Of Mice and Mothering

Posted by on May 12, 2009 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

We had a really lovely Mother’s Day here.  I especially loved that we spent pretty much the entire day together as a family, save the time when we rode separately to church due to Gideon sleeping in until ten o’clock (there is some kind of physical law that demands children sleep in only on the days when they must be somewhere by a given time).  The kids and Jud gave me a very nice card and a hanging plant.  Jud is also going to give me a website overhaul, which is just wonderful of him.  Gideon made this for me in Sunday school:

 

He put the stickers on by himself.

He put the stickers on by himself.

In case you can’t tell from the washed out photograph, it is a soda bottle vase with flower stickers on the side with a hand print cut out on the other side.  It’s filled with blue stones and just a little water.  The bend in the flower stem was also Gideon’s idea.  He’s very creative. 

The day before we officially celebrated moms everywhere, I was talking with some women and said something along the lines of “yeah, before we have any more children, I’m going to need at least a year where my body isn’t being used to create or sustain life.”  And then I followed it up with a very telling statement, “I need a year where it’s just all about me.”  Yikes.  Not exactly mother of the year quality there. Also, not exactly the kind of thing that reflects any amount of sanctification. And although I did not mean that I need a year where everyone does my bidding, just that I wanted a year to let my hormones even out, I am sure that the comment reveals the thing I find most difficult about parenting: dying to self. 

The process started with marriage. Prior to making vows to stay with Jud forever, I could do pretty much what I wanted, when I wanted.  I came home when I wanted to.  I did the dishes when I wanted to and how I wanted to do them.  I could leave a job or a state without much consideration because my opinion was the one that counted the most.  Did I want to do it?  Was it a morally neutral issue? Then fine.  I would do it.  

And then I stood up there in front of God and everybody and pledged to live differently.  I pledged to be one with another human being in all ways for always. It seems like a simple thing when you are starting out and everything is still scented with the calla lilies.  And then reality sets in and you realize that you no longer get to behave the way you’ve always behaved.  Someone else might eat that piece of pizza you were saving in the fridge.  Someone else might want you to come home instead of heading out with friends after work.  Someone else might want to get up early on Saturday instead of sleeping in.  And there it is.  Self will rearing it’s ugly head.  Even though money and sex are supposedly the main reasons people get divorced, I’m pretty sure we could sum them all up by calling it selfishness.  One or both people, unwilling to die to self and allow the other person’s needs and wants to be of greater importance than their own.

Just about the time I thought I was making some pretty strong headway into the death of my own will, I saw two little pink lines on a stick.  There is no me when there is a tiny baby.  They need to eat at 2 am?  Then the woman with the milk gets up.  They need a bath or a diaper change or to be held or rocked or entertained?  Then you oblige.  And then they are toddlers and require your attention to correct and train but mostly to keep them from killing themselves while they explore their world.  And you do it.  You might not get your house cleaned the way you like it and you might not get to paint your nails on that day at that time and you might not get to eat lunch with your friends without distractions and you might not get a thousand other things.

No.  You might not get any of that, but you just might get what I have.  Something more.  Something so much better than my own will.  Something fantastically deeper, richer and more grand.  You might get a foretaste of heaven itself all wrapped in your own grave clothes.  I might not always appreciate it in the moment, but I know I’ve chosen the better thing.  I’m so grateful to my husband for choosing me to be the mother of his children and his girlfriend too.  Thanks, Jud, for helping me be molded more into the image of Christ and for all the patience you’ve displayed along the way. I love you.

One Comment

  1. LOVE this Kim!

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