I have this memory from when I was young. It is a very clear one of an interview, maybe the paper or local evening news or even just one of those award ceremonies they used to have in elementary school. I remember vividly my PTO president parents being proud of me that day and I loved and still love to make my people proud. I remember some random smiling adult stranger before me asking me questions and one of those questions was, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” That question was easy for me. I knew I was smart enough to be whatever I wanted and I knew exactly what that whatever was. So, I looked back at my parents and glanced around the room and very confidently said, “When I grow up I want to be a mom!”. My parents were not super impressed with this response. I think they felt I should want bigger grander things in life but I was certain that motherhood was a vital part of my calling and was most excited about it! This memory makes me laugh and cry somedays. How funny that my little girl heart was already wrapped up tight in loving little people? How funny that my dreams came true and yet they don’t always look or feel like all that I ever imagined?
As I got older, I did realize that I might need a job that paid in actual money and so I choose nursing. I could still be with kids and when I when I became a mom, I could have a flexible schedule. Of all the plans to actually fall into place, this one did. I have my three boys and I live the quintessential boymom life and I do a very small amount of nursing on the side. As I was sitting on my back porch sanctuary earlier today, listening to the sounds of my boys and my life, I was struck by how I am actually living my dream. Sure, my hair is in a knot. Yes, I am void of makeup and I have laundry to fold and dinner to make. Yes, it is true that I drive a minivan and that my big plans for the week were playdates and sports physicals. I throw like a girl and most of my kids’ friends are rapidly passing me in height. I shop at dicks for us all now and I find myself putting the seat up on the toilet for self-bum- protection. This is MY dream though. I wake up to one who needs to snuggle in bed with his milk and his mom. The other two groggily turn on sports center and interrupt my quiet time for cereal requests and game stats that I don’t really care about but pretend to. I spend my days feeding and playing and cleaning and feeding. I go to bed tired and smelling of outside and sweat. Sometimes, I rock it out with night time prayer and devotional and bike rides and ice cream and other days I fail miserably with rants over drones that won’t fly and blaming them on losing my keys. Always though, I love it, really I do, but when I think back to that memory of being a little girl who wanted to be a mom, I am struck by something much bigger. I am convinced that even then, He who made me knew that I would need that dream to get me through sometimes. He knew that I would feel scared for my boys. Some days I would feel overwhelmed by the struggles. He knew that when someone hurt them, I would need His kindness and self-control. He knew that I would always feel like I have no clue what I’m doing but that I would never quit trying. He knew my strengths, even as a little girl, were not in princesses but in baiting my own hook and playing whiffle ball in the field. He knew that it was going to take a big strong heart to make it through the tough parts and a joy seeker every morning and so He planted a seed of desire in my childhood soul, a longing to be a mom. On the long days, during the hardest times, I find such peace in that. I am always aware that I alone, am not enough, not even close, and yet, the God who gave me the want will certainly provide the will and the way.
A mom…. the littlest word with the giant-est meaning. Thank you, Jesus, for your good, pleasing, and perfect plans for me, for my boys, and for each of us who will seek you.