Mike and I had been married over four years and he had just gone full time with United Parcel Service so I could be a stay-at-home mom. We were thrilled when we found out we were expecting our first child. We told our parents and no one else for a while. Mike was so excited he would tell strangers.
I loved being pregnant. Every month I knew how my baby was developing by my favorite book at that time, "What To Expect When You Are Expecting." I ate right and exercised. On the day of the ultrasound I was thrilled and my parents came up for it. As soon as I saw that baby moving I got sick. Then Dad had to leave the room. Again, I was thrilled but I guess seeing the baby actually move got to me. For most of my pregnancy I kept a daily journal for my baby letting it know how loved it was. Mike and I chose not to find out the sex of the baby. We did not care, just so it was healthy.
After my girls were born I loved getting together with friends and let the kids play. I also liked taking them to mother's morning out at church where I got a three hour break a few days a week. My Granny lived less than an hour away and my girls and I spent lots of time with her! And my parents always loved to help out. And on days when things were hard, I would call and talk to my mother. Even today I have a cousin who I confide in and she prays for my family. As Mother's Day approaches, I think about all of the women who have made, and continue to make, motherhood easier for me.
What about Eve? When we think of Eve we think of the first sin. But she was also the first woman, wife, mother, grandmother! The first mother. She did not have the choice of whether to chase toddlers or her dreams. She never knew another woman so she never knew about pregnancy. She had no friends or family to tell....just Adam. I cannot imagine her thoughts and anxiety levels. She had no books to read. No doctor to go to. No friends or family to advise or help her. She had no mother! All she had was Adam. Now think about that! And he was the first husband so he had no role model. When Cain was born Eve did not hear the comforting things we heard, "Eve, women have been doing this for thousands of years. It will be alright." She just had Adam. Did he leave the room?
Eve did not have diapers, bottles, babysitters, a rocking chair, a swing, a pacifier, etc. She paced the dirt floor with a crying baby. She had to wipe bottoms and noses with none of our conveniences like wipes or tissues. She had to figure it all out on her own and do it all on her own. All while taking care of every household duty including cooking and getting water.
I am sure Eve enjoyed her children as they grew up. Eve also experienced great heartache resulting from her children. She had the first murder happen within her family - one son killing the other. She was the first mother to bury a child. The Bible mentions Eve's sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth. Genesis 5:4 tells us that, "after Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters." We don't know how many children they had or how long Eve lived. I just know she was worn out! Genesis 5:5, "Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died."
I will never think of Eve the same. Genesis 3:20, "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living." Motherhood is not being selfish, but showing unconditional love. Motherhood is relinquishing pride and persisting in prayer. Motherhood is letting go of greed and growing in grace. I heard somewhere, "Mother's are God's recruiting agents for Heaven, sending forth those who will become the salt of the earth."
Proverbs 23:25, “May she who gave you birth rejoice.” Some people did not have a godly mother, some people have lost their mother to death. Some people do not know their birth mother. All mothers are not the same. As Patsy Clairmont says, "Normal is just a setting on your clothes dryer." But there are many wonderful mothers and "mothers" who did not birth us but impacted our lives. Maybe we are that person. Psalm 34:5, "...our faithful Savior ... grow us into women radiant with His glory and fully alive in His grace." We all know someone like that who should be celebrated today.
When I think of a mother I think of Philippians 2:1-4, "Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
Not only do our children need that unconditional love of a mother, we, as mothers, need to love our mothers and our "other mothers" that way! Happy Mother's Day to you and yours!
Did you know? The first official Mother’s Day celebration was held at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Learn more here.