Friday, April 25, 2014

Surprised by Motherhood

I just finished Lisa-Jo Baker's book Surprised by Motherhood.  I was really excited about the release of this book, so excited that I preordered and received it in the mail before it was officially released.

Well, let me just say that I was not disappointed. I don't want to give away anything, but let me just say.....

My heart was touched.

Why is it that moms always feel they are lone? We feel that we are messing things up. We are terrible because we lose our temper or hide out in the bathroom just for five seconds of alone time.

But we aren't alone.

As moms, we are all different, but we are all the same.

Like Lisa-Jo, you may have not  first desired to be a mother.  Me on the other hand....I had it planned out.  Get married. Have 3 kids.....two boys and a girl.

But like every other plan, God had a different, better plan.

I have my 3 children, just not that girl.  Being the mom of three boys....I wouldn't trade it for anything. When I got pregnant back last summer, the main question was, "Are you hoping for a girl?"   My answer was always no.  If I were to become pregnant again, just so you know, my answer is still no.  Like Lisa-Jo, I wouldn't know what to do with a girl.  I think I am doing pretty good with these boys right now.  Honestly, I would love to have a daughter, however, I would not get pregnant just to have a daughter.  But even more than that, I would just want a healthy baby.  That's true more than ever since experiencing a miscarriage.


It is so much more than I expected.  I always thought I would love being a mother.  But the love I have for my children is so much more than what I could have imagined.

I think being a mom and being in love with your children gives us a glimpse of how much God is in love with us.  I have held my sleeping sons and cried because God whispered to me, "You see this?  You know how much you love this baby?  Well, I love you more."  HE loves me more.

We all get so burnt out on the routines of life.  Wake up. Get kids up. Get them to school. Work. Get kids after school. Take part in after school activities. Cook. Clean. Bathe. Do homework. Go to bed. Get up. Go to bed again.  Wake up. Do it all over again.

The laundry piles up.

The dishes get dirty and pile up.

The toys make for an obstacle course.

There are tears.

There is yelling.

There are more tears.

There are kids fighting.

There is poop, puke, and pee to clean up.

Well, being a can never get bored.  There is always something to do.  A kid to hold, a toy to put away, a nose to wipe, a glass of milk to pour, a butt to wipe.  But being a mom is so much more.

It's letting the kids giggle in bed instead of shushing them to sleep because the sound is breathtaking.

It's scooting over in bed because some little person had a bad dream and cuddling with mom and sticking a foot in dad's back is safe and secure.

It's the honest truth that those pants really do make your butt look big and your toddler is the only one to tell you what you've always suspected.

It's the lines and dates on the door facing that show the growth of your wee ones as they soon become as big as you.

It's cheering them on during a game.

It's giving a much needed hug when they fail.

It's hearing, "Mama, I love you," the most precious words in the world.

It's getting sticky kisses.

It's your toddler belting out Clark Griswold's " I LOVE A PARADE!" has he hops into bed at night and then begins singing The B-I-B-L-E.

It's the funny little sayings.....Mama, smell my feet.  Mama, your breath stinks. Mama, I tooted. Eeew! Mama, you tooted.  Mama, I am NOT going to school today. Mama, your butt looks big.  No, Daddy. I want Mama.


Being a mama is so breathtaking, awesome, inspiring, tiring, frustrating, scary, wonderful gift.

Like Lisa-Jo, I am raising Kingdom Kids.  My children are a gift from God.  I have stood with each of them in front of the church and dedicated them back to the Lord.  All too often, I realize that they are only mine for a little while.  I must do everything I can to guide them to Jesus, to help them to become the God-fearing men that are warriors for Christ.

I wanted to be a mama more than anything else in the world, and on July, 26, 2002, I was given that gift. Colin is almost 12.  His first twelve years have flown by, and I know that in the blink of an eye, Colin will be driving, then off to college, and then creating a life of his own.  It seems like only yesterday I lied to the nurses on the phone and told them my contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart.  They were anywhere from 5-8 minutes apart, but when you can't even stand up.....well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  This first boy of mine gave me one heck of a delivery.  After 12 hours of labor, no epidural, and 3 hours of pushing, my almost 10 pound baby stole my heart.  I feared for him when he rolled off the couch as an infant.  When he began walking, Colin was as clumsy as his mama. We spent many nights rushing to the ER because his fever would spike.  He is so tenderhearted, this boy who opened his heart to Jesus during revival.  He helps kids up on the soccer field if they fall even though they are on the opposing team.  God has provided him with some amazing opportunities.  Space Camp, Academic Team, Robotics Team, STLP.  He loves church.  He loves God.  He loves others.  He is a little old man in a kid's body.  Sometimes I forget that he is a kid.  I probably lose my temper with him the most.  Maybe I expect more from him.  He is so grown up most of the time, that when he does some crazy kid thing, I totally can't believe he did it.  I forget to let him be
little. He teaches me about myself.  I see his insecurities and they are the same as mine.  He gets his temper from me. But he loves....Man that kid loves. He's built like his daddy, stocky, thick.  He procrastinates like his daddy too, but we won't talk about that!  As my first born, he continues to teach me so much. Right now, I often wonder if I am going to survive his puberty!  I realize that at this age, Colin doesn't understand his body, his emotions, the changes he is going through.  He's not a little kid any more, but he isn't a teenager either.  He's at that awkward stage where he is trying to find where he fits in.  Honestly, he fits perfectly in my heart.

In 2006, we opened our arms to Carson. My Iley.  He had a rocky start on this stormy spring birth day, having to be rushed to NICU after birth.  His poor lungs were filled with fluid, and he had so much trouble breathing.  At 8 years old, he hasn't fully recovered from that.  This kid, my Iley C., he struggles so much with his health.  When he gets sick, he is sick. He's missed out on fieldtrips, parties, and family holiday celebrations. Tonight, he is missing out on his baseball game. Severe leg cramps prompted us to have tests run.  Food allergies keep an EpiPen nearby, along with a bottle of Benedryl. He is my milk loving boy. My hotdog bun eater. My child with a very sweet tooth!  He wants what he likes and expects us to know what it is without asking.  Stubborn. Stubborn as a mule that boy of mine.  Named after my grandfather, he is so much like him.  The eyes, the ears, the way he crosses his legs, the little things he does that shows he loves you.  His love for banana popsicles takes me back to my childhood summers on Cherry Street. Pa Tootsie always had our favorite banana popsicles on hand. This second boy child of mine became my shadow at the age of three when he became a big brother.  If I was up at 2 a.m. feeding the baby, he was up with me.  Every time I turned around, he was there.  He was so much on my schedule that we pulled him out of daycare, thus creating this bond with his baby brother.  Still, I always expect him in my bed sometime during the night.
Carson is this artistic creature.  I think he gets that from Jeff's grandmother.  Nanny loved to draw and so does Carson.  He's going to be our scientist. A strong, silent man.  There's no need in talking about things we all know....if he doesn't want to talk, he doesn't.  He's not being rude, he just doesn't see how nonsense is necessary.  My soul prays each day for his salvation.  I know he thinks about God. I know he loves God.  I just want to make sure that he understands what Christ has done for him and be able to recognize God's still small voice. My Iley Carson.

After a family trip to Chicago in 2009, we found out that our third little one would be joining our family.  This child, a wild man, came into the world after we found out I had been losing amniotic fluid. Since his arrival, he has let the world know that he is here! Carter is non stop. He is Mister Personality.  He is my baby in every way.  He's four years old, and I still call him the baby.  The third baby. Carter doesn't know how little he really is.  He has never know little. He's know his big brothers, and anything they can do, Carter can do....and better.  Colin's friends are Carter's friends.  He knows no different.  Carter likes things just so.  Sippy cup empty? Throw it across the room.  Need something? Yell for it.  Mad at your brothers? Hit them.  He's not always wild.  Not always.  He loves to cuddle at bed time.  And only Mama will do.  When I had my miscarriage, it hurt Carter and me both that I couldn't get out of bed to care for him. Jeff would let him cuddle with me and then make him go to the other room so I could rest. One night, Jeff was trying to get Carter in bed, and I hear him on the baby monitor telling him that he doesn't like him and he wants Mama to put him to bed.  He's definitely Mama's Boy.  We have our routines, and he likes them. He needs them.  We have to sing Rock-a-bye Baby right after I dry him off after his bath. At bedtime, we have to watch Caillou.
And my "choceemilk" kid knows at bed time, it's only white milk! This boy, my Carter, he is my hero in so many ways.  I pray that in his daring endeavors, his escapades, that he will be a lover of Jesus.  He is loving church. My heart melts when he sings his favorite songs of Jesus.I can't wait to see what this boy of mine will do.

These boys of mine. My gifts from heaven.  They have changed me and taught me. They've taught be about myself, about the world, about life, about love. Being their mama has brought many surprises.  Many things I didn't know about myself.   I have loved deeper than I have imagined.  I have learned to negotiate. I have sacrificed.  I have laughed.....and cried. I continue to face my fears. I become stronger each day. 

This whole motherhood thing is more than I ever thought it would be.  It is better.  It is worth it.

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