In addition to finding my daughter in the bathroom painting herself with peanut butter, this week has brought many laughs and lessons on love. The children got hands on experiences in mothering as well as lessons in life and the power of love.
Finding a little hungry kitten in the woodshed, we became a temporary foster home to this adorable critter. The kitten’s mother was ran over and died a few days earlier, leaving him to fend for himself at only 3 weeks of age. The kids thoroughly enjoyed holding the soft little bundle while taking turns bottle feeding him. Here, they quickly learned the responsibility and time required to care for another life. Unfortunately, due to allergies, we were not able to keep him, but were able to find him a loving home.
Next, we had the opportunity to care for a little lamb who was born two hours after his brother, leaving him frail and weak with breathing difficulties. As a result, he was disowned and ostracized by his own mother, making it a must to be bottle fed to survive. This precious one melted their hearts as they listened to its frequent hoarse sounding “baas”, demanding food and attention.
Later in the week, while out branding cows, we were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and were able to witness God’s hand in the miracle of life. The boys watched with anticipation and curiosity as the little fella was welcomed into the world. He looked around, barely a minute old, unable to lift his head. They watched for over an hour eager to see the calf explore the world in his first few hours of life.
Just look at these babies and their mama’s. Some make it as they are brought in to the world, while others are taken to the promise land before their time. A simple reminder to us all that life is short with an emphasis on the importance of living with purpose and passion.
Which leads me into my restlessness this past week. I could feel my anxiety building every day, having almost a nervousness about me combined with the feeling of a lump in my throat. Not being able to sleep, as I lay awake until the early morning, not knowing why. A feeling all too familiar, which brought me back to my struggles just a few short years ago.
The next morning, I realized that Mother’s day was right around the corner. A beautiful day to celebrate moms, yet a day that is bittersweet for those of us whose arms are missing a child. Even though a few years have passed, the thought of meaningful holidays without your child is still heartbreaking.
So instead of focusing on what I don’t have this Mothers Day, I am choosing to trust God and be thankful for what He has given me. No need to worry or have anxiety. Although my life has not been a paved road filled with endless flowers and sunshine, my life has been filled with many blessings. I decided to make a list of my favorite things about being a mother. Just a few moments before I wrote this, I was snuggled with my little ones, never wanting to forget a minute. Her’s just a few:
I love when my children fall asleep in my arms. I cuddle them and pull them tight, rubbing noses while they slumber, close enough that I can feel the warmth of their breath as they exhale. It’s a soft, comforting bit of sweetness that penetrates deep into my soul…not wanting these moments to end, dreading as they grow up I want to keep them protected in my arms forever.
After Lydia was born, I told myself, there was no way I could love another child as much as I love her….well, boy was I wrong…A mother’s love grows and her heart expands, filling of never-ending for all of her children.
I love to hear my kids say their prayers before bed and love waking up to this…no matter how much they argue and complain about one another, deep down they love one another and know who to rely on when it counts.
I love the sounds of little ones saying “I love you” and their beautiful art that decorates the refrigerator, open mouth toddler kisses, big snuggles and hugs from my 9-year-old who still calls me “mama and wants me to tuck him in”
I love watching my children laugh as they wrestle and dog pile each other, listening to their giggles echoing throughout the house
I love teaching them about God, watching them demonstrate the act of love towards one another as they learning to apologize, protect each other, and be kind to others
Most of all, I love that I was able to be Lydia’s mom for nearly six years. My first-born, who made me into a mom. Having her show me what the meaning of life is all about and giving me the immense power of love, I wouldn’t trade for anything.
What I have learned throughout these past years? That there’s no need to argue over clothing or matching outfits, it’s okay to stay up an extra hour at night, no big deal if the laundry is not folded or dishes not washed. There’s no sense in stressing over the little things, for they will always be there. My children grow and change every minute, and every minute is never guaranteed, and for this I don’t want to miss a second.
Another powerful lesson in love and life is illustrated by this weeks spotlight of sweetness…Cora’s Story….The story of a mom who learned a lifetime of love in five days with her daughter, Cora, who is sharing their inspiring story while reaching out to others along the way.
Pay them a visit….A little girl changing the world and making a difference, proving that no matter how long or short the life, everyone matters.