Monday, May 08, 2006
not what you expected
motherhood is tough gig. i try not to live my life defined by the fact that i'm a mom, but there is no denying that it shapes me and influences my choices. the hardest thing, for me, about being a mom is the relentlessness of it - day after day, lunch after lunch, load after load of laundry... i love love love my daughters, but there are days when the grind wears me thin. coming up to mother's day, i've been thinking about that, and i think that what makes it hard for me is that i can be such a selfish person. when life is trucking along and what the girls need and i feel like doing are compatible, life is sweet. but when their needs conflict with my wants... the self-serving ego in me raises it's ugly head. sigh. i'll never forget the moment i became a mom - the revelation of how much my life revolved around me was startling!
jean pierre de cassaude, a french priest from the 16th century, wrote a series of letters that were collected after his death and published into a little book called 'abandonment to divine providence'. the theme of his letters was that what we are given at any moment - be it pleasure or pain, work or rest, joy or sorrow - is exactly what we need to become holy. he said, 'you seek for secret ways of belonging to God, but there is only this: to do what he has given you to do, and to do it with joyful abandon to his will'.
and so i am reminded coming up to mother's day, that if i let motherhood pare my self-consideration, i will become more and more into the woman God intended me to be. and in turn, find motherhood an easier road. not a smooth and gentle road, but one that i have the grace to travel.
so call your mom on sunday - or write a note to a woman who has influenced you with a mother's love and wisdom. because we are just people trying really hard to do our best and not screw you up too badly!