No task is more meaningful than motherhood

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2011

I expected groans of disapproval as I informed my family of my desire to attend the early church service on Easter. When they readily agreed, I still wondered if we’d make it on time. Despite my lack of confidence in my three youngest girls, we pulled out of the driveway closer to 8 a.m. than I had anticipated. Lauren did cause a slight delay. She hates wrinkled clothes and refused to put on her blue linen dress until the rest of us were headed to the car. I believe people who hate wrinkled clothing should stick to polyester, but because I choose my battles, I said nothing. Besides, I was still celebrating my victory of getting them to the early service.

Elise quickly climbed into the third seat and closed her eyes. I expected the same from Victoria. Instead she asked, “Is it weird to have kids?”

“You mean to give birth?” I wondered.

“No. To have them around. To see them. To talk to someone who came out of you. Who started as a tiny speck and is now living around you. What does that feel like?”

As I turned to talk to Victoria, I became a little distracted by Lauren. She was looking in Michael’s rearview mirror, arranging and rearranging her necklace and fluffing her hair.

I thought of what it was like to watch a piece of my heart walk and talk and move independently from me. To be overwhelmed by the desperate desire to prevent a child from repeating my mistakes, to experience the burden of trying to download everything I think I know, painfully realizing they just might make mistakes of their own and praying their gradual independence from me will lead to a lifelong, growing dependence upon God.

In the midst of all of these thoughts and emotions, the only words to come out of my mouth were, “Wow. I never thought about it like that. It is weird to have kids.” I’m now embarrassed that this was the best I could do.

Motherhood! Nothing I’ve done has been more difficult, or more rewarding. Fortunately I’ve been blessed with an excellent role model, for my own mother is patient, loving and unselfish, not just with her family, but with everyone she knows.

Many of us will spend the coming days in search of the perfect gift to express our love for our mothers. May I suggest you share your heart with her through a letter? Not a text message or a Facebook post but a real handwritten, heartfelt note of appreciation. If the relationship needs mending, attempt to do so before any more time elapses. If your mother is already gone, write a note to a young mother in need of encouragement. You may even want to thank someone who has been a mother figure to you.

And to all mothers, I want to remind you that motherhood is, without question, the most important job in the world. From the moment of your child’s conception, you have accepted the responsibility to care for their miraculous life.

A mother has the incredible challenge to be available to their children 24 hours of every day. A wise woman realizes this task is impossible without God’s continual assistance, and she seeks His guidance daily. No one but God realizes the amount of time and energy you put into raising your children, and only He can equip you for this lifelong commitment.

I honor you for the job you’re doing with your children. But I know your impact reaches far past your own family. You often go beyond your borders and touch the lives of all of the children you love…nieces, nephews, grandchildren, students, children of friends and your neighbor’s children, as well.

I want to speak for them, for all of the children you have mothered, and thank you for a job well done. I want to stand, representing them, and applaud your unselfish and often sacrificial gifts of time, energy, love and, yes, money. And I want to kneel in their place and ask our Father to strengthen you, to energize you, to fill you and allow you to overflow with His love, joy, peace, mercy, wisdom and blessings.

I know I’m a little early, but I’d like to be the first to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Psalm 127:3 beautifully declares, “children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.” May God continue to pour out His grace on all mothers as we daily care for our precious gifts.

Oh, and if I could have a redo with Victoria, I’d simply say, “Having kids is wonderful; watching Lauren get ready for church is weird.”

Ronny may be reached at