From Autumn: Growing up in foster care meant that there were a lot of children, of all ages, at one time in our home. We mostly had girls including my two biological sisters. I got along with everyone except for the crying babies. I didn’t understand why they did that... cry for no reason sometimes. I would sing, pat on the back, and try to rock them to sleep, but the crying still prevailed.
I remember hiding in my closet or under a bed so that it wouldn’t be my turn to care for them. My younger sister "loved the babies" and they loved her back. I did not understand why I could not get them settled as quickly as she could. Whether it was spoon feeding, rocking a baby to sleep, giving a breathing treatment, or changing a baby, nurturing just didn’t come naturally for me.
Despite the agony of the baby cries, God put the desire in my heart to be a mother from the very beginning. I can pinpoint the day God breathed life into my motherhood. It came after a beautiful cry of my firstborn big brown eyed girl. Instinctively, I knew she was hungry. Thankfully, she latched on right away and the liquid gold began to soothe her... for the first hour at least. Feeding came instinctively, but other things took practice, learning, and researching! Who knew children could wake up with red dots and all of a sudden you are diagnosing them with something because of doctor Google and it ends up being a mosquito bite! Try explaining that doctor bill to your husband.
No one said motherhood was easy. Now, if it is snuggling, giving medicine to a sick child, reading a story book, watching a movie, praying over, singing to, wiping a bottom, cleaning a mess, babysitting any chance I can get, or just listening to ALLLL of their little cries; I cherish those moments. At this point I can nurture a dog and my heart gets happy.
I think back to those times of hiding under the bed and wishing my name wouldn’t get called. If my name were called I knew I better get there quick to help. God was preparing me then for one my greatest callings- Motherhood. I looked up the definition for nurture- care for and encourage the growth or development of. Another way puts it “To bring up." Isn’t this who and what our heavenly Father does for us daily? Looking at I Peter 5:7 The word says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." I am replacing that word anxiety to CRIES. He cares for and wants us to cast them all to Him.
What motherhood means to me is that I am caring for, nurturing, discipling and training up children for God's Kingdom. I wouldn’t be the mom I am today if it weren’t for the times things didn't come so naturally. I also have to honor these examples in my life: God, who has faithfully attended to my every cry, my birth mother who took me to the library for hours and taught me about Jesus for the first time, my foster mom who later becomes my adopted mom who diligently trained me up, my sister who was a single mom leading and providing for her family, and the women who know exactly who they are who have supported my family and stepped in as a mentor and graced me with wisdom when I needed it.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Did motherhood come naturally for you or has it been somewhat like my journey of hiding under a bed so to speak?
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Valerie Harper