Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalms 127:3
I have lived this verse and been rewarded. Today I remember the day Lois was born. Today, in 1989, I began learning the joys of maternity, the blessings of motherhood. Becoming a mother means your life will never be the same. I was still enjoying the new love of marriage, surprised that I could love a man as much as I loved the family I had known all my life. The love to a husband is a choice and when treating love as a verb, this new love will last a lifetime.
Becoming a mother was never one of my lifelong desires, but was a natural development of marriage. Lois changed my life forever. I did not know I could love so much and so quickly. I had concerns about knowing how to take care of her. My parents did not let us “babysit” because of the level of responsibility connected to it. I did not grow up in a town that someone could quickly come to the rescue if I needed help. Almost zero experience with babies.
I was inexperienced and learned mothering skills with Lois. We learned a lot together. Mothers and their children develop routines that later on are family memories, often the source of laughter. I was a “stay at home” mother and those were some of the happiest years of my life, while it lasted. Travel became a part of our lives not long after India’s birth.
I remember soon before India was born, just over two years later, being concerned that I would not be able to love her as much as I loved Lois. My mother reassured me that I would, that she loved all four of her children the same. I knew she did, but doubted my capacity to love this way. I loved Lois so much it took my breath away.
How I worried for nothing. The thought of loving one daughter more than the other never entered my mind again from the moment she was placed on top of me after being born. God gave mothers the capacity to love big and love deeply. Although I am not certain, I wonder, is it one of the things that is not manifest until we need it?
Having cameras at our fingertips today means that there are many memories captured. I was a mother that took many pictures, because I enjoyed photography. The cost of developing pictures kept me from taking more of them and unlike today, I did not always have my camera with me. Pictures are wonderful things, but the stories of memories made are more important I think.
The things we did and talked about helped to shape my daughters for a lifetime. When we were able to do a ”family night” each person had a turn to choose the activity for the evening. I cannot tell you the number of times that Lois and India chose “sharing a memory” as our activity. Make some good memories, then rehash them later!
Neither of my daughters ever had a bottle. I did not know how to prepare one either, still don’t. Mothers, one of my sweetest memories is holding my daughters while they dreamily looked into my eyes as if their whole world revolved around mine. Penetrating stares that seemed to look right through me. They will not do that forever; don’t miss it! I never held my babies with a phone in my other hand. A book perhaps, but I usually waited to read until they slept. Their big and knowing eyes would not let me give them less than my full attention.
Maternity was wonderful beyond any of my imaginations. I think of wonderful women that never had that opportunity to give birth. I will tell you that the pleasure is in the relationship that comes after the birth! I think of this verse: He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. Psalms 113:9
We do not always understand the ways of God, but I know God thinks good toward us! (For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11) The world is full of children that are hungry for more love and more interestingly so, all children are. I have watched my grandchildren that are loved by many. A child can be spoiled but a child cannot be loved too much. In the verse above, God says He has made the barren woman to be a joyful mother of children. He has made barren women to be mothers! Motherhood, maternity, is a womanly thing to do. It is woven into our being. Embrace this truth, and extend love to a child today. I will always be grateful to those that love my children and grandchildren right along with me.
Happy Birthday Lois! You and your sister changed my life!
GIVING BIRTH is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born. Erma Bombeck
A movie tip this week: Not a fan of bloody war stories, but I watched one recently with India and Zachary. it was a touching and realistic movie without being gory. INDIVISIBLE is the name of it. It is a tear jerker.
Another war movie I loved was SERGEANT YORK. It was produced 80 years ago in 1941. Still one of the best movies I ever saw.
Both films are war stories, but they are both stories of faith in the God that gave us America.