He gazes at me but says nothing.
I look at his hair and giggle aloud.
"Alex - you have a Cheerio stuck to your head..." I pick it out of his bangs. He explodes into giddy, uncontrollable laughter and I fall into him. Fall into this moment, this blip that I'll never get back.
"Mama," he whispers close.
"I gotta tell you somethin'"
"I wanna kiss you."
I melt and lean in to this sweet boy I get to call mine.
He leans in too and licks me full out. A big spit puddle right on my cheek. Then he laughs a great big belly laugh and scurries away and back to bed. I shake me head. Boys.
Earlier in the day I read about another Mama getting her book deal and another Mama with a huge ministry and yet another Mama with an enormous purpose-filled organization behind her name. These Mamas, now they're really doing something.
And sometimes, I squeak out the 'when me?' from deep within. Some part of me feels I'm missing out. After all, most of the time, I'm just Mama.
Just a simple Mama in this simple little house doing simple, quiet things.
It's amazing though, when you welcome Him in, how quickly the Lord can speak truth where a lie wants to haunt. I hear the Spirit almost immediately when I question my calling. Quietly He whispers: "Hush, child. You are in the midst of my highest call for your life..."
I gaze around the room. Scattered toys, art supplies, Math books open, peeled veggies on the counter, three little ones. I bend low and wrap my daughter in Mama arms.
"I love you," I whisper it into her crazy curls. "I'm so glad, so blessed to be your Mama."
She gazes up at me; safe, sleepy.
"Mama," her voice is so little, so sweet. "When I grow up, can I still come to your house?"
I well up as I smile.
"Oh baby, of course. Any time you want. Always. We're best friends - remember?"
She melts into me, satisfied.
This is Tuesday 'schooling'. It's the education of this Mama and God's the Master teacher - showing me what I have been called to. Right here. Right in these arms.
Book deals? Bah. I'm not really a writer.
Big projects? Maybe. If God wills it and in His timing.
Big missions? Yes. Right here in this kitchen.
Yes, they are wide-eyed and open-eared and looking to me for life's direction and purpose. To me? Faith. Eternity's message. Little, precious souls, in my hands.
And I seek a higher calling?
(Forgive me, Father.)
I whisper these words to you and to my own spirit, broken and imperfect. This is my love note to every Mama who sits with little ones and pours into them on days like today:
Go out into all the world? Yes, of course, but start in your own living room. Especially there. Shake off the lies that what you do as a Mama isn't enough. That you're missing something, or that you've been slighted in some way.
Lies are poison. Truth will free you.
Mama - you have been set apart. Appointed for such a 'time as this' for your very children. Hand-picked one for the other for God's glory and in His love. What Amazing Grace! Yes, you were chosen as the life-giver and mercy pourer and the crazy agape lover of your child's soul. To show tenderness and authenticity so they can grow to trust and know that you're for real. And so is this Jesus you serve.
So they'll see truth and long to serve Him too.
So they'll be willing to lose life to find it. So they will know Mama did everything she could to nurture and grow with them in divine purpose. So they will grow up and know you did everything you were called to and all in God's grace and by His strength.
"Mama" is not little or insignificant, friends.
"Mama" is enough.
Bow low in reverence for the calling over your life. Don't rush it, resent it, or try to act like it doesn't matter. Mama, you are called to a Holy and deeply valuable mission.
Stop. Look around you. Crouch and hold that child who plays quietly. Count gifts. Every day, count those gifts. Seek the beauty and grab hold of it. This brings joy - trust me, I know. I've lived the grumble and I've lived the crazy, wildly happy.
Treat every, "Mama?" as an opportunity to love and lead. To create a tender memory. Don't hold back the "I love you like CRAZY cakes", and the "I'm so proud of you". Watch as miracles unfold and multiply right in your sun room. In our home, boys who would never hug are now gushing with "Love you Mama," and long, tender gazes. (This is grace too...)
When you bow lower and listen and obey, Motherhood can be Holy. Fold laundry to the glory of God. Walk in nature and rejoice and point out the beauty, bask in it.
Snuggle close and whisper sweet nothings and read that book one more time.
Reject the lie that you need a 'status'.
When the "Oh, so, what do you do?" question makes you cringe, shake it off. Stand tall. What you 'do' is sacred work, Mama.
Gaze around at those precious sticky faces, the messes everywhere, the books, the piles, the craziness of life and give thanks. It is all God's grace. And in the midst of the everyday ordinary the Creator of the Universe is writing you love notes and whispering, "This, this is for you."
Breathe it in. Drink it up. Gaze wide-eyed before it fades. Embrace the season you are in and stand firm and secure that when you are hand in hand with your children, you are right where you should be.
Mama, you are blessed.
You are enough.
Big hugs to you right where you are, friend...