Head pats, bear hugs and a hand squeeze

Allie pats my head.

Jonah gives me bear hugs.

and Brooke….

she grabs my hand.

Three humans -now swiftly moving to adulthood – grown and flown as they say, that once spent the first 9 months of their lives inside of me. They were physically closer than any human can get with another – literally attached by a cord of life, needing my heartbeat and my nutrition. Is it a wonder the emotions shared between mother and child are so intense, complex, beautiful……

I’m so glad I’m a girl.

I’m so glad I got to be the one that housed the lives created by the love of my spouse and I.

I’m so glad for the months of wonder, and heartburn, and joint aches, and weight gain and doctors appointments.

I’m beyond grateful that our journey to parenthood was simple and text book and in many ways just like I’d imagined it would be.

And now 23 years into the parenting journey I am even more grateful for the gazillion moments of joy, challenge, sweetness, frustration, growth, that far exceeded my expectations. These three humans: The head patter, the bear hugger, the hand squeezer have impacted me more than anyone else on the planet. They are gifts that took residence in my heart from the moment I knew of their existence – deeply rooted, deeply loved.

And tomorrow, for some reason, the world has told me – I should expect a grand celebration commemorating all the blood sweat and tears I have shed in the raising of my tribe. It is a pretty big bag of expectations we’ve placed on our husbands and children.

Some moms will enjoy breakfast in bed, brunch after church, bbqs with family.

Some will receive flowers, jewelry, appliances and depending on how creative the childs teacher – a sweet hand made gift you’ll have sitting on your desk or hanging on your wall for years to come.

Some will get the “day off” while their spouses take their kids to the park or the zoo.

And it will be good and sweet and lovely.

And it may not.

This past week I have read several blogs and listened to several podcast with the theme of Mothers Day. One reflected on the importance of Moms staying grounded in God’s word as they raised their children. Another was advice to dads on how to best show appreciation for their wives on this special day. One discussed the pain that many will feel due to their inability to have children, the loss of a child, a challenging relationship with their mom or the loss of their moms. All of this input surrounding this day left my mind swirling with what to say as I made my weekly pause on this blog that would post the day before the yearly tradition of showing our moms all the love.

I realized as I thought about all the ways a woman will enter this day – with either anticipation for the celebrations or the dread of another year passing in pain…there is an important common denominator that we would be wise to recognize. Whether your quiver is full or empty. Whether you are in a season of peace and calm with your children or you are feeling deep sadness over choices you or they have made that have severed relationships that seem far from being able to be mended. Whether you are on your third round of fertility treatments or your child has left this earth before you. Whether you will wake to three toddlers bouncing on your bed in excitement or the sound of dishes clanging in the kitchen as children attempt to create a feast…..

The desire for motherhood provides us all with one important gift…

the one that drives us to our knees in prayers of gratitude, anguish, anger, praise,

the gift that points us all to the need for a Savior.

Recognizing our need that can be filled to overflow with a powerful, peace giving God is the gift to all women.

The desire that he gives us to nurture will be filled, can be filled when we trust the One who does both the creating and the filling.

When I was a young mom my unspoken expectations of the day were for peace and calm and maybe a bit of pampering. The days when I felt the need for a break are long gone.

Today my desires are simple…

A head pat.

A bear hug

A hand squeeze

And the reminder that even though tomorrow I’ll physically experience only one of those three…

My Lord, my savior, my life giver …

Your Lord,

your Savior

Your live giver

will meet me and will meet you right where you are.

Let the celebration begin.

Head patter, bear hugger, hand squeezer.

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