Meaning

Ponderings have been simmering for me.
Time awake in the silent night, rocking, rocking, soothing, nursing, rocking for hours,
it yields much time for thought,
and my writer self has been mulling
seeking to ravel the truth thread
stringing memories and journey and struggle and growth
to find meaning.

prayers-2See,
I grew up with a stay at home momma;
she dedicated her existence to the careful nurturing of her children.
Our early days were spent raising chicks, baking bread, learning to sing, play piano, guitar, hours and hours of reading chapter upon chapters of classics in a painted blue treehouse we helped build,
her life was devoted to, her sole mission was solidifying the foundation of our hearts.
My plan from a very young age was to follow this way,
I longed and planned from childhood to stay home with my babies.
Thus, five years ago, when my own mothering days came to fruition, like many a woman, although my dreams of mommying were fulfilled, I found myself deeply torn about where my days would be spent.
I believe whole heartedly that mothering is an all-encompasssing life mission, and yet, for many, many reasons, including our budget, I found myself returning to a full-time job outside the home.

Thankfully, it was one I loved- surrounded by caring coworkers, inspiring leadership, a role I felt called to, a sense of belonging; I truly felt a conviction that I was using my passions for the best-
and so, I was teacher by day, mama by night.prayers-4
And yet,
the return, the leaving, it wasn’t without struggle.  It wasn’t without hurting.
Despite all these wonderful things,
my heart was left diapered up back at home.prayers-3
Packing up the diaper bag, the bottles, the routine of a 7:00am drop off, hurrying back at 4:30pm and tucking our baby girl in bed by 6pm, the mothering hours were short each day.prayers-5
Early on in my struggle with this reality, I drew a parallel, felt a connection with another young mother, thousands of years ago.
She who also packed up her baby,
tucked swaddled blankets into crevices of a basket, examining, readjusting, carefully cushioning him,  tenderly brushing trembling fingers across his cheek, tracing his features, memorizing his beauty, murmuring prayers of hope through salty, stinging tears,
trusting her Lord to make meaning of a life
though threatened, though seemingly abandoned.prayers-6
What faith,
despite her longing,

despite her fear,

what faith it took to choose what was best over what was good,

to trust Who knows all.prayers-7
 And so finding strength in the promise of this parallel, I would drive in the dark,
earrings dangling, mascara running
daily dedicating my own Moses-baby,
and I would sing to her
my sweet Ellie girl,
Ellie meaning light,
“This little light of mine”
and slowly it became a prayer,
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let her shine…”prayers-8Many a morning when all I wanted to do was stay home with her snotty little nose, delight in sloppy kisses, cuddle aching gums, relish first steps,
simply managing the melody would be the extent of my plea,
“Let her shine, Lord,
despite my longing to keep her safe,
You are her protector
Let her shine, Lord,
though I yearn to hold, tend, to care,
You are her provider.prayers-9For a brand new mother, this routine began to shed new light on my mommy role,
my mother calling.
Not just to birth and hold,
but in love
let go.

To trust that there was meaning in the redirection of my plan.prayers-12So then there was  Tristan 
whose name is full of knighted legends,
holding meaning of battle and noise
he became part of our story,
part of the packing, the kissing, the drop-off
the journey
and once again,
I would sing the meaning of his name to him on our daily drive,
“I’m in the Lord’s army…”
Tristan, you’re in the Lord’s army.
Make him strong, Lord, strong in your might alone.
Ephesians 6:10And as sand grain years began to trickle a bit quicker,
toddlerhood and the struggle, childhood and the frustration
new stages of motherhood began to set in,
a new career path, a new routine, or lack thereof
and once again I found myself,
I find myself daily
surrendering what I thought would be
in exchange for
what is.
A woman may plan her way, but the Lord directs her steps.
Proverbs 16:9.
So totally type A,
each planned day of mothering, I find myself redirected each moment.prayers-13Then there was Judah,
meaning praise
the boy we bless the Lord for
the man we pray praises the Lord
May he bless the Lord at all times, may his praise be always on his lips.
Psalm 31:1And now Lucy,
another name meaning light
I love that she and her sister share this meaning,
this mission.
Let her light shine so that men may see her good works and glorify you.
Matthew 5:16Yes,
it’s been through the tears and the prayers and the failures and the triumphs, that my own personal mothering mission has been solidified.

Through the journey,
because of the journey,
through the painful frustrations,
because of the long days,
He’s directed my path,
and
I’ve come to the realization
in my few beginning years of being mommy
that the meaning of motherhood has little to do with where our daily footsteps land,
because little feet follow our heart.

And regardless of our stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-from-home or full-time, part-time, all-time
identity,
we are loved by a God
who works all things for good
and is the Establisher
prayers-11
of all lasting meaning.

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