When Mother’s Day is Bittersweet 

When Mother’s Day is Bittersweet 

  Someone will open a macaroni necklace and gets warm hugs from bed-headed wee ones. Someone will get an open mouth kiss complete with half-chewed Cheerios. Someone will be awakened in the middle of the night with a newborn needing to eat. Someone will put a hand on her swollen belly dreaming. Someone will get a call from a grown child full of sweet words like, “Mom, you were right.” 

But someone else will hold an ultrasound from a deafening silent heartbeat. Someone else will take another pregnancy test and see another single line. Someone will wonder what her child is doing that day, the child she lovingly placed in another mom’s arms. Someone will wonder if she’ll ever feel whole after the pain of an abortion. Someone will visit a grave site, and someone will wait beside a silent phone. 

On this day that for many of us is bittersweet, we find ourselves feeling the full weight of emotions. Bitter for the burden we gladly shoulder for those feeling hopeless. Sweet for the promise of faithfulness and for the hope of a Good Father. 

This thing called motherhood in all its complexity–the desire, the wait, the labor, the sacrifice–is bittersweet. Hard and beautiful. Heart breaking and heart healing. 

If you find yourself in a season of heartbreak regarding motherhood, know that you aren’t alone. I know it’s a popular thing these days to cut down other moms and bash each other. But, thankfully, I know a tribe of moms doing it differently. And I bet you have some of this tribe around you too. These moms are the kind with bruised knees and tear-stained pages. On those days when you feel hopeless, desperate, bitter, they will beckon you to hop on, to ride their faith until you feel stronger. They too have felt hopeless, desperate, and bitter, but someone else carried them, and now they will carry you. To sweet. To faithful. To hope. To and through motherhood in all its ups and downs. 

You aren’t forgotten. You are embraced, covered, and loved. We will carry you to the feet of Jesus, we will wait with you knee deep in prayer, and we will sing the sweet song of celebration when God shows His faithfulness. When He heals the broken heart. When He makes the bitter sweet. 

We will do this over and over for each other. You will carry me. I will carry you. Over and over to the One who heals and restores, who keeps His promises, who proves His faithfulness day after day. And one day we will look back and realize carrying is the work of motherhood. Carrying broken, needy, desperate souls to the feet of Jesus. Our tribe of sisters, our children and families, strangers we see with eyes of love, and our own weary souls. And together we will sing that sweet song, and no one–not even the enemy himself–will be able to keep us silent. 

You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12

*story behind the photo 

Break & Pour ~ A Mom’s Mission

Break & Pour ~ A Mom’s Mission

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

*This post was originally published May 7, 2015. 

Some time ago, when Georgia was still tiny and all swaddled up and the skies were gray and icy, I sat in the rocker in the nursery rocking back and forth. I was reading about the last supper, the last meal my Savior shared with his friends before his crucifixion.

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

I glanced over at the eyelashes of my baby girl between the crib slats. I was weary and feeling very empty. I was also feeling very lumpy post-delivery and very in need of a shower. Those words kept crashing in my head like waves on the beach. Broken. Poured. Like a piece of wood bent until it splinters in two. Like a wine bottle hitting the tile and shattering, crimson droplets everywhere. Bread broken. Body broken. Cup poured. Blood poured.

I was a mess of emotions Tuesday after hugging Heather tight and saying goodbye to her before Jess and I boarded a plane back home. Heather is one of the most talented writers I know, and one day while talking in the car we both said how difficult writing is in this season. Because quiet time is rare and little hands need us. Because our minds feel like mush. And, I confessed to her, because it feels like every blog I write reads . . . This is hard. This is really hard. Have I mentioned this is hard? And who wants to read (or write) that all the time. But it is hard. And that’s okay. I could write just the pretty stuff, but that would be a lie. Break and pour. That’s what we do. Whether by pregnancy or adoption, our bodies bear the scars and the stretch marks and the gray hairs of that breaking. Our hearts beat with the muscle memory of those desperate tears and the painful prayers of that pouring out. We are acutely aware of our own brokenness, humbled by this great call on our life, this call of motherhood. We are keenly aware of our need to be poured into–by the Word, by the gift of friends and marriage, by the Sabbath.

We break bread and cut the crusts off peanut butter sandwiches and break smiles when they tell us the same knock knock joke 89 times in a row. We break sleep and change the sheets and rock the baby and banish the monsters under the bed. We pour milk and juice and cool water. We pour Cheerios and laundry detergent and cups of bath water over dirty heads and sun-kissed noses. And all those tiny moments seem insignificant and menial. But they aren’t. Because woven into each of those seemingly unimportant actions is the pursuit of a relationship. A relationship born out of love. A relationship for which we sacrifice and surrender. We break because He broke. We pour because He poured out. We love because He loved.

The Other Mother

The Other Mother

Paint and PetalsTo the mother whose arms will be empty. To the one who will wake up with a heartache. To the mom who will wish she had a scribbled on card and a kid with bedhead to wake her up. To the mother who wonders if she’ll ever hold a baby. You aren’t alone, and you aren’t forgotten. Mother’s Day may seem like a painful reminder, and you might feel left out and isolated. But you aren’t.

The thing I found when I went through my losses, my painful Mother’s Day, is that far more women than you would think know exactly what you’re feeling. Believe me when I say you are not alone. If your miscarriage or infertility happened before you had any children to hold, this day may be especially hard because no one will say Happy Mother’s Day to you. But I will say it–Happy Mother’s Day, sweet momma. You may not have a baby in your arms, but you are a mom. And even though hope may seem gossamer-thin, hold on. Hold on. Hold on. I know it’s hard and painful and your broken heart just wants to give up.

Sunday, I’ll walk outside to my hydrangea and I’ll remember that Mother’s Day, the one I didn’t want to happen. The one where I cried all day and just tried to stay busy with work and church stuff. The one where I thought no one would say Happy Mother’s Day, but then Matt gently handed me a hydrangea plant in memory of our baby and said the words to me I so longed to hear. Happy Mother’s Day. I didn’t have a baby in my arms yet. I was pregnant with our second child but didn’t know it at the time. Later in the summer, that baby would go straight to Heaven too. My arms were painfully empty that Mother’s Day, but in my heart I was already a momma. A momma waiting on her child. When I walk outside to my hydrangea this weekend, I’ll pray for the waiting mommas. If you’re on my list, I’ll pray for you specifically and for your child just like I do every day. If you aren’t on my list and want someone to pray for you by name, I’d be honored. Just leave your information below.

Hold on, sweet momma. You aren’t alone, and you aren’t forgotten.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted… Psalm 34:18