Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An Open Letter to My Children

My dear precious child,

I feel like no words I say could adequately express how much I love you.  When I think about your smile, your laugh, your personality and the light in your eyes, I feel as though I'd burst with love.  I didn't know that a heart could love so much!

(c) John Stubler Photography (www.johnstubler.com),
used with permission. 

This was me at 9 months pregnant when I was  expecting
my daughter!  Our friend took my pregnancy photos -
check him out at www.JohnStubler.Com
Once, when I was 9 months pregnant, I was walking to a parking lot and tripped on a curb.  I was holding the oldest by the hand and the other was in my belly.  I didn't even have time to think, but my body instinctually fell in a strange way to protect both children and I ended up with scratches in the oddest places.  It was really a testament of how God designed for the love that a mother has for her children from the time they are in the womb to become so strong that it becomes one with her body.  I wouldn't think twice before risking my life for one of you, you mean so much to me!

Unfortunately, you know - probably more than anyone on earth, how human I am and all the mistakes I've made.  And I'm sorry for every single one of them.  I'm not afraid to apologize to you without reserve for each and every mistake that I made, some out of fear, emotion, exhaustion, or ignorance.  This is not a list of excuses, but a reality that I am human and I am sorry.  But it is not your fault and I've made mistakes not because of anything you have done, but it is only proof of who I've always needed to become.

The world might tell me now that I wasn't made to be a mom, and that my struggles are because I'm not putting me first.  Wouldn't I feel better if I put you aside and took care of my needs and wants?  But, my child, the world knows nothing.  It does not understand sacrificial, deep and lasting love.  It knows nothing of the importance of raising the next generation, the value in bringing up good people in which our future is held.  I can't imagine a more worthwhile or fulfilling job in the world.

Raising you is SO important to me, that I don't often want to do a good job, I want to do a perfect job.  Sometimes I'd get too stressed about doing a good job and would actually make mistakes because of the desire to be a perfect mom and then would be upset when I wasn't and then would get tense and irritable and just repeat this vicious cycle of ridiculousness.

But, my child, we have had so much fun together in spite of it.  The GREATEST joy in my life has been bringing you into this world and spending time with you.  Your growing has been bittersweet, because I have enjoyed every moment and didn't want it to pass.  Even when I've thought I needed a break, the entire time I was away (even for 30 minutes!) all I could do was think about you and how excited I was to see you again.

Every night when you go to bed, I think about how I will be a better mom to you tomorrow and make resolutions to be kinder, gentler, and more consistent.  And I pray that every day I am even just a little bit closer to that goal, because I love you so much and it terrifies me to possibly scar you in any way.

However, I feel that scarring you is eminent.  I don't give up fighting to be a better person, nor will I, but there is a certain point that I have to let go and pray that God will do the rest.  

When your dad and I went on our first official date (ok, second, but the first one he kinda tricked me into!  That story is for another time!), at one point we walked to a nearby university campus, enjoying a beautiful sunny day and the gorgeous scenery and talked in depth about children and parenting in general.  Our conversation sticks with me to this day, because it was so meaningful and has given me so much hope in my own parenting.  We talked about how children's first "god" is their parents.  They idolize them, thinking them all-powerful, all-knowing, wise and perfect.  As children get older and they start seeing the mistakes that their parents make and that they are human, it can knock kids off their feet and crumble their world.  They get disappointed because they want someone that they can trust and won't let them down.

So, why does this give me hope?  Because on that day, the solution your dad and I came up with was simple.  Though we didn't know we'd end up being married (ok, maybe your dad did! Have I mentioned how much I love him?!), we concluded that the only way to go is to start pointing to God as God (not us) from the very beginning of our child's life, by recognize and admitting our faults to you and apologizing, and by showing you how perfect GOD is and providing you the means to have a real relationship with Him from the beginning.

I know how important it is for you to know that someone won't let you down.  Ever.

It's given me so much freedom, to know that I don't have to be a perfect mom.  I need to be a mom that loves unconditionally, and without reserve: God can and will do the rest.

My wonderful, amazing children, I have confidence in God that he will guide you and protect you.  You are not mine, really, but have been on loan to me in this world.  You are children of God, made in His image and as sons and daughters of Him loved by Him, you are infinitely lovable!  Did you know that if he didn't think of you, even for a thousandth of a second, that you would not exist?  Realize that he is loving and thinking of you every second of your life!  Every breath you take has been willed by Him.

I pray not that you become CEO of a huge corporation, make lots of money, or become a celebrity.  I only pray that you become a person that loves deeply and passionately, sees good in others, shows mercy and compassion - even when you are justified in anger and resentment.  One of my favorite quotes right now is:

"Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love."
-Mother Teresa

Love, with all your heart.  Love will change the world.  Do not look to me as your example, look at Christ, on the cross - the most beautiful testament of love, and rest in Him.

My dearest child.  I love you with all my heart.

Love,

Your mommy





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