I’ve had an amazing Mother’s Day so far. My husband made me crêpes and bought expensive, locally roasted coffee beans from Just Us Coffee. My baby let me sleep in a little bit. Life is good.
A close friend said to me the other day, “You are so lucky; you have a mission in life that you can gaze upon. Just like in all the pictures of the holy family.” I found her words so profound, because it was at that particular time only a couple of weeks ago when I was struggling with my mission and my purpose. I mean, I knew that my mission and purpose was to be a wife and a mother, but this grand job of raising another person can get lost in the mundane of the every day.
When I was a missionary for 2 years, my job was exciting in big ways. Big disappointments, but also big successes and always lots of “glory stories” about students who had encountered God in a real and profound way. My work as a missionary was a “big” calling; one that called for big sacrifices but also had tangible and measurable outcomes (although this performance-based mindset got me in trouble when my plan did not equal God’s plan..ha).
As a former athlete, performance in the big game is what fuels the desire to train and work hard. You practice, practice, and practice some more, but then the game comes along and all of that hard work pays off.
Motherhood is like one big practice. The big game? Well, I guess that’s raising a good kid with hopes that they are successful in their life, but even that isn’t a sure thing and not completely up to me.
So needless to say, as a performance-based person, I’ve had a hard time feeling my value and worth in this game of motherhood. The struggle for validation in my “job” has been tough for me!
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; live on in my love.” John 15:9
So what has changed? I would love to say that my heart had a complete turn around. But the fact is that I’m human and I know that I have this tendency to want performance-based outcomes. I know that part of me will linger and I will have to constantly have to check myself.
BUT I do have to say that the “everydayness” of motherhood holds some of the most intimate moments of sweetness for me that I have ever experienced.
Like when I pick him up from a nap and he holds me so tightly and nuzzles his sleepy face into my neck.
Or watching him do his crawl/bum drag as fast as he can to go get a long-lost toy he just spotted.
Or when he purrs with delight when he is eating a piece of toast.
How he can find any tag on anything. And then once he finds it he gently inspects it with a look of pure concentration.
I love how he smiles on command.
The way his hair smells.
How he feels when he is asleep on my chest.
I love how every day he is just a little bit different than the day before (he’s 8 months old today! How the heck did that happen?!)
How he is so beautiful it hurts my heart.
This is the stuff that I hope never gets old. Motherhood challenges women in different ways. You better believe I will be the proudest mom on the block when my kid does something amazing. But those big things aren’t the things I live for. I’m trying to live for the here and now. For that toothy smile, the sticky hand that comes up and strokes my cheek, or the way it feels just right when I sing him to sleep. Yeah, this is the good stuff. That’s is the everyday, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.