It's the end of 2011. I'm feeling pretty good about the beginning of a new year. No, I don't believe all the hype about the world ending in 2012. That book You had a bunch of people write says that 'no one knows the day nor the hour except the Father', and that's You, so I don't listen to all the yahoos who make crazy predictions. I don't even listen to movie critics, why should I listen to end-of-the-world-shouters? Anyway, I guess I just wanted to look back on the past year one last time before starting January.
It was a pretty crummy year for me. I know, I don't have to tell You, You saw it all. But I'm not even talking about all the junk that happened TO me, or TO my family, I'm talking more about the things I've screwed up, things I'm just not proud of.
I've spent 87 months trying to have a baby. Obviously, I haven't been meant to have one, or ready to have one, or whatever, in all that time. I understand that it's not up to me, that it's up to You. I understand that You have a plan, and when and if I have a baby is Your prerogative, not mine. I've just gotten to the point of coveting, and it's my fault I've let myself get that way. I want to be able to enjoy time with my friends and family and all their adorable little ones without internally sighing that they have something I want so, SO badly I can barely breathe. I love them all so much, you know? I don't want to keep letting that love get clouded by my desperate desire to have that experience for myself.
What makes a mother, really? I have my own ideas, and I wonder if they're the same as Yours? I think a mother is someone who loves deeply and fully and unconditionally from every depth of her heart. Someone who would give her life for her children. Someone who puts her children's needs, and potential, and goals, and good above her own, regardless of what sacrifices she has to make, regardless of what dreams she has to give up. A mother is someone who takes 1 Peter 5:2-3 literally: "Tend the flock of God that is your charge not by constraint, but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock". I have three children. I don't see them as stepchildren, regardless of how they refer to me. I know I'm not their mother, I know they have a mother. But I don't feel that makes me any less of "a" mother. I love them, deeply and fully and unconditionally from every depth of my heart, I would give my life for them, and I put their needs and potential and goals and good above my own, even if it means working in a coffee shop and living in Middlebury and being taken for granted 99% of the time. I don't do it for any other reason than Love. And if I never go through the joyful experience of being able to have a child with my husband, I'm grateful that You gave me the experience of helping him get custody of them and helping him raise them into the men and woman you had in mind when you created them. I'm grateful enough just to be along for the ride.
I know that, often, I am impatient and unkind. I know I'm often demanding, and bitter, and resentful, and that I can say things in the heat of the moment that are hurtful. There's no need for me to list them all because, for one thing, it happens so often that it's impossible for me to do that and, for another, You already know. You've seen me at my worst and at my best, and even at my best I fail miserably. I want nothing more than to be able to touch people with the words You've given me, to be a spot of brightness in someone's life, anyone's life, ONE person's life even. I need to eliminate as much negativity from my persona as humanly possible, and let You do the Divinely possible through me. "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
I don't profess to be any type of guru. These thoughts on virtual paper that I toss onto the blog from time to time, they're just ideas. I sometimes feel they're unrealistic, these dreams of Forgiveness, and Generosity, and Unconditional Love. But then I remember that they MUST be realistic. You embody them all, and You're more real than anything I've ever encountered face to face. You've given me so much, so many blessings, so many abilities, so much love in my life. You've given me a husband who, though he's a flawed human being just like me, knows the true meaning of love, and marriage, and commitment, and devotion. You've given me children to raise even though I haven't given birth. You've given me a wonderful home, a wonderful family, and so many gifts I just cannot begin to count.
As awful as I felt 2011 was, I'm just thankful to be alive and grateful for another year. Thank you for all your blessings, and please help me to remember them every moment of every day.