This post is sponsored by these faces who made today's celebration possible...
Tonight I am readying for bed with a full heart. I am grateful to have mothered these eternal gifts for the years that I have, relieved that my husband has full faith in my heart and ability to mother them, and reminded how my own mother has shaped and influenced me for this role.
Perhaps because of all of this I'm finding writing this post difficult because I somehow long to document every blessing and lesson I've learned in motherhood and have ever had modeled for me. I long to celebrate that I am no longer this mom, that I have learned that before I am asked to share my special day, to offer it up gladly, willingly to share it this year with a single mom and a mother far away from her children. I wish I could convey the honor of being absent from my husband tonight so that he could accompany his mother in a late night trek across the border for a one hour visit to a dying friend when in his heart he would rather be home. I want to tell the world how my own mother has defied all odds by mothering triumphantly and sacrificially when her mother never did the same for her. I somehow want to trace out the entire trajectory of my mothering days so that I can continue to appreciate and celebrate what all that God is doing in and through me along this journey.
And yet there are four people who have shaped me in this swollen silhouette of mother more than any others. They are the ones responsible for me becoming mama.
Eliana, my eldest, my oft repeated prayer for a baby answered, has taught me so much about grace, the unimaginable blessing that comes even when I don't deserve it. This weekend while on a family jaunt, her papa pointed out a Ferrari, explaining the incredible value this car has. Answering quickly, she said, "Papa, that is what men buy because they think it will impress mama because she is so beautiful. When they see her with you and us, they want to be with her. But mama only ever wanted you!" Naive perhaps but oh the grace! when your child sees you, always the real you and still believes you to be the most beautiful woman in the world!
Eden is my constant whisper of hope. She is the one perhaps most like me as a child, wiry and wily while walking a fine line between humor and utter foolishness. That was so me, and the frustration I've heard in the voices of so many loving teachers I hear now in mine - willing her to focus her energy, begging her to choose wisely, and matching her every apology with the sincerity with which she gives it. She is my reminder that God was faithful to me, that He will be faithful to her. Her goofy self-captured home videos exude with life and an ever entertaining perspective on her world and I know that she has been perfectly composed for incredible purpose.
Jacob is my Christian man, a tiny body heavy with a heart for God. There is none who sings worship louder, none who proclaims the truth louder than this future pastor and engineer. Somehow he recognizes that it's not enough to preach the good news, you have to live it out in daily trenches filled with aching souls. His spirit so tender and sensitive teaches me to have the same by refusing to be hardened by the cruel realities of life. He is certainly his father's son but his mother's pride and joy.
Emmanuelle is joy. Period. A tornado of energy and passion, she pushed her way into the world too early but in so doing proved that nothing, not even her mama's protective womb, could keep her from her life's mission. She is still the baby, still small enough for midnight cuddles tucked into a bed only built for one. When I take this life, this calling too seriously, she is my comedic and dramatic relief that pulls me back into moments of bliss and beauty amid scattered markers and mayhem.
Tonight my life and home are full of the miracles of life, the gifts of a benevolent Father who knew how each would breathe into my heart the sweet reminders of amazing love. Tonight I am worn out with blessing, my ears still ringing with the honor of hearing, "Goodnight, mama!"