Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.
I woke up this morning to my darling men bringing me breakfast in bed: an array of gluten free cupcakes, strawberries, a box of Shari’s Berries, coffee and cards. Their beaming faces and ardent demands that I share my cupcakes with them brings tears to my eyes as I remember my first Mother’s day . . .
No one knows what to do with a childless mother on Mother’s Day. And yet, these mothers are everywhere. On my first Mother’s day, I woke to a quiet house, instead of to the crying of a newborn. I donned the hot pink dress I wore to Caleb’s funeral only weeks before, and we went to brunch to toast our sweet boy. We were grateful to sit in the bar where there were no children; I couldn’t bear to see mothers with their children that day. We then left brunch, unfettered by the baby car seat that now sat empty or a diaper bag or feeding schedules. WE took a book of fairy tales to the cemetery, I sat down at my child’s grave and read him Peter Pan . . .
My biggest challenge in life thus far has been surviving the loss of my son. Nothing can rival the hole his absence represents. The daily challenges of caring for my living children are sometimes overwhelming, but there is always a nap time or bedtime around the corner. There is relief from the terrible two’s and sleepless nights. There is no relief for empty arms and a grieving heart. That time between Caleb dying and Abraham being born was the most awkward grief of my life. I was a mother, just like the mother holding her child next to me in the grocery store or at church. I had suffered and given and loved . . . and yet, in this world, a mother is defined by her living children. Mothers of dead children are overlooked, forgotten. Mothers who beg for children and cannot have them are passed over.
But I truly hold to the belief that God loves reversals. He sees our hearts, my friends. He grieves with us. After all, His own mother grieved Him. One of the last things He did before He died was make sure she would be cared for. This God who made us to be mothers, heart, soul, mind, and body, is also the God who can take what you think is hopeless and lost and turn it into a dream come true.
I love this Psalm I chose for today because it is hard to praise God with empty arms. But I believe that the more in need we are, the more we need worship. I pinned a quote from pinterest:
And I know that I can’t tell you how it’s all going to turn out. I don’t know if you’ll have a dozen children, adopt some, marry somebody with a ready-set family, or mentor and mother those who need a mother’s heart to love them. But I know something: He settles the childless woman. He settles her–not in a tomb or a mediocre marriage–but in a happy home with children. Take care my friend, He is coming for you . . .
God bless you and keep you. And gosh darn it, have a Mimosa and toast your Motherhood, babies or not!
P.S. If you have lost a baby and would love an opportunity to publicly acknowledge your child, the TEARS Foundation is holding their annual “Rock & Walk” in Tacoma, Washington on June 15th. The deadline is May 14th, so check out the link I provided. We cherish the picture of all of our family and friends wearing a shirt with Caleb’s name on it! This events provides so much healing and an opportunity to meet other grieving families. If you don’t live in Washington, there are walks all over the country that might be close to you that are on the TEARS website.