Saturday, April 6, 2013

~Happy Birthday~

Three decades and one year ago this evening I was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital so that my doctor could begin the process of inducing labor the following morning. In 1982, there was no such thing as a routine ultrasound and since my pregnancy was generally uncomplicated I had no idea whether we'd be welcoming a son or daughter into our family.

I remember it all like yesterday.  My own mother's words that night still ring in my head, "After tomorrow, your life will never be the same."

At the time, I had no idea how true her casual comment was but all these years later I so appreciate the accuracy of her sentiment. 

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, comparable to the roller coaster ride called motherhood. The slow clink-clink-clink of the ascension toward the summit is preceded by dips, twists, curves and bumps that challenge the most daring among us.

The gamut of emotions this ride generates is not for the faint of heart. I have cried buckets of tears for that little girl who was placed in my arms all those years ago on that chilly April morning. Some were tears of sorrow and concern, some of joy and celebration-- but I would not trade all the money in lottery land for the privilege of learning who really am through the tears of motherhood. This ride has revealed many things, some good and some not so good, but these seem worth mentioning:

I am strong. You simply cannot endure six months of (basically) untreated colic and repeated nights without sleep while continuing to "function," and not marvel at the endurance you never knew you had.

I am weak. I have felt my legs turn to jello and my heart race at speeds I didn't know were possible to survive when I was confronted with fear for one of my children.

I am stubborn. Before becoming a mother I avoided most conflicts. Motherhood brought battles that were worth fighting. And I did. 

I am an advocate. Children don't ask to be born and cannot advocate for themselves. I learned that I can navigate my way around systems and obstacles for the sake of my babies.

I am a pray-er. My ineptitude as exposed by many of the bends and turns on the mother-ride forced me to my knees. With every prayer, God faithfully provided direction in His time, His way. And He still does.

I am selfish.  Sometimes being a good mother was difficult because I was selfish. I wanted to sleep. Or play. Or be silent. Or be alone. Or not share my M&M's. Yep, being a good mom is hard and more times than I'd like to admit, I wasn't.

I am selfless. I would give up anything worldly for the well-being of my children. I have no needs if they are in need.

I am a child. Motherhood revealed how often I did (and still do) exactly the same things to my heavenly Father that children do to their earthly parents. Of all the lessons of motherhood, this is probably the most stunning. Discovering that there is nothing on earth that my children could ever conceive of doing that would make them "not my children," and nothing that would diminish my fierce love for them, exposed the gravity of grace and all its implications for my life in a way that nothing prior had ever revealed. 

Knowing that God loves me more than I love this little girl or the boy who followed her just 21 months later-- or the people they married who have now become as precious to me as if I'd born them myself-- or the children they've born who now make the descent from this ride's summit the most thrilling of all parental adventures--is beyond my ability to fathom.  

How can anyone receive this kind of love and remain unchanged?  Which brings me to my final discovery about myself--

I am loved. Not because I deserve it or have earned it, or have paid God back for any of the blessings He's given me--just because I'm His daughter. 

so...Happy Birthday Dear Daughter! I am so grateful to God for giving me the gift of you. You and your brother have been two of my best teachers and I thank Him for you every day. 


Children are a heritage from the Lord,

    offspring a reward from him.

Psalm 127:3


  1. Thank you sweet Amber. You are one of my life's blessings and I love watching you in your role as Mommy to a precious daughter of your own!

  2. Tears! This is absolutely beautiful.