Twenty-eight years ago today I became a mother. Hard to believe it’s been that long, but I have a handsome, sweet, wise, diligent, kind, smart, talented, athletic, Christian young adult son to prove to me that it has indeed been twenty-eight years! And he’s an incredible husband, to boot!
Truly, the day I became a mother (all pain and stress aside!) was one of the most glorious days of my life. To think that I (along with my husband) had brought this baby into the world. To think that he was mine, really mine!
Then reality set in. I had helped raise my three younger siblings, often caring for them all day and all evening during summers that my mom worked two jobs. And most weekends year round while she worked. I babysat all the time growing up. And yet, the time arrived for us to take Joshua home from the hospital and panic overcame me. I remember calling the nurse’s station, telling them that I was supposed to leave the hospital that afternoon and nobody had showed me how to bathe the baby! I had no idea what I was doing, nursing-wise either. I never knew if Joshua was too hot or too cold. Had enough to eat or not. I knew so little about physically caring for this little bundle.
A couple of years later and even more reality set in—not only was I responsible for this child’s physical well-being, I was also responsible for his spiritual well being. How could I teach him right from wrong? How could I keep him from shouting, “No” and running the other way when I gave a command? How could I teach him to love God and God’s ways more than this world? How could I train him to have the character of Christ in this life—to put others before himself, to be kind to the weak, to speak words that were uplifting, to be a diligent worker, and much more?
I have made many mistakes along the way—and our first two “guinea pigs” (Joshua 28 and Kayla 24) have had to bear the results of my inadequacies. But when I look at what an amazing young man Joshua has become, when I hear how he treats his wife exactly like the Bible says a husband should, when I observe him teaching our cottage classes and note the wisdom he possesses and the detailed preparations he has made, when I watch his creativity blossom into lessons and stories, when I see how devoted he is to his younger brothers and sisters, when I see him study and learn every day of his life, when I see concern on his face if he thinks I’m having a bad day or hard time—my inadequacies melt away and are replaced with the glorious joys of the time of his birth.
No, I haven’t been a perfect mother for Joshua. There are things that I wish I could undo or words I wish I had never spoken. But the glories of motherhood far outweigh any inadequacies I feel. For I have been appointed to fulfill one of the greatest callings any person can have—I have been given the calling and glorious joy of being a mother.