As for my life, I am just reveling in being a stay at home mom, however non-conventional my motherhood is. I enjoy every second of wiping dirty faces, painting little fingernails, and making balls out of my socks for the kids to play with. I don’t feel that my life is really different than that of most moms, except that I make 18 pieces of cinnamon toast every morning, get splashed by 8 little girls at bath time, and get about 140 kisses goodnight. Which reminds me to tell you, we added a new little girl to our family this weekend! Its funny to me that I have so many children in my house all the time that it just isn’t a big deal anymore when we get a new one. Anyway, her name is Margaret, she is eleven years old and beautiful and, until Saturday, a total orphan. She is adjusting well to our crazy family life though.
My children are the greatest kids in the entire universe. I’m sure that every proud mother says that, but I MEAN it. They are so beautiful. So well behaved. So kind to each other and obedient and helpful. They have been through so much at their young ages. They deserve the world. And sometimes, they look at me with these big, curious eyes (8 pairs of them!) that expect me to give them the world, and I wonder – what if I can’t?
At nineteen, mother of 8 was not exactly a title I expected. But their little voices call out “Mommy, Mommy” and I am the only one they have ever known. I am not always a good mother. Sometimes my kids are late to school because I set the toast on fire. Sometimes my kids just don’t go to school because mom wants to stay home and play. Sometimes we run out of food and have to have pancakes for dinner. Sometimes we leave church early because we just can’t all sit still and be quiet at the same time. Sometimes there are so many people in my house screaming and coloring on the furniture and riding the dogs and standing on the table that I feel like I just might pull all my hair out. Sometimes I shout. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I just can’t understand what they are trying to tell me. And still they look at me with those big, expectant eyes, as if I can give them the world. “Mommy, where does the sun go when I am sleeping? Mommy, are all lady bugs girls? Mommy, where do I go when I die? Do fish go there too? Well, why don’t fish breathe air? Mommy what makes the sky blue? Mommy, why aren’t you bald like me? Why is our skin different? Why can’t you live here all the time, Mommy? Mommy? Mommy…”
As inadequate as I feel sometimes, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. Because I am. I am inadequate. And I’m ok with it. Throughout the Bible God continues to choose seemingly inadequate women to do His work. Look at Mary, the mother of Christ. She was probably no older than me, no more ready to be a mother, no more ready to answer a high pitched little voice asking her a million questions that she didn’t know how to answer. So I won’t strive to be a perfect mother, I will just strive to be like Mary. Completely unprepared, but ready to take on the child that God handed to her. Her faith was courageous and her obedience was complete. She would submit to God. Regardless of the cost or the consequences. Regardless of if it meant losing her reputation or the man she loved. Even her life. Regardless. NO MATTER WHAT. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary said, “may it be to me as you have said. She would be a mother. I will be a mother. As long as He keeps giving me these precious children of His, I will continue to love them to the best of my ability. I will be an inadequate, uncertain, loving with everything I have, filled-with-more-joy-than-one-little-person-can-handle mother. And I will love every minute.