May 16, 2011

Thoughts on Motherhood, Year One

 I thought it would be neat to chronicle my thoughts on motherhood through the years. So here are my reflections as a rookie...

I love this role... and I am exhausted by it at the same time. The most memorable moment in Wilson's birth was the beauty in the pain of the contractions because of their purpose. I have definitely seen that carry over into motherhood. There are days when the exhaustion is so overwhelming, when the monotony of feeding and changing is paralyzing, when the sense of self is lost somewhere in the word "mom"... but there is purpose and beauty in this pain.

I have a grand purpose of creating a home that Wilson feels safe in. I am called to shower him with love and affection. I get to lay a foundation of wisdom for him... teaching him what is good and what is detrimental to him (It is very clear, by the way, that foolishness truly is bound up in his heart). I get to sing to him and read to him and praise him when he learns something new.

And I know that, someday, I get to let him go. This has been the hardest part of motherhood for me this year... fighting the urge to claim him as part of me. I know that motherhood is not about raising a pet that will keep me company for the rest of my life... it's about rearing a person who will (God willing) go on to do significant things with his life. Things with eternal value. And so daily I have to remind myself that my role is so much more satisfying when I remember this truth: I get to see the beginnings (and play a major role in) of the story of a person's life.  James Wilson's life.

The truth is that God is the one who is truly writing the story. I love this verse:
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  Isaiah 40:11

I heard a wise woman once say about this verse: "I am not the shepherd. Jesus is the shepherd, and I am just the momma sheep."
Of course he will always be my baby and I'm sure Andrew will have a lifetime of telling me I need to back off, but I realize that these moments of his dependency are fleeting.  There will be a day when he chooses what to eat without me. There will come a time when he (gasp) goes a whole day without reaching for me. And there will be that first moment where he confidently makes a good decision without looking back for our approval.

And that is the sweet, sweet moment that my tired back and hands and mind are working for right here in the now.

Oh, but how I LOVE the now, too.


Hank and Anna Uzzell said...

loved your post, Elizabeth. It was really good for me to read and think about!

Rachel Rainer said...

LOVE THIS POST! Thank you for sharing.

Chalise Bondurant said...

very well said. Love this!

Unknown said...

Oh have a way with words. I can't tell you how many times i've read your posts on your blog and have been brought to tears, either from laughter, sadness or just sentimentality (like this one). You have a way of saying things just they way they should be said. You should write a book. I'm not sure what about, maybe just a book of your "ponderings", but you need to do it. If no one else buys it, you know that I will.