Motherhood

There's that common thread that weaves us like a string of jewels around this table - motherhood. Five mamas with twenty-one kids between us, five of them adopted. It's beautiful.
I listen to one friend after another as we share the stretching and the pains of growing in love and growing in giving. We laugh together and the tears well up too.

I silently thank God for friendship and fellowship in the all-too-often-lonely journey of mothering. We were never meant to undertake a job of this magnitude in isolation and I have tried and become discouraged.

Truth mingles with the aroma of coffee and clings to me: "You are not alone. We will pray for you. This was something that worked for me...." My anxieties still and my conviction about the way I am doing life deepens. 
I am a mother and the temptation to shrink back from that responsibility is real. I feel my failure to be all that I want to be for my kids and the lie rings out that someone else's arms would be a better fit. It's that strange, insidious pull that calls to shift responsibility to ease the guilt but I embraced the call of motherhood on the day I conceived with all my rough edges and all my inadequacies, and by God's grace I can be enough.

I listen to these woman talk about their struggles and yet they are alive. There is a verve inside them that is unquenchable, unstoppable, even in the middle of exhaustion and worries. It's the seed that grows on the inside and even when the umbilical cord is severed the life keeps pulsing, full and wild and uncontrollable. It's not comfortable but it's life and the days are full of endless laying down of self and yet filled with surprising joy. It's not easy to beat back the strength of my selfishness but the rewards are real.

Lights dim and one by one we rise and leave, the string of jewels cut apart to be set in a crown.
Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Prov. 17:6

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