Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I am continually awed by God's power in my life. He transformed a rowdy, obnoxious, feminist, all-black wearing, "free thinking", bong-ripping heathen into a mother.
My plan for my life was to live in my studio (it was always one of those cool lofts you see in movies) so I could paint and draw, listen to music, travel when I felt like it, be inspired by my other artist friends, enjoy the herb and not have any rules dictated upon my daily living.
I wanted to live a life that was totally different from those around me. A husband and children never really intruded upon my thoughts because I thought I would never find a man I would love enough to marry and....children? They had to make their way through my uterus and nether regions and that was just unfathomable.
Then I let God take hold of my life. I offered it up to Him because I had made a mess of it. I had no other option but to stop living the way I was and totally and completely submit my will to His. Thats when I really started to live.
See, all my life I had been taught I could be anything I wanted to be, I could achieve whatever I desired as long as I worked hard and got an education. But I had to incline my ear to God's heartbeat in order for me to fully understand what He wanted me to be, how He wanted me to exercise my talents and gifts.
Being a mother has changed my heart in so many ways there are no words to express it. You are literally living out Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you many prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Being a mother has taught me hard work. I used to think studying for mid-terms and making my bed and washing my car was stressful.
Being a mother has taught me sacrifice. I don't get many quiet moments to myself, I never get my nails done, and if you notice, I wear $2.50 flip flops from Old Navy and my kids get brand new Vans and Converse.
Being a mother has taught me patience. Ever had to buckle up four kids in their carseats in 100 degree heat? Or answer six questions from inquisitive minds at one time with a baby crying on your hip while trying to pay a bill over the phone?
Being a mother has taught me real creativity. Did you know you can pretty much cook any delicacy under the sun as long as you have ground turkey and chicken breasts in your fridge? Oh, and beans. There is a reason we are called Beaners.
Being a mother has taught me humor. What else is there to do but laugh when you find an encrusted booger on the arm of your sofa. Or when one of your kids tells you they read a story about a man and a whale called Moldy Dick in Sunday school.
What about when your son greets the neighbor with a, "Good day, my lady!" and then whips out his penis and pees on her tree? Or when your other son decides to shave a two-inch patch smack dab above his forehead with Daddy's razor?
Being a mother has taught me humility. I've placed my fertility, my health, the birth of my children and my marriage on the throne of God. I've yielded my desires to Him. I've entrusted Him with so many aspects of my life because I know it pleases Him.
Of course, I haven't done all this willingly...oh no, no, no! Ask my husband. The whole time I've been pulled along, kicking and screaming...but alas, I am a work in progress.
I have faith that God isn't done with me yet. Most importantly, being a mother has taught me love. I have just a small understanding of how much God loves us, so much so that He sent His only Son to come down from Heaven, take on the form of a man so He could pay the penalty for our sins and die a horrible, painful death on the cross. That is true love.
So how do I gauge my success in this life considering the plans I had for myself? Its a daily struggle to live in a culture that worships self, strength, financial success and outward beauty. It dawned on me one day...I am living a life that is radically different from many. And that's what I wanted from the very beginning.