On Motherhood and Marriage and Finding God

I love being a Momma. All of it. I love all of it. All the joy. The learning. The growing. The stretching. Yes, even the struggle and strain. I find that it’s the hard parts of motherhood that help me most become like Jesus.

When I was in my early twenties, I remember going on a bike ride in my neighborhood. (I was still living at home with my parents because I was afraid to leave home and there were other factors weighing in on that, but I won’t get into that now.)

Anyways, I remember passing this empty house. I stopped in my tracks and paused there on the road and wondered if I’d ever buy a house. Or marry a best friend. Or have any children. And I decided then, on that patch of pavement, that all of that was impossible. It wasn’t that it was impossible for anybody else, it was just that I had no faith whatsoever that it could ever be possible for me.

So now I tear up, a fair amount.  Not because I’m sad but because I’m profoundly moved that God would give me all these precious gifts.  I don’t understand the world. I don’t understand how there are people in poverty and there are victims of life-long abuse and there are prisoners of all kinds, trapped in all manner of lifestyles that keep them in bondage, and here I am, a child of broken, addicted people and yet I’m so wildly free. I get to share life with these crazy beautiful people.

I get to be a Momma. Not everyone gets to be a Momma, though some ache for it, and so I ache for them. Not everyone wants to be a Mommy. I get that. And not everyone loves being a Mommy. I try to understand that.

For some reason, there is nothing in the world so incredibly valuable to me as being a part of this. I love my babes with every infinitesimal particle of my being. It hurts. It hurts because my whole job is to love them, with the deepest love that I can, and then teach them all along the way, not to need me so much. They are growing and one day they’ll be gone. They’ll have these adventures in the world, but they’ll suffer, too, and I won’t be able to rescue them. I’ll just hope they call me on the phone and I’ll have to chase them with my prayers.

Also, I deeply love Brent. I never want to be without him. I told him last year, before I even had a clue we’d be going on the road together as a family,

“Whenever you can shepherd souls, I think you should. But, I’m going with you. I don’t want to be without you for even one day. So, let’s do these adventures together. Even if it’s hard for me to tote around all these kids.”

I’m chuckling now because little did I know. Little did I know what it would mean to tote around the dog and the kids in a house on wheels, and ride it out with them.

Brent and I get to help Jesus followers meet with Jesus. We help them become authentic followers of Christ. We get to minister to the church together, but we have to do a fair amount of praying and struggling and communicating and messing up and going at it again. Because we can’t help others if we don’t love each other well.

But all in all, we’re a good, good team. We’re learning what it looks like to shepherd souls together, and to save so much room to keep getting to know each other. It takes intentional effort to stay on the same page.

I’m finding God out on the open road, and in the trailer, and here in my yard at home and in this house on the ground. I’m finding Him in the truck stop diners and at the donut shops and in the small town grocery stores and in the church houses.

I keep seeing His face in the people that He’s made. And I catch glimpses of His glory in the frosty leaves and the moss on the fence posts where I go looking for the traces of His ways.

There have been nights, when I whisper up to my Maker,

“God, You’re beautiful. You’re the most beautiful Being I’ve ever known. Look at all the things You’ve made! They’re incredible! I’ve never seen an Artist like You. And besides, You made love and You are Love and that’s the most powerful force in the universe. I’m so glad to know You.”

It pays to follow Jesus. He is a true Brother and Friend. I will do my best while I’m here, to get as many people to Him as I can because I really think He’s the Way and He’s the Remedy. He is all my soul’s healing.

My truest delight.

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