Friday, May 6, 2011

A Word of Grace for Mother's Day

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?" Isaiah 49:15

Well, I haven't blogged in a while for several reasons. First of all, life has accelerated for us recently due to various circumstances of life: raising children, ministry responsibilities, raising children, rushing into our storage closet to escape possible tornadoes, raising children, and again, raising children. Also, I recently attended the Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference in the San Jose area of California. To say it was amazing is the understatement of the year. However, I'd liken this conference to Olympic tryouts or the NFL combine. They didn't separate the men from the boys there; they separated serious professional writers from people that use writing as a hobby or a way to express oneself. And quite frankly, the jury ain't out for me yet.

Yet as I thought of this upcoming Sunday and this all-consuming season of motherhood, I felt like I had to speak life into all the Mamas in my life. Girlfriends, ours is an awesome calling from God. We've got a tough road ahead of us as mothers in this day and age. The world and all its forces threatens to swallow our babies whole. Media, the internet, advertising... How can young people today survive physically, mentally and spiritually with so much battling against them and their peers?

But today I am claiming victory in this fight for our children. The enemy may get his licks in, but we must believe that God won't let him knock them out. This battle will be won in the heavenlies, but we've got to stay in the ring down here too. We've got to stay on our knees for our children. We've got to stay on our knees for our grandchildren and our friends' children. We've got to do our part to make our marriages work. And we've got to stay in the Word of God and encourage our children to stay there too. As one of my favorite Bible teachers Beth Moore says with her big Texas hair and cute Texas accent, "We've just got to do the thing!"

As an encouragement, the Lord has laid three G's on my heart for you, my Sisters, on this Mother's Day weekend.

Mama Grizzly
Okay so let me first say that I'm utilizing a technique that preachers like my husband use all the time. You've got this great sermon planned on the 5 P's of Prayer, and you get stuck on that last P. So you comb through and find some P word that means kind of the same thing as what you really want to say. I usually call this phenomenon "Mama Bear", but hey, I'm needing a G, so "Mama Grizzly" it is.

If you've been a mother for more than five minutes, you understand the deep heart need to protect your babies. That baby could be 6-months-old, 35-years-old or still in utero. When I was pregnant with Kalin and Jada, I had an intense desire to make sure they were safe. While on four months of strict bed rest with Kalin, I daily faced the possibility of miscarriage. If given the choice between Kalin's life and mine, I would have chosen his for sure.

On the other hand, I just recently talked with an 80-year-old woman on a flight from California about her relationship with her 103-year-old mother. Her first words to me when she plopped down in the cramped seat beside me were "I better call my Mom, and let her know I made it on the plane. She'll be worried about me." Lost for words, I just gazed at her, attempting a smile. And since my face probably communicated the words I was too polite to say, she quickly smiled and said, "Oh, my mother's 103."

I smiled genuinely then, glad that my seatmate wasn't some delusional kook. I applauded her on her mother's longevity. Then I marveled that her mother still worried about her. She said, "Oh yeah, you never outgrow your mother worrying about you."

So what does a Mama Grizzly look like? She is Amy Hawkins, who in 2006 became paralyzed after acting as a human shield for her small sons during a tornado in Tennessee. She is Michelle Obama who refuses to allow her daughters Malia and Sasha to join Facebook, until an undisclosed future date. She is the mother that just yesterday ranted over teenage girls being such "b------",  after wiping away her own teenage daughter's tears.

I, while personally refraining from profanity, am a Mama Grizzly. Each of my four children has brought that out of me.

Mama Guilt
Another issue we mothers have in common is carrying guilt. We're guilty over letting our babies sleep with us at night. We're guilty over not breastfeeding for a whole 12 months. We're guilty over not treating each child the same. We're guilty about not spending enough time in the Word with them. We're guilty about not being able to chaperon for every field trip. We're guilty about being too busy or not being busy enough. We're guilty about not keeping the house spotless, the flower beds weeded, the dinner menu exciting. We're guilty about being too strict or not being strict enough. And if we're not guilty about anything, we can feel guilty about that too!

Are you exhausted after reading this list? I'm surely exhausted after writing it. And I'm exhausted by the tremendous amount of guilt that I've carried these 14 years of motherhood. I constantly beat myself up over my inadequacies. I tell myself I'll never be a good enough mom.

Mama Grace
Guess what? I won't ever be good enough. And guess what else? God already knows that. That's why our children need a Heavenly Parent. That's why they need a Savior. He is perfect always. He always makes the right decisions concerning His children. He loves them with a perfect love. The only thing I should feel guilty about is when I'm not pointing my children to the Savior. If I'm pointing them to Him on a regular basis, then I've been the best Mama I can possibly be.

Now let me complete the scripture I began with: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..."

Now take a deep breath with me and let it out. I can feel the weight lifting, Girlfriend. Can't you?




  1. Hi Carla, I love your airplane lady story! It reminds me of when my own grandma was about a hundred years old and living in a nursing home. My mom (who was in her late sixties at the time) was coming for a visit and planning to stay by herself in a hotel room. My grandma thought that sounded dangerous and wanted to stay with her to protect her! Great post. Hope you have a wonderful mother's day! Barb

  2. You know exactly how I feel! I love you writing Carla! Go after your dreams!

  3. Thanks Barb and Angel! So encouraging...

  4. Happy mothers day. Beautiful post!