Most male scholars of Holy Writ and ancient tongues will affirm Genesis 3:16 “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” to doubtless refer to the actual process of delivering a child. Now, having experienced that miraculous occasion more than once, yes….it is most certainly painful.

But as a mother, I happen to suspect that Genesis 3 suggests a more obtuse meaning than just those few hours in the delivery room.

From nearly the moment of conception, morning sickness and all, to the day a mother passes into eternity, bringing forth that child is a journey of trial and sorrow. There is formation and discipline, illness and safety. There are spiritual needs, salvation most of all. Every day, there is some sort of sadness. Sorrow that they are fighting, grief over illness or physical harm. Worry their characters have not formed as one would like. Day by day, a mother’s heart is stretched by a Band called Love and pierced with an Arrow called Sorrow.

Is there joy and wonder and pride and love that physically hurts (literally)?? Yes. A thousand times yes (pride and prejudice…) and that is why, despite the pain, despite the difficulty, motherhood is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.

So today as the doctor strapped little Galilea into a Pavlik harness, my heart broke just a little more. I wondered how much more my mothering soul could take. I get it. Hip dysplasia isn’t the most terrible thing. It’s reparable, short term, forgettable for the baby. But our little Gali has already been through so much. The weight of watching her restricted and frustrated, pulled those worn out strings that for 9 years have tied me to 5 very special little humans.

Sometimes I have (sinfully) felt life unfair. Wasn’t it enough to lose Damian? Did I have to also have a miscarriage, kids with allergies and asthma, a baby with intestinal atresia and now hip dysplasia on top if it all?

Others are facing much worse. Still others have dealt with far less.

Oh God, “whatever my lot, please teach me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul…” (H. Bonar) Amen.

A little side note then to all my young mother friends. Today, society has invented a near liturgy defining the ideal mother. If you don’t run your own business, if your kids aren’t decked out in organic cotton, if you don’t homeschool, if you don’t slather your kids in essential oils, if you don’t wear your baby, if your social media feed isn’t matching terracota and oatmeal….you’ve lost.

I want to tell you that if you haven’t shed tears over your sleeping child, if you fail to fill their hearts with God, if you let someone else raise your kids….only then have you lost.

Motherhood is meant to be hard. It’s meant to stretch us in the most inconceivable ways.

It’s meant most of all to bring glory to God.

1 Timothy 2:15

Motherhood 101

8 thoughts on “Motherhood 101: 2020

  1. Hermoso escrito querida Penelope.
    Los hijos son una bendición y alegran nuestras vidas, pero juntamente con ellos llegan las responsabilidades y preocupaciones hasta el último suspiro de nuestras vidas. Que ellos reciban a Cristo como su Salvador personal y sigan sus pisadas, es un logro espiritual grande, que nos da profundo gozo y tranquilidad.
    De lo demás, solo en el cielo entenderemos lo que aquí es inexplicable.
    Cuando estuve embarazada enfermé con Rubiola o Varicela, tenía 4 meses de gestación. Mi familia entró en pánico por el feto, que viniera defectuoso. Pero yo clame a mi Señor con ardor y suplicas que guardar a mi hijo de todo mal. El Señor me escuchó. Se cumplió su voluntad. Y ahora mi hijo tiene 22 años de edad y sirve al Señor con gozo y alegría.
    Gracias al Señor por cuanto todo lo que permite, obra para bien.
    Tienes mucho que enseñar a las nuevas mamás con tus propias experiencias que son únicas y valiosas para ti. El Señor te siga fortaleciendo junto con tu esposo, los siga guiando en el cuidado de sus hijos, lo han hecho excelente para la Gloria y Honra del Señor. Sigan adelante y nunca desmayes, que nos espera nuestra ciudad celestial.
    Un fuerte abrazo, con amor hermanable ♥️🙏😃👍

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    1. Muchas gracias hermana Loida por su mensaje tan bonito. Me animó escuchar sus palabras de experiencia y testimonio. Dios hace tantas maravillas en las vidas de sus hijos. Gracias por todo, le mando un fuerte abrazo y mucho amor en Cristo 💗💗

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  2. Beautifully written Penelope. It’s so hard and so beautiful.
    Lately I’ve been thinking – what I focused more on their potential for good than worrying about the potential dangers. God has a plan for each of them.

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  3. Can’t tell you how sorry we are to read that Galilea has hip dysplasia. You mentioned it is reparable. How did you realize she has it?

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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    1. Hi! Her pediatrician asked for some testing to be done because she was born premature. A specialist in orthopedics did an exam and ultrasound on monday. Thankfully her joint is in place, the issue is more than the bone itself hasn’t formed properly. The harness she wears is supposed to create enough pressure to force the bone to curve. It’s a 3-4 month process, then Lord willing it will be behind her!

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