Becoming a mother has changed me, in some ways the change seemed immediate, in others it has happened gradually. H and I just returned from spending 5 days visiting Papa Bill & Jo Jo in Louisiana. We had such a good time and got lots of quality bonding time together. It was my first time to travel alone with H and I was so proud of him. He did such a good job and on every flight we were on someone would stop me and tell me what a sweet boy he was or how he did such a good job. Everyone we sat next to H tried to share his snacks with and gave them stickers and toys to play with. People are always telling me how beautiful H is and are so charmed when he just talks and talks to them. I was thinking over this trip about all of the things that I used to inwardly cringe at before becoming a Mommy... things like never getting to eat or drink anything without a child appearing and wanting whatever you had, kids waking up before dawn and running around the house screaming, not being able to complete a task without some kind of interruption, toddlers crawling all over you and being your constant shadow, stinky diapers and projectile vomit, the list could continue, but I think you get the idea. Not that I always gracefully embrace all of these things now, but I certainly don't cringe the way I did before becoming Mommy.
At night in Louisiana H and I would cuddle in bed together and I would sing songs of Truth to him until he fell asleep. I couldn't help thinking about our Heavenly Father and the pride and joy He feels when we want to draw close to Him and let Him sing over us His peace, hope for our futures and His unending love. Being H's Mommy has helped me to grasp just a little bit of what it means to love unconditionally. It has also helped me to embrace life's joys and sorrows knowing that I cannot control the outcomes of either. It has changed my relationship with God in that I have put away some of my 'performance anxiety' trying to earn approval and love. H and I can have a terrible day where everything seems to go wrong and I'm totally frustrated, but I don't love him any less on those days than I do on the days where everything goes according to schedule. How much more perfect is God's love towards His children? It does not waver or fluctuate depending on how much we are trusting Him or the number of good deeds we have accomplished. It just is - now that is a miracle.
A few weeks ago I posted about baby James and his battle with a cancerous brain tumor. I have continued to follow his progress and have not stopped thinking about this family and praying urgently for them. I even dreamt about little James last night. James's tumor has come back full force and yesterday his parents took him home under the care of hospice to spend their final days or weeks showing him just how much they love him. I have cried many tears for this family and have cradled H longer, kissed him more and told God how grateful I am for every single day that I get to be H's mommy. I think part of why this has been so emotional for me is that H is just one year older than little James. It could just as easily be H fighting this battle. Our children are gifts given to us by God, they are not possessions to hoard, lives to control, or even promises of bright futures. They are blessings from the Father and He can use them to pour out his blessing in whatever way He chooses.
So, embrace your children today. Embrace your Mommy or Daddy journey wherever it has led you. Embrace the Heavenly Father who is the giver of all good and perfect gifts. Pray, pray for the Sikes family as they care for little James. Pray for all of the Mommies and Daddies who are struggling to care for their children, struggling to conceive children, and those fighting alongside their sick children. And let us give thanks to God.