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The Book Thief
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
On Gold Mountain
Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
The Distant Land of My Father
The Paris Wife
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Fall of Giants
World Without End
A Stolen Life
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Pillars of the Earth
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
The Road
Trials of the Earth: The Autobiography of Mary Hamilton
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Cutting for Stone

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« faith is... | Main | mamas offer refuge »

what mothers do

Friday Matthew arrives home from UT. I hug him while chastising him for not returning my phone call. The old iPhone bad battery story silences my objections. Turns out he had a blow-out on I-40, changed to the spare, drove over to buy a tire. Changed that tire and headed home. A whole lifetime lived in one day. This, of course, justifies a mother’s worry when the phone battery dying and the tire blowing out coincide in one afternoon. I jot down a to do list topped with “buy car phone charger.”

As I pluck the 50-pound laundry basket from his arms, I see the faded blue IGBOK sweatshirt and make a mental note to lift it and take it to Italy with me. 

The next morning as Sam watches cartoons and I slice apples, Matthew gave me a blow by blow of the chick flick he and his girlfriend, Lily, watched the night before. Since I NEVER get to watch Chick Flicks, he spoils the plot for me right then and there. While I scoop out peanut butter into bowls, he captures the plot in eight words: Love and fame cannot live in same place.

Joshua bursts through the back door and demands a snack. “I’m working on it!” I say.

Then Matthew describes precisely the moment when the main character decides to take her own life. He googles the theme song stuck in his head and plays it for me right then and there. I don’t think to marvel at his astuteness until now because Sam hollers from the den, “another one!” This means he wants me to put another cartoon from the On Demand menu. To be a child again!

I chase Sam outside because who wants to watch tv on a gorgeous Tennessee morning?

These are the moments of motherhood that weave together and make a beautiful story.

And there are the other moments...

Matt and I sit in fold-up chairs on the sideline watching our third soccer game of the day. Joshua grabs at his hair after watching the ball land in the opponent’s goal. He turns and walks away from the goal toward center field as our goalie throws in the ball. I scream a little too loudly and harshly, “JOSHUA, WATCH THE BALL!” Matt points out not so gently that the ball is not live. The goalie is just returning the ball to mid-field for the kick-off. 

I cope with being exposed as one of THOSE parents by taking out my iPhone and studying my Twitter account. 

I’m at one of those crossroads as a mother when you begin to focus less on the ways your own parents harmed you. With maturity comes the realization that I will undoubtedly inflict pain upon my own children. An important rite of passage, this transition adjusts my vision much like the reading glasses I am needing recently.

 I am human. I will likely hurt my children. My mother was human. Even the wounds, perhaps ESPECIALLY the wounds I carry glorify my Heavenly Father.

Can I trust Him with my own humanness? Will I let go of the idol of Perfectionism? Will I live full out and acknowledge my ability to hurt or harm my children while giving everything I have to the task?

I will relish every moment of this journey and run fast to the one I have harmed to ask for forgiveness. And sit quietly and enjoy the one who is talking. And give myself space to be able to love from an overflowing heart. 

Today I thank God for my story. I give the stories of my children over to the Story Teller and admit that He knows better than I. 


Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for verbalizing my thoughts!! Love this!

felt like I was sitting in the kitchen with y'all, and it was a nice start to my day. (good southern?)

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