On a morning when I cannot seem to wade through the clouds of pressing issues and decisions upon me, I announce to my crew, “Put on your keens & fill your water bottles ’cause we’re off to the forest to feed the fish.”
Driving out of the driveway a bit of the heaviness lifts. I love the colorful home I’ve decorated, the yard we’ve planted, the sandbox & play set we made, and most of all I love the five gifts of live souls dwelling in it with me, my husband included.
But some days, feeding my hungry crew one more meal, doing one more load of laundry, finding homes for the myriad of babydolls, legos, polly pockets and books that lie scattered makes me crazy, and overwhelmed, and frustrated. After all, I didn’t really know what I was signing up for when I became a mother…who does?
At the ripe age of 21, after getting married I was diagnosed with a disease called Multiple Sclerosis that was eating through my nerve coatings and could eventually take away my ability to walk, to use my arms, to see…in essence to live the full life I wanted to live.
Once I regained my health through changing my diet, I emerged with a newfound understanding of what really mattered in my life…and what didn’t. Priorities got shifted, life goals changed, dreams morphed from a hidden place within that I had never given time or space to emerge.
Motherhood~ the creating a little person out of a deep love, the shaping of a soul, nurturing a heart full of wonder, and in awe of God’s big world; the walking, talking, being a family, the children growing to mature adults that would love and serve their Maker with their very lives- yes, this is a legacy I knew I wanted to create. Nursing school would have to wait. Pleasing others and having a job title that would give value in the eyes of my friends and family lost its appeal when faced with possibly not having the health for these deep rooted dreams.
Fast forward a bit and now here I am living my dream….a handful of children, an acre of land to tend, chickens, bees, a bright warm nest of a home to dwell in and I am indeed blessed.
Yet…yet…today I only seem to “see” the messes, the yuck, the grime both in our home and in our hearts. And tired of barking orders & being Mrs. Pouty Pants I set off for some beauty feasting, deep in the Pisgah National Forest at the Fish Hatchery. Feasting on natures bounty has a way of refreshing my soul, bringing JOY to little hearts, slowing time and re-uniting.
Sally Clarkson says it so well in her book The Mom Walk,
I need to remember that I am to lead my children in being a person who celebrates the joy of life. I am to model what it looks like to enjoy God and His creation. Often, in the midst of the duties of life, moms can easily become focused on the right things to do, correcting the immaturity of children, and inadvertently portraying God as a strict moral judge just waiting for them to fall short. It is vital we realize we are a model of God to our children and we must take care that we present His light, beauty, humor, love, and joy. I love this verse in Proverbs: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones”(Proverbs 17:22)
My girls squeal and fish splash their happy dance at being fed, and I remember that I am standing on holy ground in this calling of Motherhood- feeding my own fish that the Father has entrusted to my care this side of heaven.
And suddenly, with the fresh breezes of spring and pink blossoms flying through the air, the glorious task of motherhood seems too good to be true.
What an honor to be the one to fill their hearts- boys and girls alike- with beauty, with nature, with yummy food and living books, with heroes and heroines, with snuggles in my bed and family game nights, with Easter egg hunts and rhythms to our days. YES- this job of mothering, this shaping of souls, is civilizing the next generation! And who is going to watch over this process in my children more than me?
So as they come back for more little pellets of food cupping their hands with sweet “pleases” I chuckle with awe that my Father in heaven has fed and is feeding me- His daughter who often feels inadequate and ill equipped for this task, who stumbles and falls and has to confess and repent. And I in turn, am daily feeding my children whether I am aware of it or not.
Oh, fellow sister, that we would embrace this calling of Motherhood and enjoy feeding the ones in our care! That we would not chase after titles and value and ‘the wind’ and neglect the tending in our own homes. Would you join me this week in watching over the diet we spread before our children?
After all, one day, they are going to have their own fishes and be fish feeders too.