I've heard over and over again this line of encouragement given to moms:
"God gave you these children for a reason."
And when I was feeling a little lost as a mom of littles, this often was just enough of a pick-me-up to refocus my mind and appreciate my boys more. I didn't need to know more than that. I would pray, "Ok, God, these kiddos are a gift to me and I trust you knew what you were doing when you gave them to me!
As my children have grown up, however, this phrase just hasn't been enough for me anymore. Like one of my children, I started asking "Why?" Why am I their mom? Why am I the mom to these boys? Why did God put us together as a family?
I don't have all the answers to these questions, but asking why helps me find direction and purpose as a mother. The personalities and strengths of my children are starting to show through. Little ones need lots of love and care, but as they grow they need more and more guidance and understanding from their parents as well. I need to know more about "why" I am the mom to these boys so I can guide them in the Lord and into His will for them.
I feel like a student all over again. Wanting to know the "why" has made me watch my children more intently. Each day, I'm discovering new ways we are very alike and ways we complement each other. The learning is stretching me to be more intentional as a mother, which leaves me a little more tired but a lot more fulfilled at the end of the day.
In the learning process, I'm recognizing similar strengths between each of my boys and myself and trying to plan ways for these strengths to work together for the good of our family and to the glory of God.
My oldest and I both like to gather information - read books, research, learn new things - so any time he asks about a new topic, I make it a point to sit down with him to look it up on the iPad or plan a library trip to find books about it. These moments are fun for both of us and give us great opportunities to talk about all kinds of things!
My middle child likes to dance. I like to dance. I had lost a little bit of my fun, energetic side in the last few years in the midst of many changes, but I've recently rediscovered just how fun it is to dance with him in the kitchen to upbeat worship music. We are praising God and laughing and burning energy - all good things!
The youngest is a silly, mischievous two-year-old, but he also loves to sing with Mommy more than the other two ever did. As a former music teacher, I know God gave me all that experience with kids' songs to enjoy with my own children as well! We sing in the car, in the kitchen, before bed - everywhere!
I know there are more reasons than I will ever know behind why God made me Mommy to these three boys, but catching a few glimpses of the "why" are growing my motherhood in new and exciting ways. He has been so good to lead me along the way and show exactly what He already built in me to be just the mother these boys need.
In what ways have you seen God equip you to be mom to your particular children?