On our first Mother’s Day some 8 days ago, we lay back together and watched the waves crash in the ocean. We were in Bali and we didn’t need to do anything special or add anything different to our itinerary, everything felt perfect as it was.
Since becoming a mother, I’ve experienced every anxiety, every emotion, every fear; but I have also received more joy, more faith, more grace, and more love, than ever before. While it’s a nice thing to set aside one day to celebrate mothers, I have to admit that, for me, everyday has been a celebration. Even at our little one’s fussiest, or my crankiest, there is always cause to celebrate. Everyday, as I mother, I am reminded of what a beautiful privilege it is to be a parent; and in turn, I find myself acknowledging over and over again every life-giving moment my own parents lived in order to raise me. Everyday I celebrate the incredible strength, commitment, loving-kindness, and faith it takes for me to be a mom, for my husband to be a dad, for our own parents to have done it all before us, and most of all for God to have done it for the world.
So instead of writing a post about all the wonderful things you can do to surprise your mother, or all the spectacular ways you can celebrate your own motherhood, (which are both great things to do, by the way, please those who do them: keep it up!) I found myself writing this prayer instead:
Father, thank you for today. Thank you for everyday that I can wake up by my husband, and our son, and find us facing the world together. Thank you for the privilege of not only participating in the miracle of creation, but continuing to participate in the blessing of building a life besides my own. Most of all, thank you for your example: without which we would know not how to parent. Thank you for your leadership, your grace, your sacrifice. Thank you for paving the way.
I pray today most especially for every parent, particularly every mother, and especially me – knowing my flaws and my low moments: that we find joy in the acts of service it takes everyday to care for a child; that we find strength and motivation in how our child needs us; that we find hope in how You have so unconditionally love us; and that not just today but everyday can be a celebration of our love, Your love, and the incredible privilege of parenthood — a responsibility You have bequeathed us, and continue to carry us through.
I pray today that I may never forget these things. That in my low and selfish moments (of which there are many), you grant me grace and perspective. That I may never forget watching the waves crashing in the ocean with my baby in my lap, experiencing new things about the world for the first time, and thanking You for that gift.
As a mother, I am not perfect. I have moments of crankiness and anxiety. But I try to act grateful everyday, because I AM grateful. I am grateful for the tasks at hand and the complex dimensions of my new responsibilities that teach me to be a better, bigger, brighter person (even when I don’t want to). I am grateful to my husband for the tag-teaming he does late at night and on early mornings. I am grateful to God for the strength and grace he blesses me with to make it through the highs and the lows of new mamahood. And I am grateful to our little one: who reminds me constantly of the miracle of life, and who is the very reason for my mothering, and whose mere presence has changed my life for good.
To end this entry, I’d like to share this music video that made me cry last week. It was really such a reminder that, above all things, being a mama is a wonderful gift – and that the stages in which we experience it are fleeting. So we must make the most of it while we can.
P.S. To my own mama: You were right. 🙂 About a lot of things. Thank you for making the most of your time with us during my own childhood, and treating it like the gift that I now understand my own child’s life to be. I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my mommy you’ll be!