When my friend Linda and I were teenagers, we were bored one day and were looking for something fun to do. It was a bitterly cold winters day.
We decided to go uptown and have coffee at the Columbian restaurant. We sat for an hour talking about the stuff teenagers girls like to whisper and giggle about.
When the waitress brought our bill, and we pooled our coins together we realized we were short a penny. We started to panic since we didn’t have enough money to pay our bill. How hard can it be to find a penny? We looked around our booth, then decided to go to the bathroom and look there. We still couldn’t see a penny.
Finally, we decided we would go up the cash register, drop all our coins on the counter, then scoot out the door before she could notice our lack of funds.
Our plan worked, and we were standing outside the restaurant giggling at out situation. Linda and I finished high school, and I went on to marry Vance and have a large family. Linda went on to work with people who had special needs.
When we would sit in those booths talking about our futures and our dreams, neither of us had a clue what was before us.
About five years after high school Linda wrote me and told me about her travels. She was in Austraila working and travelling. I was happy for her, but I was green with envy.
My daughter Charity was a year and a half, and I was pregnant with my third child Devyn. We had just received news that our oldest son Kyle had autism.
I was exhausted, and the fairy tale dreams of being a mother to a large family was beginning to look like anything but magical. Kyle woke me most nights repeatedly. Autism sucked the life out of me, and I dreamed of having just one peaceful night of sleep and a day without a crying little boy.
Linda’s life sounded so incredibly exciting to a mom who was burnt out.
Fast forward twenty-three years later. We have five grown children now and two bonus kids. Kyle at age twenty-eight is the only child who lives at home. This week Kyle went from eight-hour care to twelve-hour care. His staff comes to get him at 8 am in the morning and he returns at 8 pm.
Kyle’s health has improved dramatically over the past couple of years, and he now sleeps most nights. This young man is a great joy to us, and we missed him this week since he was gone more often.
(Look at that smile, how can that not melt a person’s heart?)
Friday night Vance and I went out for dinner. We are not used to doing this, to having the freedom to come and go as we please. It’s the strangest feeling. In the past, we would call our kids and see who was available to stay with Kyle. If no one was free, we just wouldn’t go out. Sometimes Vance would stay home with Kyle, and I would go to events we were invited to as a couple.
You might be that tired and exhausted mother who dreams of the day you will use the bathroom by yourself, eat a meal sitting down, sleep through the night, wear clean clothes, drink a coffee uninterrupted, have a real hairdo, read a book, have clean floors, drive a non-van vehicle…
I used to dream about those things, and now I have them all (well the clean floor is questionable.)
You know what makes me happy now:
“Mom, I’m coming to do laundry do you want to watch a movie?” (Aryanna)
“Mom I’m coming for a coffee?” (Charity)
“Mom, do you want to go to Vibe for lunch with me?” (Devyn)
Or when I texted my son Eythan this week telling him we were coming to visit him and his wife Jazmin in Sudbury for the day and they were excited!
I really do miss the houseful of kids and being together as a family. There are days I enjoy the quiet. Then other days one of them will surprise me, and show up unexpectedly, and they bring sunshine to my day.
Are you a tired young mommy? You may be wondering if your life is making a difference to anyone right now. Your work feels meaningless and tiresome. You may never get a thank-you in your day. Or you see the look in someone’s eyes when you say you’re a full-time homemaker and mom…the pathetic look, like your a lazy bum. Ya, I know all about it.
Fast forward twenty years. Your days will be your own, they will be filled with so much quiet you will feel the noises of the past are now just memories.
But if you take the time now to pour yourself into your children and listen to their endless chatter and wipe their fevered brow and rock them when life seems hard…they will come back to you.
The world may be telling you to put yourself first. There will be lots of time for that. For now, your little children are one of your top priorities, don’t feel guilty about that.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21 NIV
Charity texted me yesterday, “Mom, want to feed us dinner tomorrow tonight :)” her and her husband Dan are willing to hang out with these old folks. I love getting those texts because I know the real meaning behind them.
Mom, we want to come spend time with you and Dad.
I wish I had known how much joy these kids would bring me as adults when I was wiping a snotty nose, or be taking the gum out of their hair, or stayed up with a sick child or be stepping on their lego (you really could kill a kid when this happens).
Modern media is making motherhood out to be drudgery and a lowly task. Mom’s are beginning to feel like there is something better than what they are currently doing. Maybe you’re a full-time mom and homemaker and feeling worthless. Or you’re on maternity leave and are missing the social life you had at work and are now covered in spit up and other unmentionable things. You’re not feeling productive or valued.
One of life’s greatest honours is to be given our children and then asked to mould their lives. Your children are a reflection of you and according to God’s word:
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
-Psalms 127:3-5 NIV
This week in the news Chip and Joanna Gaines were being criticized for having too many children. They have a popular show on HGTV called Fixer Upper. They announced that Joanna Gaines was pregnant with her fifth baby. Someone thought they should have an opinion on how many kids the Gaines could have. You can read about the controversy: HERE
They are a wealthy family who is quite capable of feeding all their kids and probably a couple more families too.
There are differing opinions on how many arrows made a quiver. Most scholars believed it was at least five arrows carried in a warriors quiver. So according to those verses above God would declare the Gaines family as blessed.
If the creator of the universe says:
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Luke 18:15-17 NIV
Jesus placed a high value on the lives of children, unlike the beliefs of the reporter in this article. She has an opinion on how many children you should be able to have.
Let’s suppose that opinionated person was right and I followed her advice. I wouldn’t have had my son Eythan, who was my fifth child. Eythan is a hardworking citizen and is also happily married to his new bride Jazmin. He gives Jazmin her IV treatments each week for cancer and their story has touched many peoples hearts. They are both just twenty years old. Read about their love story: HERE
Jazmin and her parents will tell you they are thankful our fifth child was born. God had a special and unique purpose for his life. If we didn’t have Eythan, we wouldn’t have had Jazmin come into our lives either, and I can’t imagine being without either of them.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” -Genesis 1: 27-28 NIV
Young mother, hang in there, you will see your blessings in a few more years and all the stresses and worries you carried to bed each night and woke up with again each morning will be gone.
Your children are one of your greatest treasures. Remind yourself of that on your toughest days when you’ve shed a few tears or pushed yourself to make a meal even though you were exhausted.
When someone else’s life looks exciting to you, take a look at the little faces who love you and remember to appreciate this moment in time.
Hopefully, once your children are grown they will see the wonderful mother you were, the time you poured into their little souls and they will rise up and call you blessed.
Your motherhood role is a great treasure for your children💗
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
-Psalms 139: 13-17 NIV
Believing and hoping,