180 Into Momhood

red carnation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It started with a carnation.

Just over 20 years ago I walked into my church service on Mother’s Day Sunday. A divorced Airman, stationed in Japan, I assumed everyone knew my status. But a boy handed me a red carnation, my favorite flower. I started to give it back, saying I wasn’t a mom, and he told me not to worry about it. I could keep it.

As I went to find my seat, I saw a friend who was a mom. I told her I felt bad for keeping the flower, and she said, “Don’t. It’s a promise from God that you will one day become a mother.”

A few years before that day, I nearly made an appointment to have surgery so I wouldn’t have children. I had a sad, awful childhood, and I didn’t want to bring kids into this world full of such ugly hatred for innocence and vulnerability. A friend talked me out of it.

Today I have 4 children. Each one carried and formed within my body. Their lives are so different from how mine was.

The change to motherhood began in my heart, a seed desiring children was planted the day I received that carnation. I wasn’t in a relationship, but I began looking into adoption options. I pondered the future, thought of ways I could include a child. I thought I’d be a single mom. I believed I’d never find a man I could trust to be the father of my children. I refused to have children with the  man who divorced me because I did not trust him.

God did a work in my heart that caught me off guard. I don’t know how or when He made the changes. I made a list of 50 things I believed I’d find in the man He would bring into my life, if He wanted me to remarry.

Months passed. I forgot about the list I had written. I was introduced to a guy, and we started walking and talking together. We went to church together. It wasn’t long before I found the forgotten list. I could check off 46 out of the 50 things, and I recognized evidence of God at work on the 4 things unchecked. A short time after, he asked me to marry him.

I said yes!

The next year and a half was a jumble of long distance, high phone bills, separation anxieties, misunderstandings, making up, praying together, wedding preparations, family frictions, and finally we were together as man and wife. During that long year and a half, God spoke to my heart about the promise of a daughter, and He gave me her name. Deborah.

I got pregnant immediately after rejoining with my new husband.

It was not an easy pregnancy. I had awful morning sickness, and a terrible rash some first time moms carrying girls got… I knew that child was fulfillment of God’s promise of a daughter. Everyone thought I was carrying a boy, but I knew she was a girl.

My water broke 30 days before she was due to be born. She was a tiny 5 pounds 8 ounces. Then she lost a full pound the first week. Our first two weeks together were the hardest I have ever endured. I was fighting to keep her alive. She slept all the time, nursed constantly. I was sore, tired, scared… I had no family nearby to get help from. There were ladies at our church that supported me and prayed for us, and I know God used them to help me continue.

When my daughter was born, my mom-hood was born as well.

I went from fighting as a survivor from my own circumstances, to loving a tiny human who was part of me and yet separate– loving her so much I could feel my heart tearing to be able to fit more love inside of it.

With each child, my heart has stretched and broken apart to fit even more love inside of it. The eye can’t see that, but I have felt every tug, pull and tear. Each child and I have our own story, our own bondings, as well as our own conflicts.

God has been incredibly good to me. He fulfilled His promise and gave me so much more! He provided me with a safe, healthy environment to raise my own children, with a man who selflessly displays so many of God’s characteristics.

I am indescribably thankful that God helped me find my way on to a different life course than I started out on.

 

 

 

When I Say “Food”, You Say…

CutestFood_com_12It’s hard to stop pre-thinking about what I am about to read, as I blog-hop. So, let’s all just take a moment to close our eyes, and clear the thoughts ready to pounce as the words here are read.

I’ve been thinking about food today, and medical problems, and possible connections between them. I’ve had a lot of blood work done lately. So much so, that I now refer to the phlebotomist as the medical vampire. I’ve been questioning whether some of my problems are caused by what I eat.

That got me to wondering: when you think of food, what is the first thing that comes to mind? I wouldn’t be surprised if for the majority of Americans, it’s calories, fat, or weight gain.

I don’t think we have a healthy mindset about food.

We fret, we stress, we avoid, we burn, we ban, we purge, we omit, we decorate, we make scents of it…

But do we really make sense of it?

Our body needs food. That’s the one fact about food none of us can dispute. It’s the fuel our bodies are designed to function from. Do we have a healthy relationship with it?

There are certain foods our bodies have been designed around. No matter what, we need water. We need protein. We need certain salts to keep it in balance. We need minerals and vitamins. We need fiber.

It’s not supposed to be about avoiding, and focusing on counting calories. It’s supposed to be about relaxing and enjoying what the earth produces to nourish us.

Babies draw comfort from their mothers as they are nourished by their mothers. I think, there is nothing wrong with finding some amount of comfort in eating what’s good for us.

There are plenty of examples of celebration feasts in the Bible. God provided the nourishment needed as Jesus fed the 10,000 with the Word of God – Spiritual food, that our bodies have been designed to need to function in a healthy manner.

So. What do you think of when the word food is mentioned?