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Mother’s Day, Messes, and Miracles

My life will never be the same, I thought, tears in my eyes. That was the night I knew I had crossed from orderly, married life to a world of change of which I would have minimal control.

That was when I was fairly sure I was pregnant. While we wanted a child, knowing there was no turning back was a little overwhelming.

And I was right. Life never was the same. It became more complicated, more messy, and yet more full and wonderful all at the same time.

Having children gave me a new appreciation for the time and effort my mom put into my life even before I was old enough to remember. And it gave me new insights as I used as I often created personalized Mother’s Day cards for both my mom and my husband’s mom. Both our moms are now gone, but for the last eight years I have sent my daughter-in-law a Mother’s Day card.

This year, on Valentine’s Day, our fourth grandchild was born. Now my daughter-in-law cares for four children, ages eight and under. Of course, her husband, our son, helps, but as a pilot he is sometimes out of town. Daughter-in-law is left with the messy job of bedtime, nighttime soothings, and care for every minute of the day. I like to take the opportunity of Mother’s Day to encourage and thank her for investing her life in our grandchildren.

The following poem and reflections are adapted from the card I sent our daughter-in-law this year. If you know someone caring for young children, perhaps you would like to share this post with them.

Though your ears are filled with cries and sighs, moans and groans behind all the noise is a child waiting to be seen and understood.

Though everywhere you see messes and chaos, tasks and trash in the wake of the litter is a little one waiting to be cuddled and held.

Though your fingers touch stickiness and griminess filthiness and mastiness behind the dirt and germs is a youngster waiting for your love and approval.

Yes, miracles are messy like diamonds in the rough work and skill, time and patience reveal children pf immeasurable worth.

As a mom, you are in the middle of this messiness. But, be encouraged, miracles will surely shine with irresistible beauty.

We all like the idea of miracles. But miracles, when they do happen, come at a point of extreme need.

Can you imagine how awesome it was for Moses and the two million Israelites to walk through the Red Sea on dry land? Towering walls of water stood on either side of them as they walked away from the Egyptians who tried to take them back into slavery. Yet, that miracle was preceded by wailings and great fear as the Israelites saw their enemies coming for them and had no way of escape.

Or think of the three Jewish young men--Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedego--who walked about in a blazing inferno melting everything in sight, and yet not a hair on their body was singed. But just minutes before, their hearts must have looked death in the face as they yielded themselves to God. They knew God could deliver them, but would He send earthy deliverance?

Miracles are always preceeded by great need, by messiness. The same is true in motherhood. Within the messiness of little lives is the miracle of life itself, of new possibilities, of a one-of-a-kind individual. To every mom, thank you for being part of God’s miracles.


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