This weekend is Mother's Day and my wife is speaking at church. I love when she gets to stand in front of our body and bear her soul and share her story. She has so much to say and so much wisdom to offer. She's a good woman...an amazing wife...but she's a great mom.
Here's what makes her great...
She lets the kids affect her. She gets a pit in her stomach for them and with them. When they are feeling something, she is feeling it with sympathy pains as well.
She does whatever she can to support each our children's ambitions. If it is soccer, she paves the way. If it is cello, she gets the rental. If it is superheroes, she buys the cape (on consignment). If it is some hobby, she gets the ingredients. She literally lives to make their dreams come true if at all possible.
She cleans up after every. single. one. of. our. children. & ME. It's daily. I watch her slave away in the shadows as the kids carry on thanklessly creating a perpetual mess. She will tell them what she's doing for them...about 10% of the time. The other 90% is done because it needs to be...no credit, no thanks, no second-thought.
She continually follows behind them and makes sure the things that they forget are taken care of. If they forget their lunch...she brings it to school. If they forget a piece of homework, she takes it to the office. If they forget they had a project due tomorrow, she gets what they need and basically does it with (for) them. If they forget their uniform, she makes the extra run to the field to bring it to them, if they forget their tampons, water bottles, money for whatever, breath mints, change of clothes, putting gas in the car, candy for the movies....she is there to fill the gap with grace. It's not that she doesn't admonish them and challenge their memory lapses...but she is always the safety net...the security blanket.
She makes sure we have food in the cupboards and clothes in our closets. She even thinks ahead of time when she's washing clothes making sure she washes the ones needed first...it's like "clothes triage". It's crazy. Before we think about what we need, she already knows and has 'taken care of it'.
She constantly is asking the girls about their day, their conversations, their friendships, their feelings, their reactions, their hurt, their joys, their plans, their disappointments. She always follows up on things that they are doing or people they are hanging out with. She is the hound of their heart. They tell her everything and will sit up on their beds and share the most recent drama that's occurring at school and with their peers. They share their crushes and she doesn't crush the conversation (like me). She sits in their stories entering into their perceptions and perspectives with compassion. She relates to them.
She makes a big deal of big days in our kids lives. I struggle to care about holidays and birthdays in the sense that I try to create an opportunity to celebrate or commemorate what the day represents. She makes much of these moments...and our kids love it. If the boys have a "crazy sock day" or a "dress like your favorite superhero day"...she's on it like stink on a monkey. She is sowing outfits the night before or browsing Pinterest for ideas of how to make something cheap that feels meaningful. It's nuts! She goes out of her way to make our children feel special. That's what she lives for.
She is always keeping the girls accountable. She is asking them tough questions and disciplining them when they are caught in a compromise of morals. She demands honesty above all and says over and over again, "you can admit any mistake, but don't lie to me. That is the worst thing you could ever do in our relationship." I think the girls get it...now we'll see if the boys come along in time. It's powerful to watch how consistently demanding responsibility and accountability demonstrates that you actually really care about the other person. If you didn't care, you would let things go...but she cares and our kids feel it. She doesn't take the easy route...she is always putting herself in harm's way to protect their hearts.
She is human. She doesn't pretend to have it all together. She makes mistakes, admits them, and apologizes. She is constantly asking, "Should I have reacted like that?" "Am I making a bigger deal out of that than it is?" "Was I wrong for saying that?" She is wanting feedback and will admit failure if it's justified. I'll say it like this...she's not afraid to be wrong. She doesn't like to be, but she's not afraid to be. She snaps sometimes and yells and melts down like we all do, but she is quick to realize how her actions might have hurt someone and makes amends by asking forgiveness. This honesty is a foundation and fortress for our kids...they don't think they have to be perfect because their mom doesn't pretend to be or expect them to be. She keeps it real. I love her for this.
She has a tender heart. She cries in front of the kids when something affects her. She will cry about her extended family and something they are going through, she will cry about how she's feeling about something she is facing, she will cry about something that touches her heart in the world. She is moved by life and that is a great example to our kids that it's ok to let life matter enough to you and people to matter enough to you that you let them get to you in the deep places. You shed the shell of composure and risk the exposure of your vulnerable heart. I love that she lets our kids see her soft side and will cry for our kids and with them when it hits her. What a gift to them...she's a gift to them.
I could go on and on...
More than anything...she stays committed to Jesus in every season, good or bad. She is always reading books that are laying out on the bed or the sofa that are challenging her faith. Our home is filled with spiritual reminders that there is a presence in our house beyond the 7 of us that physically live there. There is an 8th party that we call the Holy Spirit that resides and presides in our house. He is the one we are trying to honor, please, and glorify. He is the one we are trying to follow and emulate. He is the one who we default to when we have lost our way and He is the one we go with when our feelings are all over the map. She lives with creeds that form the core of our home and our kids notice this and know this about her. She is a woman of honor above all.
So today I thought I'd take a moment to honor her on this Mother's Day. She is as special as she makes everyone else feel. I love you, Babe.