Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the Days When You Think Motherhood Just Might Be Your Undoing

Motherhood can cut like a knife.
Ten years ago yesterday, I woke up feeling like I had the flu.
I'd been waiting, in stasis, hoping the scales would tip my way for eleven days.
And in the early hours of today, minus a decade, she came.
After two solid hours of pushing, she arrived, and I was filled to bursting and overwhelmed with wonder and so glad to be done.
At 1:47 a.m. on 01.23.04, I thought I was finished.
On such a well-ordered day, I was sure my life would now get back to normal.
How very wrong I was.
In her arrival, God not only gave me the gift of a child, but the tool He would begin using to form me into the person He wanted me to become.
When the nurse woke me at 6 a.m. by pushing a squawking, starving infant into my arms with the words, "Feed her. She's tired of glucose we've been dripping down her throat for the last four hours," my dreams of normality dissipated with the early morning sun.
When we headed out of our friend's house with a three-day-old and no diaper bag to work on her government paperwork {because who really needs to cart around all that baby stuff?}, and had to turn around and come home 20 minutes later with both baby and mama covered in the results of a messy, leaky diaper, I realized that I was lost.
And when my milk came in after four days of  baby screaming, and I woke up literally swimming, and baby and I couldn't figure things out and I was  5,600 miles from my own mama, I thought that God had made a mistake.
The night I woke up freezing cold and hunting for hubby's pajama trousers and long socks for my arms even though the temperature was in the 90's at 2 o'clock in the morning, and I stumbled to the clinic down the road and was told I had an infection from nursing and would need surgery as soon as possible, I was sure that motherhood would kill me.

I was wrong.
God did not make me a mother to kill me, but to carve me, to shape me, to cut away the dead, and cut in the new.
Motherhood has been the knife not to destroy me, but to make me.
Some days He has cut away so much of me, who I think I am, what I think I need, and I look at the pile of shavings on the floor, and I'm sure there will be nothing left.
The day my 11 month old got sick every 30 minutes all night long and my hubby was 200 miles away.
The day my two-year old fell and gashed open her eye on a piece of concrete and metal that was jutting out of the pavement, and I was sure she'd lose her eye.
The day I was so angry and exhausted because she didn't want to be still in church that I wanted to beat her and it scared me so badly that all I could do was sink down into the dirt and cry and beg her forgiveness.
The months we struggled through school, because she couldn't remember a single letter from one day to the next. 
The day my first-born was driving her first go-cart and missed the safety barrier and hit a metal gate and was knocked unconscious and I really thought we were going to lose her.
Those are the days of motherhood that cut me wide open and show me who I truly am.
Those are the days he cuts out a chunk of me, and pushes in His Word, and it hurts, and I want it to stop.
I just want to be left like I am.
But being the Creator that He is, he will not leave me as I am, as I think I want to be.
He will keep pruning and trimming and yes, taking away what I give me what I need.
He has a job to complete, something new and beautiful and amazing, a living, breathing result of His labor and love.
A new me.
And He'll keep using the knife of motherhood to graft me into Him.
To make me His branch....
so I can bring forth fruit for Him.

So thankful for the girl who made me a mama ~ Happy 10th Birthday, my dear, sweet Carey-Bird!


  1. Great article, Patty! I love you! Becky

  2. Awww...So sweet and deep, Patty. Got me all blurry-eyed over here! Love you guys and miss you lots! Happy Birthday to Carey, and I hope you have a great time celebrating (or did, depending on when you had her party)! :)

  3. Really good. Love the pictures! It's true that our children help shape us, just as we help shape them. And, the Good Lord uses it all for good. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks for posting! We are praying for all of you at Fellowship Baptist Church!
    My wife and I were enjoying the pictures!
    Pastor Ron Kenney