Today is another Mother's Day. It is always a bitter-sweet day for me. I am so thankful to have a day that is set apart to honor my Momy (just go with it) and the other Mamas in my life. There is also a spot in my heart that aches each year on this day, because my dreams of being a mother are yet to be realized. It may seem strange to some, but I also know there are a lot of women who can absolutely understand what I am about to say!
I can almost hear the sounds of little feet walking through the house to bring me a "Mother's Day breakfast in bed", I can imagine the card I would get from church or preschool with a tiny hand-print or foot-print and a cheesy poem about how I have contributed to the growth of the child who's prints are on the page, I can feel in my heart the sweet joy of baby giggles. No, I am not crazy! I am a mother. I don't have any children of my own (yet - I hope), but in my heart of hearts, I am a mother. I know this about myself and have known it my whole life.
As a small child, I loved nothing more than caring for my baby dolls and stuffed animals. I even had a baby carrier that I took EVERYWHERE I went. (Thank you Mom for indulging me!) As a pre-teen, I BEGGED for the opportunity to babysit or play with little children. I stalked my poor neighbors that had children and accosted them as soon as they drove into the driveway to ask if I could "help" them watch their babies. Most of them genuinely seemed appreciative, but I can only imagine that there were probably a few times that they just wanted to send me home and didn't have the heart to do it. Then as a teenager, I had finally arrived! I could babysit! There was hardly a Friday or Saturday night that I wasn't taking care of someone's children...even when I was on crutches for an entire year of my life! Move forward in life, and I have been a nanny, teacher, children's minister, family coach, and doula. I just LOVE caring for family! It's how I was made.
I write this, because I know many other people who have a similar longing to be called Mom. We are often ashamed, embarrassed, or feel hidden in this heart-aching, stomach churning, life-call. We ask the question, "Is it in the cards for me? Will it ever happen? Am I ok with never being a mother?". Occasionally we will tell our dearest friends that our hearts hurt because of this longing, but more often than not we will swallow the lump in our throat and cry out to the Lord (or into our pillow) and remind Him once more that all we really want is to have a family.
For all of my friends (and people I don't even know that may read this), I encourage you to hold onto your identity as a mother and live it out to it's fullest -- even if you don't have children of your own. It doesn't take away the sting of staying seated at church when the pastor lovingly calls for all of the moms to stand up so they can receive a clap offering. It doesn't change the fact that you didn't have a child bring you runny eggs, burnt toast, and a half-spilled cup of orange juice this morning. But what it does do, is make you a person of character, love, and faith! We hold onto the promises of the Lord even when we don't see the fruit! Why? Because we know that His plans are greater than our own. We know that HE does not discount the little things in life. He sees, and He knows the desires we hold in our hearts. We don't know what the future brings, but if you are someone - like me - who has only ever dreamed of being a mother, I encourage you to do just that!
A mother is not just a woman who has given birth or raised her own children. A mother is someone who has invested in the lives of others. She is someone who has cleaned up scraped knees, prayed for a fever to break in sickness, taught someone how to accomplish something of value; a mother is one who has loved another greater than herself!
So to everyone one of you, I say "Happy Mother's Day"! You deserve to be recognized! Walk through today with your head held high. If you go out to lunch and someone offers you a Mother's Day flower, take it! Receive the blessing! Receive the promise! And know that you too, are a mother in some capacity!