Celebrating Motherhood

This is not the post I intended to write for this week, but I was overcome with gratefulness for my children. Excuse me while I gush.

L to R, daughter Leah, Son Aaron, family friends
Husband in the Firetruck, Son Aaron behind him
DIL Courtney in front, daughter Leah on right
first grandson Hanan (now 12)
Daughter Leah practicing her mad chef skills
1982 ish; Leah and Aaron with their Grandpa Paul

The little boy above?
He has (now) 5 children of his own. Here he is with four of them.

I stood in church this morning with my hands raised in worship and pondered the miracle. The miracle of being alive and here in this place, celebrating with my two brothers.

There’s no reason we should be in church. We did not grow up with a relationship with Jesus, there was sporadic church-going in my childhood at best.  We had alcoholic parents (gone now), absent fathers (more than one), and truth be told we pretty much raised ourselves.

As the oldest of 5 children, I was the mom in many cases for my four other siblings.  It seemed like my parents were out often, and in later years, without a dad around, my mom was working most of the time.

I didn’t learn any mothering skills from example or input or nurturing. I came by childrearing by the grace of God and the skin of my teeth.

I could share with you the skin of my teeth part (that will be for another day). Today I want to talk about the grace of God that has carried me through the birth and raising of my children to this present day where they are grown ups with children of their own.

I did SO MANY things wrong when my kids were little (they’re 35 and 38 now). I did not want to be the fun mom that played with them. I was too wrapped up in my own angst and lostness (yes, I knew Jesus, I just didn’t know how much He loved ME.)

I stumbled my way through discipline, birthday parties and Sunday School.  Through parent conferences and temper tantrums, through perms and soccer games, late night school projects, boy/girl problems ad infinitum….and then boom! My son and daughter each were grown and married.

Amazing thing, though, in spite of the horrible missteps in my past as their mom?

They still love Jesus. 
And they like me. They talk to me. On purpose. 
Especially my daughter. 

I KNOW THIS is a gift. Yes, there are hundreds of families where parents and children are estranged from each other.  But that is not my story.

My son and daughter both amaze me with their tender hearts, their talents, with their humor and their gifts. 
My son has my mother’s musical ear and loves to sing and worship.  I remind him of that since she’s been gone for a very long time and he hardly knew her.  
My daughter is a technical wizard and artist.  She got that from her grandpa, which I also remind her about. The chef part–her love of cooking?  That she got from God alone, (ask her–I am no great cook).

What did my kids get from me?  An honest walk with my Jesus, watching me fall on my face and into His arms, listening to me apologize when I’ve hurt them. They heard my angry words with their father and saw us reconcile (often).

They’ve also heard me break into song in the middle of the grocery store and sung right along with me.  We’ve jumped on trampolines together, danced in the living room to Johnny Mathis songs and they’ve listened to my corny jokes.

Best of all? We’ve worshipped in church together over the years as they’ve grown.  They have sought after God and had their own miracles in the middle of their hard times and difficulties, a testimony, not to me but to the God to whom I pointed.

The God who redeems all things.

The One who redeems and makes new and creates out of my often very empty childhood, beauty and joy and strength, in spite of everything I was missing.  

THAT is something to rejoice in.

Linking with Jen and the Soli Deo Sisters 
and Jennifer for Tell His Story

12 thoughts on “Celebrating Motherhood

  1. Your words are such an encouragement to me…I had a feeling readers would be able to relate to this.
    Thanks for saying hi, 'neighbor'!

  2. Jody, this post is so beautiful. I have young children and lately have wrestled with the push to “be a good mom” and yet my own craving to “follow my passion”. It's a balance I have not done well and want to do both better. Thank you for the reminder that an honest (and visible to my kids) walk with the Lord is both the how I find balance, direction, ability in parenting; and the one thing I want most for my children. Thank you for this post today! Happiest of Mothers Day's to you! I'm really glad we are neighbors on #TellHisStory today!

  3. Gush all you want, I will applaud you for I too love to gush over my children. Your testimony is mine also, very dysfunctional home growing up. Married 12 years before we had children, 12 years of living for self. After second child I got saved and God begin to help me build a heritage for my children who are walking with the Lord as I type. Beautiful post.

  4. Hi Jody – I am your linky neighbor over at #TellHisStory

    I loved your post… I can relate, like you I wasn't reaised in a Christian home yet God's grace and redemption blessed me, saved my marriage and gave my husband and I two beautiful children and now two amazing grandchildren… I love being a nana!

    We are truly soooo blessed!

  5. God is so good to give us so much more than we deserve. Rejoicing with you and your family. What a gift for you after a long, hard childhood — to have a family that loves being together. That is a gift. I loved hearing all about it today.

  6. Cornelia, my heart is full….YOU are a true friend, and an inspiration as well. Don't we have a great God? SO thankful our paths crossed via Faith and Culture. It's not the end 🙂

  7. Jody- beautiful blog post! I love your story. You are such a wonderful, validating, woman, writer friend who loves her family and Jesus so well-an example of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your life! Thank you for linking me in your twitter feed to this post! I so appreciate our connection via Faith & Culture Writers! You are a true friend- and an amazing mother, believer, etc. – cornelia

  8. Love your appreciation of life, family, faith, and fun! Enjoyed becoming better acquainted with your kids, too. And your honesty and humility warms my heart. You are such a sweet, tender-hearted woman!

    My post for this coming Thursday started in the same place as yours, Jody–in reminiscing and celebrating the particular joys of motherhood our three children brought to me. But, as you'll see, my thoughts took me in a different direction!

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