This is Part 2 of Chapter 1 from Mission of Motherhood: A Journey Like No Other
Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson; Waterbrook Press; 2003
For Thought And Reflection:
These are the four Scriptures from the Reflection Portion of Chapter 1:
Psalm 127:1 ESV
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
Psalm 127:3 ESV
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
1 Thessalonians 2:7 ESV
But we were gentle[a] among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.
Titus 2:4-5 ESV
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. the word of God may not be reviled.
Chapter 1 calls for a response to any one of these Scriptures. I am going to respond to the third verse/questions: from Thessalonians.
Sally writes on page 17:
When Paul wanted to communicate how dearly he loved the people in Thessalonica, he used a picture of motherhood. What is the attitude or the heart of the mother reflected in his example? How does this picture compare to the way that you care for your children?
I love this tender verse and it is my desire that I be a gentle and caring mother. It is easy to be harsh, abrupt, rigid, and unsympathetic. God values the careful tending of children and I desire that my life reflect that value.
A Personal Response to A Journey Like No Other:
Every woman comes to motherhood from a place of personal uniqueness. What was the sequence of events that led to the start of your own journey?
I will share just a snapshot from my own journey like no other:
There were many events that led up to the late night that found me suffering through the hardest, strongest labor I would ever have and the only early baby I would birth. (Yes, not even twins were early for me!) I pushed him out in fifteen minutes- which did indeed- forecast the future. 15 minutes being the maximum I ever endured- mostly likely because the twins were surgically extricated via caesarean and we bypassed that whole stage of labor and birthing.
Perhaps some day I shall write of those personal events…of childhood dreams… of dating conversations and engagement convictions- of maid of honor prophetic speeches and Spirit inspired leading. But for now…let me say that the next morning, after that fast and painful birthing, I found myself cuddling my own little bundle of blue. My face still twisted by Bells Palsy that had struck less than two weeks prior, and sitting in a sunny hospital room filled with my beloved tulips – an unexpected tribute to a first wedding anniversary (where tulips were the flower of the day and a symbol of resurrection life) that was a mere six days away.
Everything new in that perfect, sweet bundle who would turn out to be an absolute dream of a baby… to which I would in turn think I knew what I was doing as a mother and entertain the very false perception that life was, of course, controllable. Sweet child slept through the night for 12 hours at 9 weeks old and would have slept sooner- if I had only known what I was doing! Slept through ever after. Rarely cried and was read aloud to from at least six months old if not sooner. We could take him anywhere and everywhere. He was perfectly content.
It would not take long for those false illusions to be thoroughly dismantled! They were dismantled in the form of a second bundle of blue less than fifteen months later- not early at all- and completely different in every way from his brother. Nine months into mothering two precious babes and the newest still not sleeping through the night… found me drearily and full of exhaustion- trudging to a Borders bookstore. There I bought a renowned sleep book and learned that my sweet boy was completely normal, that it was not my fault or his that he was not sleeping through the night, that it would get better, and that it was a normal phsyiological/neurological development stage. This sweet baby needed completely different tending.
I learned a lot of flexibility and I learned to cry out to God. I learned about caring for children in relation to who they each are individually. I learned this in even greater measure through the pregnancy, birth, and first years of the next child to bless our family. And again, again. But that is a story for another day…
God is faithful and He does attend the cries of His people. He gives Himself. His literal, felt Presence. And He has used Mothering as a channel and avenue of grace in my life. And perhaps this is the most precious gift of all -His Presence-and this is available to all mothers or not.
“He gave His Life….what more could He give…”