RealMama Week, Day 1
Our first post for RealMama week is a heartfelt description of what being a Mama means to LR Knost, from Little Hearts Books (Gentle Parenting Resources)
L.R.Knost, Christian author and homeschooling mother of six, is the founder of the nonprofit, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, which offers Gentle Parenting workshops, speakers, and consultations in the Central Florida area as well as online Gentle Parenting resources. Her Wisdom For Little Hearts children’s book series weaves Gentle Parenting techniques into colorful, engaging stories for little ones ages 2-6. The first book in the series, Petey’s Listening Ears, was released from Lifeway in April 2011, and Addie’s Inside Voice, JoJo’s Gentle Hands, and Zoey the Happy Helper are due out soon with more to follow! For more information on Gentle Parenting or to order Little Hearts books or products, please visit www.littleheartsbooks.com or Amazon at http://t.co/dIpvluC.
In the Arms of Motherhood
Motherhood is very simple to me. It’s a gift to me, but it’s not about me. Period. I’m the one who chose to bring these little people into the world, so the thought that somehow they have the responsibility to fit into my life, and work around my schedule, and not disrupt my pursuit of self completely mystifies me.
They aren’t interlopers; they are guests, invited guests! And how do we treat our guests? Do we ignore their needs or make incomprehensible demands on them or ridicule, name-call, and hit them when they misstep? Of course not! We welcome our guests with special dinners, make accommodations for their needs, and forgive their lack of knowledge of our ways. And our children deserve no less. In fact, they deserve much more! When our littlest invited guests arrive, they are welcomed with open arms that are always available, day or night. They are provided nature’s best provision for their nutritional needs. And they are gently guided by example and lovingly encouraged to become a part of a healthy family dynamic. In short, when I invite these little people into my life, it stops being my life and becomes our lives!
Motherhood is, very simply, a lovely sacrifice. The Bible says, “Women will be saved through childbearing” (1 Timothy 2:15). I believe God is referring to the sacrifice of self that mothers willingly and lovingly live for their children as a reflection of the sacrifice Jesus made for His children on the Cross. It is a lovely retelling of the Cross played out in the arms of motherhood, again and again and again.
Consider the young mother who gives up night after night of sleep to soothe her little ones cries, or the older mother who gives up the peace of her golden years to welcome the child of her youth back into her home when life hits hard. This laying down of self, this giving up of comforts and rights and dreams; these are losses, sacrifices, but they are lovely, beautiful beyond belief. Their loveliness lies in the soft, warm weight of a sleepy baby with a full belly and a trusting heart. Their beauty lies in the spark of hope in the tear-filled eyes of a weary adult who’s life has turned dark, but who finds home is still a safe refuge.
My children, all six of them, are precious gifts straight from God’s heart to my home. I have had other precious gifts, babies who God gave for a time to fill my womb, but who weren’t meant to fill my arms, and one He gave to fill my arms for just a moment, who wasn’t meant to stay.
Each one of them brought with them the unique knowledge of how breathtakingly exquisite every living, breathing child is and how priceless and fragile and brief life itself can be. I do not take this knowledge lightly. I have learned to treasure the moments of life with my children. I’ve learned that it’s not about me; it’s about us. And I’ve learned that sacrifice lights up the dark places in the world, making it a more beautiful place for all of us to live.
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