I love reading posts by prospective or new adoptive parents; the sense of excitement and almost reverence as they finally get to hold the child they’ve been dreaming of and striving so hard for. I remember it well. However, it’s so easy to lose that sense of wonder as the years pass and we get caught up in the reality of day to day life. It is heart wrenching to see later posts, filled with the pain and exhaustion of caring for a child who has experienced trauma in their early years. But even without exceptional challenges like these, it can be easy to take this gift of motherhood for granted and lose the joy and sparkle within it.
I read a post on Instagram recently from a new adoptive mum. She was filled with awe and thankfulness as she stepped into a world which until recently she had thought might forever be denied to her; the world of motherhood. Her joy was contagious.
Each of our children were much longed for,and were battled for in prayer and I do wonder if this is partly the reason why I have so greatly enjoyed and savoured motherhood. I longed for it, but didn’t necessarily take for granted that it would happen. However, as the years pass, even I have often become overwhelmed with the challenges, the juggling and the weariness and often the joy seems deeply submerged under piles of laundry and endless to do lists.
I know I’m not the only one who has found these last two years especially draining. Finding energy and creativity to meet the day to day hurdles has often sapped my natural joy. The future remains uncertain, yet one of the most frequent commands in the letters written to the early Christian Church was “Be joyful!”. This was during a time of persecution.
Another reason I can find it hard to let my natural exuberance spring forth is that I know there is so much pain and suffering around me, both near and far. It seems insensitive to be happy when others are going through such darkness. And yet this is the backdrop to the Biblical command to be joyful.
And yet, as the world gradually awakens form it’s long winter slumber, as I enjoy the exultant birdsong, feel the earth between my fingers while I plant out tiny seeds, see the fresh green of the newly unfurled leaves, I have a sense of hope and joy which cannot be contained by a messy house and meals to cook.
Our lives are far from perfect, and as our kids get older there are greater challenges and seem to be more knocks. However, this season of motherhood when all our children are living at home is such a precious one. I feel we’ve been gifted with having the boys at home for a couple of extra years and I want to make the most of it!
Every morning, as I open up the chickens I pray
“The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)
So, I will rejoice in the small as well as the big things. I will savour the smiles and cuddles and share the jokes and laughter. I am greatly blessed to have these deep connections with our children and we will celebrate them!