Monthly Archives: September 2014

Because Motherhood is Worth It

Because Motherhood is Worth it | Faith and Composition

Recently, I opened my inbox to find a comment on this post: the one that talks about the hard, die-to-self moments of mothering. For most readers, that little post has been a source of encouragement. This commenter, however, saw it differently. She replied that she never wants kids, and that this post reinforced that decision for her and makes the task of mothering sound like a “sucky” job.

I deleted her comment because I felt it was mean-spirited, but looking back I feel I need to reply. Because you know what? I get it. Looking in on the hard moments of mothering can make the role seem unappealing. There are times when I glance around, and I feel self-pity and defeat. Hard moments abound. But the better news is that there’s an even bigger truth that covers those difficult times. And that truth is this: while mothering is hard, it’s also the most rewarding role I have ever known!

Being a mother has been my hardest task and yet my greatest joy. If anyone had told me how I would feel the first time they laid my newborn atop my chest, I would’ve scarcely believed them. Because no one can explain what happens to a mother when she holds her child for the first time.

Because Motherhood is Worth it | Faith and Composition

Motherhood is a sacred relationship that gives us a flesh-and-blood glimpse into the goodness of God. The beauty and the giftedness of life become suddenly, startlingly clear. This life itself is the first miracle of birth. The second is what that new life does to a mom: turns her inside out so that her heart is walking around outside her body wearing skin. I couldn’t have anticipated the intensity of that second miracle. But in those first moments with my firstborn, I knew I would never be the same. And these overwhelming affections happened again with my second child and with my third. Because there is no limit to a mother’s heart. It doesn’t exhaust its reserves or grow dry. Instead, it grows exponentially. 

I don’t pretend to understand how that happens, but I know that the bond of a woman to her child is a profound mystery that only a mother can fathom. That’s what a child does: he wraps his mother’s heart in a miracle that spans the width and breadth of a lifetime. And it’s this bond—a heart tie that defies time and distance—that makes this role of mothering such a sacred privilege! It makes the die-to-self moments worth it; it redeems the sleepless nights, the endless diaper changes, the training, the disciplining, the directing.

Motherhood takes us outside of ourselves. It puts us in the refiner’s fire only to pull us out a bit more purified, our spirits a bit more malleable. It is hard, it is sanctifying, but it is the most rewarding job I’ve ever known, and it is the highest calling to which I’ll rise. My children fill me with light and life like no one else can, and I never knew I possessed such capacity to love until I met them.

If you don’t understand that, if you don’t understand that the hardships of motherhood are worth the relationship, then I can’t explain it. I can’t make your heart expand to feel things it has never imagined. Because the truth is … only a child can do that, only a child who calls you “Mom.”

Because Motherhood is Worth it | Faith and Composition

My firstborn is now six. He’s a curious, full-of-energy rambunctious little boy, and he tests my limits at times and pushes my patience beyond it’s breaking point. My second is four; she’s a fierce, stubborn little girl who sometimes brings me to my knees. And the baby … the baby is only rarely sleeping through the night, and she’s recently began to exert her independence. As their mother, I have moments, days, weeks that are hard indeed. But I love these children with a heart-cry that defies description, and it’s the beautiful mystery of this sacred relationship that makes the hard work worth it! The six-year-old arms that drape long around my neck, the four-year-old’s quiet “I love you” whispers as she drifts off to sleep, the baby’s squeals of delight as I lift her little frame … these moments redeem the hard times.

These kids changed me by their birth, and I suspect they will continue to change me for the good through the length of my days, molding me, stretching me, refining me until I finally breathe my last. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

So although motherhood is not easy, motherhood is worth it. It’s worth the work, the weariness, the stretching, the testing. It’s worth the sacrifices and the laying down of self, because the reward is infinitely greater than the work! There is nothing that can replace the depth and breadth of a mother’s relationship with her child. Apart from a relationship with Christ, there is no affection as soul-searing, no heart tie as binding. Yes, the role of motherhood requires work, but I’ll gladly do it. Because motherhood is worth it; it will always be worth it!

#motherhoodisworthit - a tribe of truth-telling mamas, sharing their hearts! | Faith and Composition

UPDATE: Want to join the Motherhood Is Worth It movement? Then I’d love to invite you to share your own thoughts across social media and/or on your blog about what redeems the hard times of motherhood, what makes all that work worth it. Using the hashtag #motherhoodisworthit, let us hear your heart! I can only imagine how encouraging it would be to see a tribe of truth-telling mamas sharing about the motherhood experience and how the relationship with their children redeems the dirty diapers, stinky laundry and endless cleaning. Because #motherhoodisworthit. It will always be worth it! If you would like to download the above image to use across social media as you chime in with your thoughts, click here.   

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on Amazon

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A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Photos

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

It’s been a bit quiet here throughout the past couple weeks, and for good reason. The summer days with flexible agendas have been replaced by routine, schedule and a new school experience that still has us adjusting. I’ll be dedicating a more-detailed post or two about our educational choice in the near future, but in short, we’ve chosen a method that combines traditional classroom teaching with homeschooling. In our particular program, we’re homeschooling three days a week. As we’ve been settling into our new schedule and adjusting to the added demands on my time at home, my posting here has been a bit less frequent. I’m hoping to return to regular posts soon!

In the meantime, I wanted to pop in share a few sweet peeks from a darling newborn session. My brother and sister-in-law recently welcomed their first child, and when they asked if I would be willing to photograph the precious little guy, I jumped at the chance. Here are a few of my favorites from the session. I hope you enjoy glancing through the images! And if you have any questions about our educational choice mentioned above, feel free to ask in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to answer! 

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn SessionA Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

A Quick Hello and the Sweetest Newborn Session

Please feel free to share or Pin any images, just kindly provide a link back to this original post.   

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Remembering a Princess, and Encouragement to Engage the World

Remembering a Princess, and a little encouragement to engage the world | Faith and Composition

Seventeen years ago yesterday, the world lost a princess. I was a senior in high school, and her death deeply saddened me. Because despite what may have been going on in her private life, she exuded beauty, grace and compassion to the public. Following her death, I wrote an opinion piece about the tragic circumstances surrounding the accident. It was published by our local paper, and it officially marked the first time I saw my name in print apart from school publications. Three months later I traveled to London. Outside Buckingham Palace, flowers, wreaths and pictures still littered the front gate.

I adored Princess Diana … not so much for her position (although her title captured my imagination as well), but for the role she played in the world’s need. She used her privilege to bring images of some of the globe’s most impoverished to the front pages. And she didn’t merely pose for a photo op, Princess Di touched these people, held them, loved them. My favorite images of her included her trips to Africa with the Red Cross. She didn’t shrink away from those who had been dismembered by land mines, and she wasn’t afraid of those who had fallen victim to AIDS. For a girl from a small town in the Midwest, she opened up a window into the world’s need.

With the advent of social media and 24/7 news, we as a society are more aware than ever of worldwide needs and charitable causes. Yet social media also affords us the opportunity to feign involvement or concern by simply liking a story or sharing a post. So today I want to encourage you to examine more than the headlines. I want to encourage you to examine your heart. Is there a need to which you’re drawn? And do you have the capacity to meet that need in some way?

There are countless reputable charitable organizations, but if you’re not sure where to start, consider beginning with your local church. Local churches are often keenly aware of both area and global needs. They can direct you to organizations or ministries that desperately need your time, your talent or both. We also firmly believe in the ministry of Compassion International. We sponsor a Ugandan boy, and it’s a fantastic way to meet tangible needs, share the good news of the Gospel, and build a relationship with a sponsor child. Additionally, my husband travels to Belize each year to serve with iServants. Both Compassion and iServants are on the ground in impoverished areas providing relief, meeting real needs, and sharing the good news of the Gospel.

Now what about you? Will you examine your heart today? Will you pray about giving or going?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” – Matthew 25:40.

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