Motherhood is...

Motherhood is...

I threw out this simple phrase a couple days ago and asked for it to be completed. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I definitely didn't expect the flood of emotion that came forth in the responses. Between the answers to this simple question and the flood of stories I've read this week, there have been some belly laughs and some tears shed! Motherhood is just that... emotional. Motherhood teaches us to feel and love and hurt and hope like nothing ever will.

Motherhood is...

...looking into your children’s eyes and feeling so many different feelings at once... joy, sadness, happiness, fear, love, compassion...
— Delphine M.
...being all in, no matter what! [It is] the hardest, most rewarding, most un-glamorous, creative, hilarious, most heart filling and heart wrenching lesson of selflessness the Lord has ever given.
— Rachel M.

As we approach Mother's Day, we have a chance to pause on this monumental task God has given women. But it comes with such mixed emotions. Social media has been full of stories this week about mothers. There are uplifting, heart-warming stories about being such good friends with your mom and the trouble you find yourselves getting into and out of together. There are stories about broken or damaged relationships and learning to love one another amidst the tension. There are stories of those sons and daughters morning the loss of a mother or a mother grieving the loss of a child. There are the stories life being shared over cups of steaming coffee between two that have grown into best friends. There are stories of those who long to be moms but there time has not come yet. There are those stories that have us laughing until our sides hurt of the latest toddler's antics and the patient moms that lovingly turn those into teachable, laughable moments. The emotion fueling each typed word is so evident! Motherhood has a special place in our hearts, and for good reason. These only begin to scratch the surface of what motherhood is.

Motherhood is...

...an unknown super power hidden away deep inside a woman that can only be discovered through her child’s heart.
— Leah G.

Motherhood is discovering a whole new depth to your character, finding your limits and stretching them, understanding patience, functioning on impressively little sleep, discovering your tolerance for caffeine intake (seriously, I cannot function without coffee anymore). Motherhood is learning to laugh your way through every single day. Motherhood is feeling the full weight of a tear that trickles down a little cheek. It is having your heart broken over and over again as your child has to learn the tough life lessons. It is staring a disaster of a house and finding the composure to be thankful for a home that is lived in happily instead of just seeing more things to add to your to do list. Motherhood is not easy, but with God's guidance and some really great friends, helps us discover our own God-given strength and dignity.

Motherhood is...

full of surprises, humbling and hilarious! It is the hardest, most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done!
— Adrienne T.
the most wonderful job you’ll ever have!! Loving them... the greatest love you’ll ever know!! Protecting them from the pain in this world. Teaching them to become independent adults who contribute to society. Most of all... always being there for them!!!
— Vaunda K.

Motherhood is so much more than what happens under our own rooftops. We sell ourselves short though if we think motherhood stops with our own children. There are so many we should take the time to celebrate as we approach mother's day. All those precious women who have taught us how to be mothers. Be it a neighbor, best friend, mentor, aunt, or sister, you don't have to have a bloodline connection to have been truly mothered by someone special in your life. Nor do you have to have a child to be a mother to someone in your life. Motherhood is loving those that need loving. It is nurturing those around us. It is taking someone under your wing and carefully guiding them, protecting them, teaching them as they grow into the next phase of their life. It is mentoring and serving, cooking and listening. Motherhood is dropping off soup and gatorade when a friend is sick with the flu. You don't have to have a child in your bloodline to be a mother. A mothering heart is so much more than a family tree.

Motherhood is...

As a birth mother and mother, motherhood is unconditional love for both of my children.
— Roanne O.
...a gift from God. Grandchildren are God’s way of letting us enjoy our children one more time and the greats are a special treat.
— Sheila A.

For those of you who are still in waiting for your time, you are no less a mother. I know how hard Mother's day is. I know how empty your home and heart feels. Mother's Day was a painful day for me for years and will always remain bittersweet as I remember that time and those who are struggling. Please know, our prayers are with you and our confidence is firm that God is good and has a good plan for you. Those prayers and desires certainly don't guarantee a baby, but they do guarantee purpose and a plan that is tailor made for what God has in store for you. God is near the brokenhearted and that includes the dreams that are yet to come true. He has a purpose for your mothering heart to be used in a non-traditional way. I know these words don't bring much comfort in the midst of those painful times, but God will bring you the comfort you need and the purpose for your wait.

Motherhood is...

...a dream I desire.
— Lisa W.
...finally happening for me.
— Eva R.
...something I wasn’t blessed with.
— Dana D.

Above all else, motherhood is something to be celebrated, honored, respected, and something worth fighting for. It is emotional. It is hard. It is hilarious. Motherhood is unconditional love bigger than one can ever describe all wrapped up in ten tiny little fingers and toes. It is looking into the eyes of our children and seeing the very essence of hope. It is completely giving all of yourself for another. It is being willing to jump in front of a train for someone without thought for your own well-being while at the same time being too tired to make one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (Is three years old old enough to teach her to make her own sandwiches?) Motherhood is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 lived out in the midst of messy, daily life.

...my most treasured facet of life. A privilege. Complicated and difficult.
— Ashley B.
...an incredible miraculous blessing. Parenting takes me to a place of absolute awe of how much God must love us. As I look at my daughter, my soul simply stops for a moment to absorb how epic, significant and valuable her existence is. God is So Good! And motherhood is a great privilege!
— April F.
...worth every sacrifice, every tear, every sleepless night, every gray hair. It is a means of grace that God uses to sanctify us and teach the gospel to our children through living life together daily. It is moments of unspeakable joy when you feel like your heart is going to explode with love and thankfulness.
— Leslie C.