The Wedding

My Last Was Only His Beginning

A million hugs, countless read-alouds.   Band-aids and boo-boo kisses.  Haircuts and summer swim parties.  Nights being awoken to a feverish child.  Filling up another sippy cup, a last-minute potty run.  Endless loads of laundry, another missing sock.  Another desperate plea from a tired mommy.  Late-night conversations, lifelong prayer for God’s blessing.  And a million other moments brought us to this day.

And as I sat, silently reprimanding myself, I commanded my heart to stay in the present, to bear witness to my son proclaiming to his forever love, “I Do.” 

Like single embers, joining together to sustain a fire, so has the “day in and day out” mundane moments weaved together to mold the character of our son. 

What was my last was only his beginning.

As I pondered how many times I was up in the night during his childhood, watched him run and tumble with his brothers, taught him another school lesson or explained why something was right or wrong, uttered another prayer on his behalf, prayed over his future bride someday, and the strength of character to be a man after God’s own heart, any hardship that was exerted in the parenting of our son paled in comparison to the blessing of his life.

On this day, my heart embraced the mending of three worlds….one of empty nester, mother to a little one, with precious grandbaby close by.  And I was ever so thankful for each and every season.  In my arms, I held the future of an entire new family line in our family tree, one I pray will be a mighty vessel to proclaim God’s faithfulness.

In the eyes of my little 20-month-old, a glimpse of our son, The Groom, lingered in my memory. But today, standing before my son was the real-life answer to a life-long prayer… the precious, feminine beauty, his Bride, committing to a forever love.  I couldn’t help but whisper a prayer over my little baby boy’s future bride (should that be the Lord’s plan) knowing all too soon, these hard, mundane days will slip away, culminating in a wedding of his own. It was only yesterday, or so it seemed, that my heart walked a similar road as our daughter radiated with beauty as The Bride.  In a world that says twelve children is far too many, I am ever humbled by the high calling and privilege to disciple and display God’s faithfulness to each one of these blessings.

Chasing my little one and slipping away for a mother/son wedding dance, my heart overflowed with the blessing of just two of my sons. Yes, mothering is hard, embracing two or three seasons at once even harder but the greatest of blessings come as we value the eternal souls God has blessed us with, no matter the number! 

My mind quickly drifted back to days gone by when life felt so overwhelming, with only littles underfoot. Feeling so lonely, starving for adult conversation.  Countless temper tantrums and wondering if my best parenting strategies were hindering or advancing the cause. 

And I thought of you, dear mother.  If you are a mother or wife, your effort can reach far and wide through friendships, ministries, or even a career.  But nothing is as far reaching than how you care for the ones in your own home.  It has absolutely nothing to do with gifting or perfection, but rather everything to do with vision. 

And I wonder, just what is the vision of motherhood?  Is it merely to survive, as I thought in my younger mothering years?  Over time, the Lord impressed on my heart the desire to mother well.  Sacrificing the here and now for His eternal gain.  Even more, how He can use my raw, broken imperfections to illuminate my need for a Savior and the absolute joy that overflows into the hardest of day. The impact on our family is monumental.  

The more my desires aligned with God’s, joy overtook the hardship of mothering.  Surrounded by little ones, my vision could only reach as far as my imagination would allow.  All too soon though, what was only envisioned became reality. My desire grew to not only mother well but launch my children well. 

On this day, my heart basked in the newfound commitment and love of my son and his Bride.  My heart remains the same, to mother well, using every effort to sacrifice and launch well the nine children still in my home.  All too easy, I remember my mistakes, the failings of my mothering effort.  Yet I was reminded this day that launching children well is not about perfection but vision.  

Over the next several weeks, I will be regularly updating this blog, to remind my heart the lessons that God has taught me in hope that they could encourage you as well.  You’re not alone, dear momma!  Your work is vital and far reaching!  Stay tuned for ways that you can be encouraged as you hold to the vision of motherhood!