On Being a Momma

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It’s finally actually feeling like spring here and the kids keep bringing me flowers. Gideon sprints across the yard with his glory gathered and yells for me to come see. “Look, momma! I found you something!”  And then he holds up the blooms and looks for my grin. I can’t help but smile. What girl doesn’t love it when a handsome fella brings her a bouquet of beauty? Even if they are a mangled mess when he releases his sweaty, grimey grip. I place them in a bowl of water and watch him head back out to look for caterpillars and roly-poly bugs.

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I love getting to be a momma. And I’m especially thankful to get to stay home with my kids. I’ve never loved any job this much. And yes, there are some hard days, but every job has hard days. And there are lots of failing days. You know, when you crawl into bed at night and look back on the day and wonder if you actually did anything right? But, as far as I can tell, everybody has those days. Nobody gets to make it through life getting everything right.

I love getting to teach my kids about life. And I even like their hard questions, the ones I don’t immediately have answers to. Those deep philosophical ones like, “Why did Eve listen to the devil if she knew he was a bad guy?”  Or, “Why did God throw the devil down to the earth if He knew we would listen to him and do the wrong thing?” The ones that make me swallow hard and look up at God and whisper, “Um, yeah, God… I was kinda wondering that, too.” The ones that make me want to sit on the couch when it’s finally quiet around here and go searching my Bible and asking God for answers.

And I love helping my children process life. Though, mostly I feel like we’re all in the same boat. Like, when they want to know why there are bad guys and if the bad guys will ever get us and what will we do then? Like, how do you really explain to your kids that sometimes bad guys win? But, that this life isn’t all there is, so that’s not the end of the story for us or for them. There’s something about being a momma that keeps my heart bowed on its knees.

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I love getting to spend the day with my kids because we do the dishes and the laundry together. And I know I’m teaching them that living in a family (and ultimately in society) means that everyone has some jobs to do to maintain peace and order and keep everything up and running. And that doing things together makes work not so hard. If everyone helps, then one person isn’t discouraged under all the weight of just trying to keep up.

And we do art together. After Easter, we painted crosses and hung them on the window. And then we painted an empty tomb, because around here, we celebrate that Jesus died, yes, but He’s now alive and He’s our present Teacher and a King and He lives life with us. The next day, Gideon cut out a sun and said he wanted to hang it up way above the crosses because Jesus is bright like the sun. And the kids wanted to make hearts because that means Jesus loves us very, very much. That’s what the cross is all about–God loving this whole wide aching world so much that He sent His Son.

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The other night, I spent time with some other mommas and we all walked away realizing that every momma needs to be encouraged. She needs to be reminded that her children are a gift. Always a gift. And that her responsibility in nurturing their lives and tending to their hearts is beautiful work and it’s good. Hard, yes, but good.

Because what’s more important than teaching another human being how to live a life of love and discover the unique ways in which they can take care of the world? (In this way, one can be a momma without ever having birthed a kid.)

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I enjoy these wrecky, art-making, curious questioning days and I wouldn’t even trade them for something a little more Pinterest pin-able. Because I know that my kids won’t  be sitting beside me to read or at the sink with me forever. They won’t always be sprinting across the yard to gift me with a clutch of beauty or asking me a hundred questions that make my brain feel tired. So, I won’t wish them away because these little people are the most precious thing I’ve got.

And I’ll use my life to tell the other mommas that, too. That it’s okay about all the failing and all the wreck. Because they’re learning along with their kids how to live a life of love–a life that spills itself out. And being a momma is such a beautiful way to take care of the world.

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