Being a mother is my calling. From the time I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a mom one day when I was “older”. I still remember playing dolls with my sisters and pretending we were married and walking around “pregnant” with a pillow stuffed under our shirts to truly play the role. It had to be as close to the real thing as we knew it. I was quite particular with my baby dolls too! I didn’t just want any baby doll. Most Christmases growing up I would search the sale ads and papers and watch the commercials for the best doll out that year. The best doll to me of course was one that looked like a real baby in the face, or did something like a real baby would do like walk, talk, pee, cry, or drink from a bottle. I knew one day I wanted to be a mom but until then I sure did enjoy dressing up like a mommy and carrying around my baby dolls.
Fast forward 20 years later. I didn’t know my own journey to motherhood would be quite so dramatic. All my life I just thought it happened when you were ready. You know – get married, get settled, plan to have a baby and then have a baby. Not so much. It didn’t go like that for me anyway. My story went a little differently than what I had planned for.
I found that guy I had been praying for. You know the one you think you’ll never find. God brought him into my life and He was the guy God intended for me. We are opposites in a lot of things but we share the same beliefs and outlook on life. We both have our share of flaws and weaknesses, but where one of us is weak, the other one is strong. It’s amazing how God brings someone into our lives that will sharpen us and draw us closer to Him. He has definitely challenged me in areas I’ve never been challenged before and helped me to see things a different way from how my sometimes very narrow minded self would normally see it.
After almost 2 years of marriage, we both were feeling called to be parents. We intentionally prayed about it and asked the Lord to prepare us for parenthood. We began “trying” knowing it sometimes takes a while. Well, 6 months turned into 1 year, turned into a 3.5 year journey with infertility. Whew. It wore us out. We went through things we never knew we would or could go through. Our marriage was tested as we faced failure after failure, heartache after heartache along the journey. We stood by each other; sometimes that wasn’t easy as I was a hormonal mess at times depending on the drugs I was on. In the end our marriage was stronger. We had gone through things together that a lot of couples never do. We walked through it together and trusted God to help us make it to the other side.
Infertility is a journey I wish no one had to go through. Our hearts ache for the friends we know are walking through it. We pray for those couples knowing the road can be long. Prayer is what helped us through. We relied so heavily upon the Lord and knew that in the end, God had a plan for us and our future family.
My long journey to motherhood unfolded on January 14, 2013 when my baby girl, Avery was born. It definitely goes down in the books as one of the happiest days of my life along with my wedding day. No one can prepare you for what you will feel when you hold your baby for the first time. Tears of joy streamed down my face as I looked at her sweet chubby cheeks. She was absolutely perfect! All the waiting, all the tears, and all the prayers; I forgot about it all when they placed Avery in my arms that day. Nothing else mattered at that moment, not even the long and wearisome journey that led up to that day. It was overwhelming to see God’s faithfulness unfold before me.
I was overwhelmed the first several weeks home with my sweet baby girl. It was all I could do to look at her while I was holding her and not start crying and thanking God for this beautiful blessing in my arms. Don’t get me wrong I know hormones are a bit out of whack when you arrive home, but it was so much more than that. It was looking down at a life I knew God created. It was knowing that He answered our prayers and she was in my arms. It was knowing that God is all powerful and sovereign and all along He had a plan for this baby girl to be in my arms. God makes no mistakes and His ways are perfect and I knew Avery was exactly what He had planned for Dave and me.
As we watch Avery grow and learn and develop into her personality and all that God created her to be, I’m amazed at how my love grows even more for her. There’s nothing like watching her discover something new for the first time – rolling over, sitting up, crawling, taking her first steps. Wow, what an amazing thing to watch. Right now it’s the little accomplishments each day, like following simple directions or putting one block on top of the other. I get so proud even in those little moments of seeing her solve a problem or overcome an obstacle. Watching her taste her first piece of cake was pretty neat too! I wanted to give her a few more pieces just to watch the anticipation in her face (but I refrained). It doesn’t even matter what it is she is discovering, big or small, it’s an adventure and God chose me to be a part of it with her.
What about the things she gets excited about: a plane in the sky or a bird flying by. She gets so tickled when she hears a dog bark, or a bird chirp. I get to watch her eyes light up and look up at me, and there’s truly nothing like it. She reminds me daily of the beauty that surrounds us if we just open our eyes. I am the person she looks up to and I am the person she wants to share things with. I get to be there for her, protect her, guide her, love her, and teach her new things. I get to receive the hugs, the kisses, the smiles and giggles each and every day. I get to be there when something frightens her or when she falls down and gets a boo-boo. I get to make sure her belly is full, her diaper is dry, and that she’s had enough hugs and kisses each day. I get to sing to her at night and pray over her reminding her how much God loves her. I get to greet her each morning to start a new day and do it all over again!
Oh yes, let’s not forget the tedious tasks of being a mom – the daily tasks none of us really enjoy. You know, the dishes, the laundry, fixing meals, dusting, vacuuming, and on and on. But for me, it’s all part of being a mom, something I wasn’t sure I would get to be one day. So, even on those days that seem full of repetitive tasks that I don’t particularly enjoy, I remind myself as I’m standing in the kitchen at the sink full of dishes or a floor that needs to be swept for the 10th time that day - I am blessed. I GET to do these things. God chose me for these tasks. It’s part of being a mom and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
I can’t forget to mention that I love how Avery is teaching me to be the best version of myself that I can be. I know I have little eyes watching me now and I want those little eyes to be able to imitate and model what they see. I’ve been told many times that we begin to understand God’s love for us so much more when we have a child. God loves me even more than I love Avery. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. And He loves Avery more than I ever could, so even when it’s hard, trusting Him with her life is the best thing I can do for her. On that note, I get to pray for her. I am the one that lifts her in prayer to God each day. What an incredibly humbling task as a mom. I also get to pray with her as she gets older and teach her about God’s love for her. I get to tell her that she is a princess of the King.
At times I am overwhelmed at being a mom; this world is a scary place and I wonder sometimes how I will protect her from all the bad in the world. I worry about her future and pray she knows God as her Lord and Savior at an early age and follows Him all the days of her life. But I know I can’t worry about things that aren’t here yet. All I can really do is trust the Lord with all the details of her future and all the plans He has for her and pray that I help guide her where He is leading her.
So, when someone ask me that question, “What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?” I simply smile real big and think of all the endless things I love about being a mom. The words that come out of my mouth as a response to the question will probably never truly reveal how I really feel because my list goes on and on and only continues to grow the older she gets.
There’s no way I can really answer that question, because I love it all!