sit down.  I have to take a break.  Take a breath.  Breathe in all the feathery softness of my six month old’s fine wispy hair, drink in her sleepy face, and spend just one moment basking in all that is MY business. 

 For she is the one I dared to accept. And she is the one who materialized the reality that our fears don’t have to be at odds with our beliefs.   The Father of the entire Universe writes each of our lives with His perfect pen and ink blotter.  He writes our stories with all of their gory- and glorious- details; with every pain and smatter of ugliness, every joy-filled smile and permeating sunset.  Every allowance for others to hurt us, every hurt we transgress onto others.   He pencils in our fears, our joys, our laughter, and our tears.   And yes, He writes even every baby.  Every baby.  He writes them all into existence. And sometimes, He writes them back out.  He is the author of all life.  And His story never ends.

2 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I'm glad you are writing again. God, indeed, has gifted you and has given you things to say that will lift others up. We must still the voice of the enemy and do what God asks of us. I have struggled with some of the same issues. The enemy loves to tell me that my art is unworthy or stupid and that I have nothing new to say. And yet I keep doing it and every once in awhile, someone says that what I did or said was just what they needed. That's God working! And thankfully, he uses those that are weak! Keep sharing your blessings! <3

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  2. Thank you so much, Janine! And yes, oh my gosh, YOU are so talented! I often speak of you (fondly, don't worry!!) about how talented you are in so many facets of art and how you are allowing God to use your talent! Love it! We should both keep encouraging e/o in our endeavors because it IS that He wants to use us and our talents for His will.

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