It was joy for this mother’s heart! My younger daughter, Michelle, opening gifts at a shower for her first baby. My older daughter, Debbie, mother of three boys, warmly giving words of wisdom for her sister.
And words of wisdom for the rest of us. Here are a few of the thoughts Debbie shared with Michelle:
This child will grow in many ways over the next year/years. You will not automatically become a selfless, joyful mother. It will be years of becoming. You will daily be given a choice to fully embrace this gift by giving fully of yourself in order to be filled again by the Lord. Or you can daily move backwards in selfish frustration. (This is a choice everyone faces, not just mothers.)
Some pathways to selflessness, still being learned 6 ½ years in:
Prayer—seeking time alone when possible, praying often–especially in the crazy times.
Thanksgiving—seeing each child, each event as a gift, and giving thanks as an act of worship.
Joy—making music in my heart, laughing, singing, playing, having fun with my children
Not only do you get to raise a child in the Lord and get to be transformed to be more like the Lord, but in a way that is a mystery to me, you are bringing glory to God.
Debbie really touched and challenged me with this poem from Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard:
Song of the Water
Come, oh come, let us away—lower, lower every day
Oh, what joy it is to race, to find the lowest place
This the dearest law we know—“It is happy to go low.”
Sweetest urge and sweetest will, “Let’s go down lower still.”
Hear the summons night and day, calling us to come away.
From the heights we leap and flow, to the valleys down below.
Always answering to the call, to the lowest place of all.
Sweetest urge and sweetest pain, to go low and rise again.
That’s what being a mother calls for all the time—going without sleep, getting the last of dinner, foregoing my plans to be part of their plans, giving up my time to read a book to a child. It’s about sacrifice, unselfishness. It’s about going low.
And that’s also the life Christ lived and called us to:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
What about you? What has helped you to “go low”?
C2012 Judy Douglass