Sunday, May 11, 2014

the pizza guy and other honors

One of THE most wonderful things I have ever chosen to do is become a mother.

There was, of course, a ton of prep work prior to that.  When I was 19, I turned my heart, my soul, my ambitions, my future over to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prior to that, I was very nonchalant about marriage, children, and extremely lukewarm about things that involved sacrificial motherhood.. i.e. doing my own housework.  Marriage seemed scary, and motherhood, scarier.

And it is.  It totally is.  Giving your heart over to another human being to entrust them with "everything" is crazy scary.  Best mistake I've ever made.  But at least we are talking about adults.  At least there are choices, communication, and this whole love aspect.

But having children?  That takes craziness to an entire new level.

For those of us who are control-freaks by nature, having a little, growing human inside of you--is the most unpredictable thing in the world.  It's also the best thing in the world.

I was sick. very sick. with every. single. pregnancy.

I could not travel in the car without having to stop along the way--kind of sick.  But even so.  I kept at it.  I watched the bump in belly grow.  I watched the sickness dissipate.  I watched God doing a miracle inside of me.  And that's just the first part.  Then they are born!

I am not sure which is worse--giving birth or actually raising the child.  There's something painful and glorious about both.

How you can be completely exasperated with a child and ready to give up in one second and in the very next breath--having a heart attack over the thought of anyone stealing your child or them running away-- is just one of the miracles of mothering.

And when you are toting four-children-under-five in the grocery store with you and someone asks you something like "Do you know where these come from?" or "You sure have your hands full" or some other trite quip, and somehow are just looking for the best price on a can of beans and don't have the time for this nonsense but just graciously answer them instead of giving them the answer they deserve..  that, in itself.. is a true miracle.

Although.. I could write a book (and maybe I will) about all of the obnoxious replies that I have given to friends and foes alike who have criticized my big family.  But the truth is this: if they are looking with pity or disgust on me, they REALLY are the ones with the problem.

I KNOW where babies come from.  Oh, yeah.. that.  No.  I'm not thinking of that.   Cuz that does not produce babies in everyone who wants them.

No.  Babies come from God.  A human soul.  A living being.  A little human.  It's awesome.

And since God is the one who gives them, then we ought to look to God to raise them up.

And because of the helpless state that I find myself in--even now-- in this large task of mothering..

I have God.

I need God.  I don't just have God.  God has me.  He has a lot of me.  And it is because I chose to be a mother.  Mothering in and of itself does not produce spirituality.  But (in my case) it produced such a need-- a sense of this-is-crazy-out-of-my-control  that I literally had to throw myself on God just to get through the day--especially in the younger years.

If mothering comes easily to you, I'm envious.  Some people make it look so easy.  I struggle.

But I'm not giving up.

And I want to give you one snippet of one thing that happened this week that sums up my philosophy of mothering.

I have a son who is graduating from high school this year.  Hudson is a highly visible individual at our homeschool co-op.  He plays in the worship band; he had the male lead in the play; he helps with swing dance teaching; he's the student council president.. you get the picture, right?

So, I was randomly passing out invitations to Hudson's graduation party to people in the fellowship hall at lunchtime.  "You may not even know Hudson.. but here's an invite to his party.."

One young person said to me, "Oh.. we know Hudson!  He's the pizza guy. He serves the pizza every week, and he always talks to me and makes conversation.."  And this young person's mother came up to me and wanted to meet Hudson's mother because he was so sweet to her little ones while they get their food at the co-op.  

Now hear me out.  It's not that I'm not super proud of Hud and his scholarship offer to Drake U, his first chair cello in Measure 5 and RYSO or any of these highly visible things, but really.. really.. I was over-the-moon proud of my son when I heard that he was being so sweet to the younger students.

We do what we can to prepare our kids for a rigorous academic future and successful career.  And I am not saying that this pursuit has not (occasionally) trumped other, beneficial things.. but I am so thankful that what we REALLY value-- Christlikeness--  is something that our children have been able to absorb while they are living out this life.

I have no greater joy than to see that my children are walking in truth.  And if you are a mother and love Jesus, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

There is no bouquet of flowers or gift or breakfast that can compete with this.

To the mothers of "pizza-guys" everywhere-- Happy Mother's Day!

1 comment:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Jena, AMEN! There are so many things I want for my boys as they become men. I want them to be smart and successful, and able to support a family. But mostly, I want them to look like Jesus.

Being sweet to younger students? Thumbs up!

Julie