Sunday, May 8, 2016

What I Really Want for Mother's Day

I treasure Mother's Day.  My kids who understand it shower me with sweet sentiments and homemade gifts.  They fill my mother's day journal with beautiful drawings that I will treasure forever.  I've never had high expectations for the day.  I don't want flowers or chocolates or jewelry.  I know the perfect family photo just isn't going to happen - I didn't even try today!  I don't expect others to wait on me or fulfill my duties of cleaning and wiping noses and bottoms to give me a "day off" (does that exist for moms?)  But IF I were to want something for Mother's Day, here's my wish list:

What I really want for mother's day is to see ten, twenty, thirty years down the line and know that my kids will turn out okay.  I want to know that they'll weather storms and choose joy, that they'll follow Christ when it is unpopular, that they will make healthy and responsible choices.  I want to know they'll be spared the pain of poor choices.  I pray God will give me grace to model the kind of grown up I want them to become. Continue to mold me, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is to find relief from exhaustion, as most of my poor parenting moments come out of it.  I want to know that my moments of frustration, yelling, anger, and weakness will be forgotten; that my kids general memories of me will gloss over my faults.  I pray for mercy to cover my sins.  Forgive me, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is to go back in time and observe what my adopted children have experienced before I was their mom.  I saw a snapshot in our orphanage visit.  I've pieced together some other likely ideas based on behaviors I've seen.  I've poured over photographs looking for clues into their lives "before".  But I'll never understand.  What I really want is to know how to respond when I don't understand their actions; how to nurture when I don't know what they're feeling.  I pray for wisdom to guide their hearts, not just behaviors.  Heal them, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is to know my children won't be bitter or resentful because the challenges they face... because of the challenges we've chosen for our family.  Ministy.  Adoption.  Special Needs.  I pray they will learn to do hard things with great faith and look to God in the mess of life.  Lead us, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is renewed energy for the important things - tea parties, mud pies, toy trucks, puzzles, and cuddles.  They get pushed aside sometimes in the cooking, cleaning, doctor's appointments, and paperwork.  I pray for balance as I shape my childrens' childhoods.  Guide me, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is to have Mei home safe and sound and to start our new life together.  I want to stop wondering about her and start getting to know her.  I want to stop worrying about the challenges and start overcoming them.  I want her to have plenty to eat and a comfortable bed and a mom and dad to love her.  I pray she doesn't lose hope while she waits.  Sustain her, Lord.

What I really want is for time to freeze and allow me to take in all that is beautiful right now in the little years.  Even as my oldest are almost nine I feel childhood slipping away.  I wish away the potty training and the scribbles on the walls, and I long for a little silence.  But I don't expect I'll ever hold my own newborn again, or cheer a little one's first steps.  Those joys are yesterday's.  The days are long but the years are short.  I pray for perspective to enjoy each day and each stage, for these years are fleeting.  Give me joy in the moment, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is rest from the questioning - Did I do the right thing just then?  Was that consequence reasonable?  Am I using the right Math curriculum?  Was it OK to take the day off school for that other thing?  Should I have given in?  Which cry do I answer first?  Is this poop normal?  Should I call the doctor?  Sometimes the bigger questions are easier.  Should we change our lives through adoption? yes!  Should I go to the grocery store or stay home for naptime?!  agonizing over that one.  I pray for the intimacy with God that guides me without question.  Draw me near to you, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is to know the two birth moms whose children I call my own.  I want them to know their children are loved and that injustice didn't win.  I want them to know the God who redeems, that we might spend eternity together.  I pray God will show himself to them.  Comfort them, Lord.

What I really want for mother's day is to live out Galatians 6:9.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."