Friday, March 25, 2011

Meaning of Motherhood

(In spite of me still deciding, I just had to write....)

Picture three small wet and cold bodies. And one wet and cold mum. One wet and cold mom trying to dress said cold bodies. Four people rather chilly after swimming in a pool for 40 minutes. And one wet and cold mom that knows she cannot get warm herself as she must, after dressing said cold and wet bodies, get back into the pool for her exercise (as the feet, well, you know the story).

And you have a very disgruntled mum.

A mum who suddenly realized - Hang on a minute, I'm not enjoying this.

And then He spoke...these things to my heart.

He asked me if I'd be willing to lay down a little more of my life (note, my life...the life I think belongs to me. Whose life is it anyway?). And inwardly, I groaned. What Lord? More? Really?

And as I listened, I heard. I understood (scratch that, I'm understanding!).

Motherhood? It's about self sacrificing. It's about laying down one's life over and over again. Time and Time again we're called to let go... and I think it's just one of those seasons again as activities are on the increase and my afternoons are no longer 'mine' to call my own.

It's about dying to self.

It's about serving. Didn't like it much when He showed me I'm really not much of a server at heart. Na-ah. Not my cup of tea...but I sure like to be served. Sobering really.

And it's about choosing to see the beauty in the here and now, in the snapshot of what you see. Why do I want more time? For what? (See my earlier post). And, again He solidifies what I read a few days ago...

I fill the sink with the circle of bowl, and batter floats up in suds. I wash. I see my reflection in the stainless of the tap. I know you, those seeking eyes. You're the one in dire need of time, that thing we can't buy, what we sell of ourselves to get more of what we think we want, what we sacrifice to seemingly gain. They say time is money, but that's not true. Time is life. And if I want the fullest life, I need to find fullest time. I wipe a water spot off the tap; there's a reflection of me. Oh yes, I know you, the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life. I'm the face grieving.
God gives us time. And who has time for God?
Which makes no sense.
In Christ, don't we have everlasting existence? Don't Christians have all the time in eternity, life everlasting? If Christians run out of time - wouldn't we have lost our very existence? If anyone should have time, isn't it the Christ-followers?....
...a question once asked of a pastor haunts through the rows of headstones and I hear it sure again. What was the pastor's most profound regret in life?....Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing...Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away....
In our rushing, bulls in china shops, we break our own lives.
Haste makes waste.... and I hear this too, words of another woman seeking: "On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgement and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure the marks of an amateur".
In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear. I have done it. I do it still. Hands of the clock whip hard. So I push hard and I bark hard and I fall hard and when their wide eyes brim sadness and their chins tremble weak, I am weary and I am the thin clear skin, reflecting their fatigue, about to burst, my eyes glistening with their same sheer pain.
The hurry makes us hurt.
And maybe it's the hurt that drives us on?...
Hurry always empties a soul....
I speak to God: I don't really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breath deep and time to see real and time to laugh long and time to give You glory, and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven or wild to get it all done - yesterday.... in the beep and blink of the twenty first century with its "live in the moment" buzz phrase that none of the whirl-weary seem to know how to do, who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync?
362. Suds...all the color of the sun. 
That's my answer to time. Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time's swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live full when I live fully in the moment. And when I'm always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter. And time slows....This is where God is. In the present. I AM - his very name.
                                             (Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts)

 And these precious lives -  mine to mold and shape and change and imprint on for ever? Do I see them as a heritage or a possession? Can I come to a place where I take the time to see them as the object, the purpose of my day...instead of the endless list of tasks and activities that are not, and cannot be, in a relationship with me?

My goals, my day, sometimes overshadow the little people in my day. Knowing I have to squeeze an extra two swimming lessons in my week for Aragorn who has an aversion to proper swimming lessons means I have to create time ... and honestly? Knowing this at 0800 each day fills me with something akin to stress: when am I going to pack their lunch, how to fit in school before picking up Belle, Belle missing her nap, fitting in things after this etc. You get the picture. But still. BUT STILL. Those are not good enough excuses.

This motherhood thing? It's daily lessons in servanthood.

O God.

holy experience

go on over and check this out - for busy moms....


  1. This is a great post, Karen. Many moms will relate with you.
    And the excerpt you shared was wonderful.

    One of my sadnesses (as a mom of grown up children) is that it seems to me I was SO busy with their "stuff" that I didn't enjoy them as I could have.

    As people. As funny. As entertaining. As profound.

    I loved them and saw them as needing to be cared for.
    But I think I often missed those other aspects.

    Whats really great now is that young moms like you have become aware of this and are making moves to enjoy their children; to embrace these irreplacable times.

    Good for you!

  2. Thanks Allie - for commenting, and for the encouragement - it was very welcome. May I truly remember these lessons each day!