From time to time, this 60-year-old heart wells up with the ache to mother again.
I look at my arms and there is only emptiness where 5 precious babies used to rest their sweaty little heads.
I long to smell, once again, the sweet breath of a newborn baby … so fresh from heaven.
I yearn to sing lullabies … to rock the night away … and to gaze with awe and wonder at the miniature product of the love between my husband and me.
I want to read “Pat the Bunny” one more time … and to make grilled cheese sandwiches on a snowy afternoon … and to run through the sprinkler on a summer day with little people.
I have heard it said that motherhood is the season in life where the days never end but the years fly by.
I would love some more endless summer afternoons to go to the library … and to draw with sidewalk chalk … and then to let the melting juice of purple popsicles dribble down our chins.
I would love the opportunity to bake another birthday cake … to dye Easter Eggs … and to pull an April Fools’ stunt or two.
I would love to engage in a watermelon seed spitting contest … to sing silly songs … and to memorize Bible verses with the children that I have been given to disciple and to raise for the Kingdom of God.
But my season at mothering is over.
Oh … it’s true … I am now Marmee to 6 (nearly 7!) little lives that I just can’t get enough of … but my days of hands-on mothering are gone.
Or … are they?!
Recently, the Lord has been speaking to me about my calling … about my God-given assignment in life.
I believe that there is a reason that I love mothering so much. My love of mothering was never meant to be lavished upon 5 growing children and then stopped up where no one could reach it after my miraculous and brilliant children were grown and gone.
Just because my children have left me (the nerve of those children!) does not mean that my love of mothering has left me. Just because there are no children left to love at my home address does not mean that my love of mothering should lie dormant where no one can touch it or benefit from it.
I believe that the reason that I have been given this immeasurable love for mothering is so that I could teach the next generation how to mother well.
“Older women are to encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be keepers of the home …” – Titus 2:4 & 5
My mandate from heaven is to teach the next generation of mothers how to love and how to nurture frustrating 2-year-olds.
My God-given assignment is to teach young moms how to disciple and how to train whining 4-year-olds.
The Holy Spirit has charged me with the instruction to tutor frustrated mothers how to challenge and then how to coach independent 12 year olds.
My life destiny is to encourage worn-out moms how to tenaciously love challenging teen-agers.
I am now called to mother young mothers. What a grand opportunity! What sheer joy this will be!
I have been in a health battle with breast cancer for the past 4 months. It has not been easy and it has not been pretty but God has given me courage beyond myself to bravely take on the schemes of the enemy and to fight the good fight of faith.
While in this battle, the Holy Spirit spoke to me through a precious friend and intercessor. This is what he said to me …
“Carol, I don’t mean to be too personal but let’s talk about what a woman’s breasts were designed for. They were designed to give nutrition to the next generation. A woman’s breasts were made to give a solid foundation of nutrients to those who are too young to get it for themselves.”
My friend continued …
“Carol, that’s what this battle is about. You have been called to give nutrition to the next generation of mothers. Your life, your teaching, your principles are meant to feed a starving generation of young moms who don’t know how to mother effectively. The enemy wants to stop your impact but this is what we know … what the enemy meant for evil, God will use for good.”
Sometimes it is when you are in your darkest and most barren place in life that God will speak purpose and destiny to wrinkled hearts and to worn-down enthusiasm. It is what God has done for me in these empty nest years that have been threatened with a cancer diagnosis. He has reminded me that He is a God of purpose and that His plans do not come with expiration dates attached.
He has reminded me that He placed desires and design in my heart and that He will not waste one day of who I am if I am willing to partner with Him.
And so … my heart is beating with passion and with determination … My heart beats with a passion to train mothers that their words matter … they matter very, very much. What you choose to say to a baby … to a 3-year-old … to a 7-year-old … to a 14-year-old … has the power to shape their destiny in life like little else does.
My mind is racing with ideas and a strategy how to teach young mothers that what they choose to do with their time during these early years of mothering matters … it matters very much. Love to a child truly is spelled “T-I-M-E” … so it is vitally important to spend as much time as possible with the little ones under your care.
And my soul is longing to remind inexperienced, scared mothers that you don’t spoil a baby by holding … by rocking … by snuggling … or by singing. Babies come into the world with one need only … the need to be loved. Babies only have one desire beyond food and dry diapers … the desire to be cared for and cared about by those to whom they have been given.
If you are struggling with your destiny today … I pray that you would take some time away to listen to the One Who made you just the way you are. Ask Him to reveal to you how He will use you at this season in your life.
And … if you are a young mom … stay tuned … because I have only just begun to leave a deposit of the enduring and beautiful legacy that is known as “motherhood” with all of you.