Mothers Day 2014

Mothers Day is this Sunday and I am thinking about the privilege that I have experienced being the mother of three boys.  I had no idea how to be a mother when the nurse placed our first born in to my arms almost 23 years ago... has it been that long?

It seems only yesterday that I remember the drama of being in labor for 25+ hours only to then have an emergency cesarian section delivery, then to spend the night in the operating recovery room because there was "no room" in the whole hospital.

Cameron was born sometime around 9:40 pm on May 22, 1991... I did not get to hold him until sometime in the pre-dawn hours of the next morning.  He and I both had a challenging first night.  Oh, but the joy, wonder and anxiety of knowing that I was a real mother!

Would I be good enough? Would I fail? Would he love me back?  
I loved him fiercely that moment.

Before I could think too much about it and in the swirl of diapers, night time feedings,  and long days... not expecting to be expecting... Oh, NO!! So soon?? yes.

When Cameron was about five months old, we moved from seminary housing in Wake Forest NC and spent the first part of 1992 living separately.  Mike had been called to a church in Belton, SC and we had no place to live.  While a house was being built, Cameron and I lived with my parents in NC and Mike stayed with his brother in Belton, SC.  I commuted on the weekends with my infant son and my increasingly larger pregnant self!

When time for Matthew to be delivered, I had a scheduled C-Section on June 12, 1992.

Something amazing happened.  

I didn't know my heart could love so fully, but when the nurse placed our second born into my arms, my heart swelled and there I was... fiercely in love all over again!

I thought I would explode from the love I felt for my husband and the two boys 
that love had created.  

Funny Story about Matthew... the pre-natal doctor had told me I was having a girl!!! So, our new church family had "Showered" us with all things pink, lace covered and girl related!  What a fun day it was to discover we had another BOY and we had NO NAME picked for him... All the suggestions and recommendations of what to call our son began to flood our hearing as we tried to absorb the news and what we would do with all those girl-y things!

We decided on the name Matthew from the Bible.  And prayed, again, that God would enable us to raise these two boys to know Him and to love Him first.  I was fearful, all over again, that I would fail in this task.  After all, I did not have a great track record myself when it came to loving God first above all...does any of us?

It is by Grace we are saved, it is a GIFT from God and not ourselves.

  A mother of boys. I had NO IDEA what to do with boys.  Being raised by my mom and dad with a sister at home, all I knew was how to be a girl...would I teach them well how to be a Man of God?

Only by Grace...

So I found myself the wife of a Youth Pastor, the mother of two small boys, and so unsure of myself that all I knew to do was pretend that I knew what I was doing.  Thankfully, the Lord placed Godly mentors in my life... Friends that were mothers with a  little more experience and mothers that had much more experience.  These women taught me by their example to Love God First, then Love the Ones He has Entrusted to Me.  I am grateful that He gave me these years...

Then it happened.  We were not expecting to be expecting again!!!

"OUR PLAN" had been to have three children, yes... ok... but at the rate of about two years apart between each one...WHAT???

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord." 
Isaiah 55:8

Kyle was delivered by C-Section on July 25, 1994.  Joy. Wonder. Fear. Insecurity.  How on earth did God think I was going to do this!!!  Yet he had entrusted me with the gift of another man child and an all consuming passionate and determined love to be this boy's mother.

Cameron was three, Matthew was 2 and we brought Kyle home to join in the crazy cycle of Love, Laughter, Family, Home.  It is a wonder Kyle survived.  His brothers were a little rough at times.  Then again, when Kyle was old enough to walk, he gave them a rough time too.

To say that my heart was full, is an understatement.

How does ones heart hold so much love, equal in passion and ferocity, for each child it holds?

God knows. He does it everyday for the whole world... it is beyond me to comprehend yet he has given me just a glimpse of His great Love for His Creation. This is the true gift of motherhood.

Right to Left:
Matthew (2), Kyle (5 mo), Cameron (3)
Christmas 1994

In the middle of all the LIFE, Love and Chaos of three children under the age of 4 in a small house I prayed... "Lord, how do I raise these little boys? I do not know what I am doing..."

And the Lord revealed to me:

I was NOT  to raise little boys, but that I was to Raise UP Godly Men who would Love God first, and serve Him with their Whole Heart.

Inspired by the Word of God, I began to ask God to teach me to raise up these boys to be like the Warriors of Old, to be Men who understand the times, and know what to do.

Knowing full well, that He would have to make up the difference for what I lack.  

So here I am today, on Mother's Day weekend... my sons will soon be 23, 22 and 20...thinking about what it means to me to be a Mother.

Here are a few things that I would say to you as a young mother:

1- Motherhood is a privilege.  Hard, demanding, exhausting... but a privilege.

2- Don't waste your time.  The time is short. Make the most of each experience, season,
    Savor the moments, whether good or challenging.
    Don't keep looking back.
    You will miss the NOW and not be ready for the Future if you keep looking back and
    longing for days when they were young, carefree, innocent and loved you first.
3- Love God First.  Teaching your children to love God starts with your own relationship with

4- Know the Word of God.  Put it to work in your life. Your life is an example to your husband
     and children first.

5- Trust God.  You are not perfect. He is.

6- Train them well.  You are raising up the next generation of God's Sons and Daughters.

    Trust God to lead them on their Life Journey to Discover 
that He alone is GOD and they are not.

Happy Mothers Day to you, my friend.  I am going to go and hug my now-grown sons and tell them how thankful I am to be their mom... God has revealed much about His Great Love for Me through them.  And I can't wait to see how their lives will reveal the glory of God to their generation...

Yes, Lord.  Walking in the way of your Word, I wait for you. 
Your name and your renown is the desire of my heart.   

Me and The Boys
December 2012 Cedar Falls Park
Photo: Tonya Johnson

The Word. Worship. Payer. 
These are my Roots.