Mother's Day is around the corner and this year I can't help but feel gracefully humbled to celebrate such a day. Not just because I have wonderful mother's all around me, whom I celebrate in my heart a little bit every day of the year...but because I am given the chance to carry such a title of my own. And at this moment I want to give thanks to two people... the One who wove this crazy life together for me and the man who have made me what I am today. For it all has started here and they see me in my most beautiful moments as a mom and at my darkest and ugliest moments in the very same role. And they choose to still love me.
In the days of nursing babies and mopping floors and washing the 6th load of laundry...of the day, and reading stories and pushing swings and airing up bikes and traveling to and from with a van full of kids and making meals and cleaning up meals and doing homework and teaching numbers and memorizing verses and baking cookies and sending cards to grandmas and pulling weeds and wiping tears and controlling...well, chaos...in all of this are two people whom met in an old church van and fell in love on the streets of Chicago in the middle of a college mission trip and decided early on to make a go at this relationship thing. They made plans for what is now today and it seems those plans have in many ways happened and in many ways been pushed to the side for new plans to be walked into.
But early on in that budding relationship between me and the man I get to call husband, I knew being a mother was a part of it. And he knew it too. And so here we are...that boy who started loving me on dark Chicago streets while we reached out to the homeless together and made me into a mother just a few years later. It's been everything and more and also nothing I knew it could be. I know I am not the same person I was for my best supporting role husband and these days it is easy to forget where we started or which way we are even going. But too often I lay my head down at night with a swelling heart of thankfulness to him for helping make me who I am today, too tired to climb back out and tell him, thank you for this place in our journey together...mother to this over-flowing house full of kids...good and bad days...messy and beautiful...exhausting and fulfilling all in the same breath.
I know we are trudging through the swampy little years with too many bills and not enough money and too many needs and not enough time and long days and short nights and a routine that feels a little boring for my spontaneous husband, yet so rewarding at the end of the day anyways. And in these muddy waters much goes unsaid...
... words like...
I love you. Thanks for taking out the garbage. Thanks for working your job that stresses your mind and wears out your body and never is quite done at the end of the work day. You are a great dad. No, make that a super awesome dad. Thanks for reading to our boys. I love when you pray with our family. You're looking good in those old blue jeans and white t-shirt by the way. I'm sure glad you are funny. We need that around here. Thanks for knowing when I need a minute to myself. Thanks for hugging our kids. Thanks for sitting through church with kids who barely listen, but need to see their dad worship and bow his head to pray and listen to His truth. Thanks for being a good friend. The kind that goes back to help a pal because its the right thing to do. Thanks for honoring your parents. I love watching you run super fast and impress our boys, even at 35. Thanks for taking care of us...all of us, financially...1 wife, 4 kids, 2 dogs, and 5 hens. Yup, we're a lot. I know we.are.a lot....and growing. Thanks for building tree forts and basketball courts and riding bikes and going to games and playing catch and cheering from the sides and playing peek-a-boo. Yes, you grown adult man...thank you for holding our babies. And sometimes just holding me too when it gets to be too much for me to stand alone. Thanks for fixing things around our home and washing the dishes. I know you are tired, but thanks for staying here...with us and this crazy life and being the Dad so I can be the Mom. I love being the mom to your kids. And I love that you love Jesus and have this crazy strong inner strength to do the right thing in so many places in your life. And thanks for forgiving me and moving forward when I mess up, even when I mess up real bad. You are my best friend and even though I feel like this wild life of ours right now doesn't allow much time for us to spend time together or chat together or laugh and cry together the way best friends do, I am so glad it's you who comes in and kisses me goodnight at the end of our days. You plan the best family vacations and pull off the best surprises for me and I know it's how you tell us "I love you". Thank you for being that for me. So many things each week as we flip the calendar and keep moving forward I find myself counting the blessing you are to me...the grace you pour my way. And I should tell you more...lots more...thank you. I love you and thanks for making me a mama. It fills my heart in ways I can not explain.
Happy Mother's Day to me, only thanks to you...and Him. The one we keep thanking together for this crazy life of kids and parenting and fatherhood and motherhood. I wouldn't be here without either of you in the way I am today and this Mother's Day I am celebrating being here by the grace of God and the grace shown from the love of a man I get to call husband...who has made me a mama. Thank you.