Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I was laying Meagan on her blanket the other morning to start working with her on rolling. As I reached behind me to grab some of her toys, I happen to look back at her. The sun was peeking in our window lighting up Meggy's sweet face. The rays were around her in such a way, that it almost appeared she had a frame of light around her. She was the focus of the room.
As I laid toys around her blanket, I noticed Meagan staring up at the ceiling. She wasn't 'out of it,' but almost seemed 'deep in thought.' I looked at her little shirt and noticed it said "dreamer." I wondered at that moment what her dreams were. What was she thinking about? What does she wonder about? What are Meagan's dreams? Will God help me be strong enough to put her dreams ahead of my own?
All of these thoughts were swirling in my head due to a recent visit to the store. As we were standing in line, the woman behind me asked if all of the girls were my children. I told her yes, they were. She then asked me, "Do you work?" I immediately thought of my good friend Jenn, a mother of six, who always says "Which job would you like me to list?" I simply answered, "yes," (as I'm sure the woman was well intentioned) and smiled to myself as I thought of the many jobs I do as a mom; caregiver, cook, nurse, bookkeeper, teacher, advocate, counselor, tutor, therapist, cheerleader, disciplinarian...and the list continues. However, as the day went on, I couldn't help but think about that question. I'm only human, and I started to think..... why is that always the question I get first? Am I not doing a job? Am I doing all I am supposed to be doing? Am I reaching my potential?
As the days went on, it still weighed on my mind. I spent time catching up with some friends. It was exciting to hear about what they were up to, or to read about all the accomplishments they had achieved. My thoughts wandered again. Yes, I do many jobs as a mother. But had I made the "right" decisions on my path? Had I 'shorted' myself on some of my dreams to be where I am today? Then I looked over at Meagan laying there in the sun, and it hit me. I, in fact, had made the right choices. Being a mother, especially to a child like Meagan, was exactly what I was supposed to do. God saw my potential in life just as I had - He simply knew a better direction for it.
I think I have realized loving my kids isn't enough. Loving them while also sacrificing is actually what my vocation as a mother is all about. True love is not easy because it involves giving of myself and sacrificing on a daily basis for my girls True love for my girls is challenging and difficult, yet incredible and rewarding all at the same time.
I wouldn't trade my "job" for anything. I truly love what I do. It doesn't mean everyday is roses. However, it doesn't mean on the bad days I love my girls any less, just as on the good days I don't love them any more. My love is not based on what they do, or how they act. My love for them is because they are. No, I didn't miss a word at the end of that sentence. My children deserve my true sacrificial love simply because they are. Period. My 'work' isn't only the physical jobs I listed above. I have now learned that my most important work is giving them myself, especially when it is hard for me to do so.
I believe it is only natural to go back and forth and think about the past as I move forward in my life. It's what we do as adults at certain crossroads in our lives. And that's ok. That is how I know I'm doing what's right for me. What is right for my family. What is right for my girls. And it's also ok if that's not always easy. As I read in a recent article,
"Real love is hard. Real love hurts. Real love is a mess. And real love means putting ourselves on a cross freely for the one(s) that we love."
I think that is what God was trying to tell me that morning. It's ok to wonder. It's ok to examine past choices. But ultimately, I need to know what I'm doing is work. It is important work. My focus needs to be like the sun on Meagan that morning. It's about more than what I want out of life. It's about what God is asking me to do for the life of my girls. It's about five little girls who are counting on me to be stronger than selfish desires. It's about five little girls who are counting on me to show them the true meaning of love. It's about five little girls who are counting on me to show them how to give of themselves to better others, realize their own dreams, and know God.
Thank you Meagan for teaching Mommy the true meaning of sacrifice when I have those moments of doubt. You are the light of my life, and one thing I will never doubt is that loving you truly is the best choice I could have ever made.