Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother Is a Chalice

Happy Mother's Day to all who are reading this. Shannon woke me up early this morning with my favorite - Starbuck's, of course. :) The kids were still sleeping so we sipped our coffee and read before getting up. I intentionally chose The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot. I don't have much time for reading (outside my Bible study time) so when I have a few minutes I really cherish it and look forward to it, carefully deciding what I'll read. I love books and love reading so to have a few minutes here and there to read a chapter out of a great book is SUCH a treat.

In this book I read the chapter titled A Mother Is a Chalice. Here are a couple paragraphs that struck me.

"A mother is a chalice, the vessel without which no human being has ever been born. She is created to be a life-bearer, cooperating with her husband and with God in the making of a child. What solemn responsibility. What an unspeakable privilege - a vessel divinely prepared for the Master's use."

Another paragraph that had much meaning is this one:

"There has been no preparation that seems nearly adequate for this cataclysmic upheaval of their lives. A boy and a girl became a husband and a wife, and suddenly they are a father and a mother, overnight as it were, without anything to ready them for the awesome task of fashioning the destiny of a soul. The awareness of inadequacy frightens the life out of many."

This paragraph reminds me of something that you may chuckle at. Hours and days (really weeks and months) after having Noah I was struck by the fact that the hospital was going to let us take him home. I just couldn't believe that they would let me, of all people, leave that hospital with such a dependent, delicate little thing. I couldn't even keep track of my car keys on a regular basis, how was I supposed to care for this baby. It really just blew me away. In fact, I can remember clear as if it were yesterday, the day we where scheduled to leave the hospital I was out of the room and upon my return a nurse said that the social worker had stopped by to see me. A little bit later I was out again, for some reason, and missed the social worker once again. I remember thinking that they had found me out. Someone had realized it would be catastrophic to allow me to take home an infant so they had contacted the social worker to come by and check on me. :) Praise God that, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, these children are really His, under His care and He will provide the wisdom and the training we need if only we ask.

I also remember, during those early days, being more tired than I can explain in words. It was the first time I physically felt I was at the end of myself with so little sleep and such physical exhaustion. There have been many more times similar since then and also times with such heaps of stress poured on top of that same exhaustion but each time God has pulled me through. This makes me think of a sermon I listened to yesterday by John MacArthur (you can download or listen online to sermons by him at Grace to You and our own pastor Mike Fabarez has the same set up through Focal Point Radio Ministries online). It was on the Proverbs woman in honor of Mother's Day. He said in one part that being a mother is a sacrifice but also a gift. That we should never look at our motherly duties as our cross to bear, or have the attitude of bearing up under the pressure, or just gritting our teeth and doing our job. We are to have TRUE joy in this service. We are have this be the joy of our heart (after our relationship with Christ of course). It is SUCH a gift and we should look at it this way. What a perspective shift from our society today.

So in all of this I had to post how thankful I am and how I am still in awe of the fact that God chose me to mother these children. Me! I can't help but think he must have dozed off when it happened, allowing this to slip past. Obviously nothing slips past our mighty Creator so I trust that He will continue to provide women older and wiser than I to guide me, scripture to teach me, a heart for prayer in this, and the grace to overlook my failures and shortcomings.

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

1 comment:

Chiara said...

Thanks for the great post, Jen! Happy Mother's Day to you too!