I dare not claim to be a beautiful mother . . . at least not 100%. Unless, of course, to be fully beautiful also includes imperfection, insanity, and irritability.
I have old blog posts printed for my review. I still plan to assemble them, compile them into a book. I’d like to gift this book mainly to my mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and mother-friends. Reading through some of the posts, I realize that my stories revolve around my experiences as a mother. There are also essays on
just being a woman in process (and I have to strike out the word “just” because removing this diminutive word from my vocabulary hasn’t happened yet.
As I’ve grown deeper into my calling in this life, I’ve realized it is my call to be a Mother. Lord willing and community verifying, I’ll go to seminary and eventually become an ordained priest, a Mother in the church. I already have four children. I am and always will be a mother. In the future, my family will grow a bit, include others for whom I am not biologically responsible but spiritually accountable.
My journey continues.
This is no easy thing, this life. I know. It’s not easy to be a mother in any way, shape, or form. It’s not easy being married, being a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a friend. Oh, it could be a lot easier . . . if I didn’t care, if I thought only of myself, if I didn’t take others’ well-being into consideration. But that’s not who I am.
Perhaps that’s the most beautiful thing about mothers. They are women in community. They care and love not only others but themselves, too. They know the importance of respect and value deeply the child in everyone. Their arms are open to receive, and their eyes are quick to reach the soul and convey their own. A mother’s body has been broken in labor; if not in physical labor, her heart has surrendered at least once. A mother knows what it is to lose herself. A beautiful mother knows what it is to be resurrected by a power greater than she. This knowledge is what can carry us over the gulfs of despair, heartbreak, and anger. Wounded, scarred, and well-cushioned, we carry on, with love, with light, and with a song, whether we know it or not.
We all need a mother in our life, preferably more than one! We need someone older to love, guide, and assure us. We need someone our age to be a mirror. We need someone younger to show us how far we’ve come by telling them (and teaching them) our stories. The larger the community, the greater the net to catch us when we slip . . . unless, of course, you’re perfect.
So my book may be Beautiful Mother, dedicated to all the beautiful mothers I’ve been blessed with. It will be about the beautiful mother I am, that I hope to be. It will illustrate that being beautiful does not imply perfection but quite the opposite. It will be about me . . . and you. Yes, you.
O God, giver of life and light, may you bless us all with your creativity. Bless our lives and our works. Protect us. Guide us. Lead us to your will, that we may glorify You in all we do and in all we are. Amen.