Thursday, May 05, 2011

Roller Coaster Mother's Day

The roller coaster ride has begun this May. At one point, I knew that I would probably take this ride, but somehow I must have forgot...until I found myself buckled in, holding the bar in front of me and holding my breath. Ready for the ups and downs of impending Mother's Day.

The ups are obvious. I have been ridiculously blessed to be Ella and Allie's mommy. I have found that this year, especially, has brought me incredible joy as Allie has become more independent and communicative. Life is just a little easier when your baby can tell you what she needs or wants. And now that she has that ability, she's definitely not shy. At all. Her favorite requests are "Mommy, I wanna go Chick-A-Lay", and "My daddy, my daddy, my daddy!!!!" The burden of constant need for a protective eye on her has been lessened by her sweet, sweet spirit and tender touch, the depth of those dark brown eyes calling me in to get lost in love with my daughter.

Ella's preciousness is immeasurable. Her predictability, priceless. I love my creature of habit. I love her need for snuggles, hugs, and kisses from her family. I love her elephant-rivaling memory...how she'll recall something I have totally forgotten, a rare and precious memory that brings a smile to my face.

Yes, being a Mommy on Mother's Day is a nice thing. It's great to get hugs and kisses and homemade cards and gifts from my little artists, and thank you's that are really not even needed because I would gladly do this job a thousands times over without any repayment.

So the roller coaster ride is cresting the top, and life is good. God's there. Cheering me on. Reassuring me that my efforts are not in vain, that He's proud of me, that my girls are in His hands.

And as I find myself at the climax of life, giving God praise and honor for the view up here, the cars suddenly obey gravity and come shooting down the track.

In all my 32 years past, I've always enjoyed honoring my own mom with love, hugs, kisses, and gifts. Homemade crafts that are still stashed away in special memory boxes she kept. Cards and letters that I had thoughtfully written over the years to express my thankfulness, my love, my respect for who she was and what she did for me.

And this year, she's not here to smile that big smile as I present her with those things. It's been 8 months since I've seen that smile, or heard her voice or felt her motherly loving touch. I've missed the advice that only a maternal grandmother can give a new mommy who doesn't know what to do with a two year old and a three year old. Who needs a safe place to share her insecurities about being a pastor's wife and journeying on new adventures like I am during this season of my life.

The roller coaster car is plummeting down, down, down, and yet...God is there. Comforting me, collecting my tears, and cheering me on. Reassuring me that my efforts as a daughter were not in vain. Telling me He's proud of me at how I've pressed into Him during this time of grieving and that my mommy is in His hands.

The thing about a roller coaster is that usually there's one big up and one big down, then lots of twists and turns...things that don't make your stomach drop quite as much and leave you with an overall pleasant experience (if you like roller coasters, that is).

The rest of the small ups and downs include:

Rejoicing with my sister-in-law as she celebrates her first Mother's Day with an actual baby in her arms. After years of battling infertility and many Mother's Days spent sitting in church with hot tears probably rolling down her cheeks as the pastor asked mothers to stand and be honored, wondering if she would ever get a chance to have that wonderful experience, my nephew, Channing, is an Ephesians 3:20 kind of blessing (more that she could ask or think of!) He's charming and adorable and chunky-licious and has a twinkle in his bright blue eyes that tells of the brilliance going on in his brain. God's got such great plans for that little boy, and I know that He's using Pepper mightily to form Channing's worldview in a radically different way than she was taught growing up.

A little climb...

Missing my grandmother who lives far away and wishing that life were not so crazy right now so I could spend time by her side enjoying her company and watching her as she basks in the glory of her great grands...

A slight descent...

Thoughts of miscarried babies who are now in the arms of Jesus, their Grammy by their side...

Twists and turns...

Excitement at the thought of the future baby Berrys God will one day add to our family, in His perfect timing...

With each hill and valley, twist and turn, God reaches out, steadying me and reminding me that I'm securely fastened in His love. He is here this Mother's Day, riding this roller coaster right next to me. And eventually, Mother's Day will have come and gone. I will have exited this roller coaster for this season, and more than likely, will have a fond overview of my experience.