What is a Mother?

A Mother is the heart in which God conceives a child, regardless of the womb that carries it.  The dream, the love, the child.  The child to be protected and fed and comforted and guided, no matter the age, by a Mother's love.

Often, the title "Mom" is bestowed on the one who birthed or raised you but sometimes, it's for the one who nurtured you spiritually.  Might be one and the same, might not.  Both apply.

When God made man and woman, He said He made them both in His own image. That means that God has "mommy traits", not only "Father" ones.  The tender, gentle, comforting love of a Mom is a mirror of God.  So is the fierce, self-sacrificing, determined protection.  And the ability to see the potential for good, the possibility of greatness, the promise of God in us.

On this Mother's Day, I pay tribute to all Moms everywhere, to the calling of Motherhood itself.  The highest and most sacred of all works - being a Mom. And probably the hardest.  The pain of labor and delivery.  The physical exhaustion that newborns impart.  The depletion of patience and order and brain cells (Mom's!) that occurs in  the toddler stage. The heartache of a disappointed child that is exponentially experienced in the Mother. The fears of the "what if's" in the teenage years. The demands of multiple children and different phases might cause an observer to question if it's all worth it.  Especially when the realization dawns that being a Mother is forever.  This is a job that's never completed.

Yes, I would advocate that this is the hardest job in the universe.  It takes its toll on one's body and mind and especially one's heart.  Certainly there can be "no pain like parent pain". But I believe with all my soul that there is no joy like that of a Mom.

Unequalled.  Indescribable.  Worth everything.  And then some more.

Knowing that baby 9 months before anyone else but God.  Sharing space more intimately than any other human...sustaining life.  Experiencing a corner of God's unconditional love for us when that newborn is placed in our arms - deep affection and steadfast love for someone who has done absolutely nothing to merit it.  This tenacious bond changes Mom and child forever.

The years reinforce that bond with each new word spoken, every new skill taught.  The light in the child's eyes when Mommy walks in the room, the clinging arms around her neck pleading against even momentary separation.  The intimate understanding of what each sound means...even the silent ones. 

The bond strengthens.  With every hug and a thousand bedtime kisses and countless bandaids on boo-boos.  And not in spite of but because of the messes cleaned up, the fevers survived, and the tantrums endured.

The bond intensifies.  The dandelion bouquets. The handmade cards and refrigerator pictures.   The pride in feats accomplished. The traffic tickets.  That first crush.  The burden carried to ease the pain of the invitation that didn't come or the race lost or the betrayal by someone dear. Flowers from a florist - and without a reminder from Dad.

And the bond grows so substantial that you think severing it will destroy you.

But, you watch in amazement at the metamorphosis. Without this adaptation, surely you would die.

This connection that binds you inextricably to this child changes miraculously to allow detachment, parting, growing up.  The unyielding links that years of sustaining and training and loving have forged morph into a taut bow that sends its arrows into the world to make their mark....

But that bond never breaks.  Never ever ever.

Happy Mother's Day, my friends.  Forever.