1. a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.
2. a special right, immunity, or exemption granted to personsin authority or office to free them from certain obligations or liabilities.
3. a grant to an individual, corporation, etc., of a special rightor immunity, under certain conditions.
In the days that followed Finn's arrival I remember driving in my car, a newborn crying in the backseat, and being sick to my stomach with the mourning of a life I once knew. I felt a burdensome fog cloud the view of my future.
Throughout the past nine months I've been battling between living for myself and losing my life for His(God's) sake.
It's a great and mysterious growth I've experienced since becoming a mother. The initial shock of such a large transition matched with my insecurities about becoming a mother at my young age, early in my marriage, and with no knowledge of caring for a little human created a rough starting point for my motherhood journey.
But, over time and with a perspective that argues that my life is not about comfort, pleasure, or certainty, my heart is being transformed.
In the months that preceded our marriage, Steven and I heard lots of discouraging comments and "jokes" from others.
"Ooh the old ball and chain, eh?" (seriously, how long is this expression going to stick around?)
"Just wait, that won't last forever"
"Are you sure you don't want more experience? Education? Financial stability?"
Statements surrounding becoming a mother haven't been all that different.
"Don't you feel weird?"
"Here's this birth control..." "Did you have a problem with hormonal birth control?" "This birth control has virtually no hormones." "You're not wanting to get pregnant yet, correct?" "Hmm, sounds like you might need to get on birth control." Birth control." Hormonal contraceptives?" "The pill."
"No, no no you can't have kids yet, you're so young!"
"Well, make sure you and Steven do everything you want to do together before your baby gets here."
"You'll never sleep again!"
"Oh, they must've gotten pregnant before their wedding then, since they've barely been married long at all!" (Someone who had either no understanding of the gestational period of a human baby, or no concept of mathematics.)
I was slammed with an attitude perfectly described as this....
"Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything."*
My attitude wasn't much (if any) different.
Written in 1835 by John Kitto, a deaf father of ten children in the days before welfare:
"It may be safely predicated of any woman of Israel, if she had already many sons, that the gift of another would still be great joy to her....But again, how is it-owing to what vice in our social system, or in ourselves, does it happen-that there are among us tens of thousands, to whom the promise of children would be a sorrow and a trouble, rather than a comfort and a joy?**
I read this question yesterday:
"Doesn't it make you feel special that God has trusted you to nurture and protect this tiny morsel of helpless humanity?"***
Yes. Yes. Yes. I am overjoyed that the honest, bottom-of-my-heart answer is finally, yes.
I am learning that Finn is a piece of the Creator's workmanship, poetry spoken into existence, and that this treasured creation has been entrusted to me. Me! He's not a mistake, an ill-timed decision, not a nuisance, regret, or an irresponsible turn of events. He was thought out, anticipated, designed, and purposed. I am learning that Finn is my privileged opportunity to know God in a deeper way.
Mothering has taught me that being with Finn everyday is full of get-tos rather than have tos.
Mothering has taught me that I am ready to embrace child-rearing for the privileged enrichment that it is.
Mothering has taught me that Finn is a blessing, not an obligatory burden to be detested, he is the vessel through which I am being daily stretched & sanctified.
Mothering has taught me that if I fail to realize these things, mine is a wasted life.
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." Matthew 18:10
Be full of joy all you mothers!
You are privileged!
*Jankovic, Rachel. Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank).
**Kitto, John. Kitto's Daily Bible Illustrations.
***Pride, Mary. The Way Home.