My body signaled it was under new management my first day of pregnancy. After a romantic weekend in the Pocono’s, the drive through New York City was punctuated by multiple stops to empty my already empty stomach. I thought I had the flu, but it was something much bigger than that. The action starts in the very first moments of motherhood.
It begins by changing our bodies as life grows inside. What a tremendous miracle—a tiny human is attached; growing and nourished by the cord of life between us! We wonder as our bodies stretch to make room. New changes at the end of pregnancy prepare us to birth and feed our child with uniquely formulated milk. We pray for this child we have yet to meet.
Delivery is a verb that strikes terror into the most courageous woman. But then there’s joy. We bond with this new person, known only by God up until now, where He knit them together in the secret place under our heart. The action picks up significantly.

Feeding, changing, rocking, singing, pacing back and forth in the middle of the night. Waiting for the first real smile, learning their coos and cries; being the only one who can understand what they’re saying. Sighing with pleasure the first time they hug us back. Wiping away tears, both theirs and ours, when we can’t figure out what’s wrong or make the hurt go away. And we pray.
As they grow, even more action is required. We move from carrying to chasing; from longing for them to say their first words to wanting to scream the next time they ask a “why” question. We still hug and kiss and tickle and play, but they’re on the move from our arms into the classroom of life. We pray even more.

In their teenage years, our action takes on more of an emotional element. We spent their formative years protecting, instructing, disciplining, and loving. They’re making more of their own choices apart from us now. We rejoice when they are kind, courageous, tenacious, and wise. We ache for them when they choose badly. We console and advise, and let them feel the pain and pray they will learn from it. We pray for wisdom to know when to rescue and when to urge them forward.
The action of the empty nest years takes new form. Our homes are spacious and quiet, but our arms sometimes feel empty. We encourage, rejoice, and learn from them. We listen when they call, biting our tongue when we want to say more than they’re ready to hear. We give when they’re needy. We work when they need a hand. We counsel when they ask and pray God will make them strong and give them joy.

And becoming a grand-mom is a different verb entirely. Back to rocking and feeding, singing and playing, only this time with more confidence and a store of memories from round number one. The “why” questions don’t bother us as much; we know that’s how they learn about the world, and God. We breathe in their baby scent, follow squirrels with them in the park, bend down to examine wildflowers, praise their efforts, and seek to build relationship. We want them to know they belong, they matter—to us and to God. And we pray for them and our children.

Moms of every age know how much energy it takes to do the job well. We blow it frequently, but God forgives, and often we get the chance to do better. Motherhood is the most physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding work we will ever do, but when we do it with all our heart, we feel God’s pleasure. He is our example and Teacher; He is our energizing power when we have nothing left to give.
To all you mothers, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you feel honored and special this weekend. 
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise” (Prov. 31:30-31).
#mothersday #whatmomsdo #tiredmoms #grandmothering #emptynest #proverbs31