Sunday, May 9, 2010
On May 22, Shawn and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage. A lifetime ago, we stood in front of our family and friends and pledged our lives together for the rest of time. We had grand visions of finishing college, becoming successful in our fields, and starting a family. Imagine our surprise when we began struggling with infertility. We tried fertility drugs, but had no success. We endured years of waiting every month to see if God would bless us with a child, only to be devastated to discover that yet again, we had failed to conceive.
I had finally accepted that God loved me and wanted the life that was best for me and maybe, just maybe, that meant no children, when our youth group that we were leading asked permission to pray over us. They laid hands on us and prayed, and God blessed us with a son. James was our absolute delight. After trying unsuccessfully for years to have a child, I appreciated every breath that he took. I basked in the pure joy of holding him and loved him in a way that I could not have ever imagined loving another person.
I weaned James at 6 months, expecting it to take several more years to have another child. After a few short months of trying to conceive, I went to an initial visit with a new fertility specialist, expecting to begin treatment again. Imagine my surprise to discover that I was pregnant. This time God blessed us with Grace. Only 19 months behind James. I was prepared to take a break from having babies for a while. Chasing two babies was hard work. That's when God surprised us with our beautiful Katie.
I was privileged to enjoy many years at home with my babies. I exercised every ounce of creativity in my body to create magical memories and big adventures on a limited budget. There were countless beautiful and precious moments during those years. Of course, there were hard times as well. My marriage was not in a great place, and I fought a challenging battle with depression. But overall, my children enjoyed life. I was blessed beyond belief. 3 amazing and wonderful children. I could not ask for more.
But God was not finished with our family. 6 years after Katie, God sent us Abby. Abby has brought sheer joy into our midst. Being a mom in my 30's has been a blast. Parenting with a solid marriage and a healthy mind has definitely been much easier. My only regret is that working has kept me from having the same types of adventures with Abby that I was able to do with the other kids. However, Abby doesn't seem to have suffered any at all from being in childcare. She is bubbly, outgoing, and fun.
This crazy, chaotic life as the mom of 4 is an amazing gift. Every day I look at my children and am thankful that God allowed me the privilege of being their mom. Some days are tough. There are lots of moments that I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing. I freely admit that I am making up this mom thing as I'm going along. However, most of the time our house rings with laughter. Sometimes that laughter is even at me trying to figure out the mom thing. But every day at our house is a gift. A very special blessing. This Mother's Day, I am extraordinarily thankful that I am fortunate enough to be a mom.