I don’t often turn my heart inside out on my weblog, but others have handled this topic so well theologically that I have nothing to add in that corner. So here’s my two cents.
I say my dream is to become a published author, and it is. If you get to know me better, you might uncover other things I daydream about, too. But the dream that burrows deepest, the dream for which I would sacrifice all the others, is the dream of being a wife and mother.
Yes, a mother.
When people find out that I want to be the mother of as many children as the LORD sees fit to give me, I get all kinds of surprised reactions.
“Whew, girl, you sure you know what you’re asking for?” Well, I’ve had the privilege of baby-sitting six–how shall I say?–highly energetic kids. Believe me, I’ve seen some chaos.
“You’re a brave girl.” Their sky-high eyebrows translate brave into crazy.
“Oh, that’s . . . interesting.” I can tell by their face that they want to say, “But don’t you have any other, bigger plans?”
Well, no, I can dream of nothing grander than the position of wife, mother, and teacher of my children.
Nothing grander than “losing my figure” to bring a new life into this world.
Nothing grander that wearing shadows under my eyes and a mouth that constantly yawns because my baby thinks nighttime is playtime.
Nothing grander than tripping over toys that we didn’t have time to put away yesterday.
Nothing grander than endless kitchen cleanup and endless loads of laundry.
Nothing grander than losing sleep to tend a child who has caught the latest “stomach bug” going around. (Yes, I’ve already done this once, so I have a touch of experience with the reality of it.)
Nothing grander than pulling my hair out trying to teach my first-grader to read.
Nothing grander than old cars and ancient furniture, if necessary, so I can afford curricula for my children’s home education.
Nothing grander that squeezing ten kids into a three-bedroom house. (If I get that many. Whenever I say “as many children as the LORD gives me,” people automatically assume around twelve or fifteen. But my own mother had only three children when she would have gladly had more.)
Nothing grander than hearing “Mommy” a thousand times a day.
Nothing grander than leading souls from birth toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nothing grander than bedtime prayers, silly songs on car rides, and hugs and kisses just because.
Nothing grander than shaping upright citizens for this country.
Nothing grander than fretting and praying and praying some more as I try to guide young lives to their full potential for their Creator.
Nothing grander than growing wrinkled and gray-haired as I pour myself out for these lives the LORD might give me.
No, I can’t imagine anything grander.
Of course, I can’t chase this dream the way I would normally chase a dream because a girl needs to wed before she becomes a mother. And a girl who goes around chasing a husband isn’t particularly likely to get the kind of marriage she wants. So I wait and pursue other dreams, trying to follow my Lord in my everyday life now.
Maybe you dream of becoming the kind of politician that will help turn this country around. (Heaven knows we need it.) Or finding an out-and-out cure for, say, malaria. (The whole world would find that useful.) Or being part of the manned mission to Mars. (Maybe you can finally convince evolutionists that they’ll not find extra-terrestrial life. Maybe.)
I’m not criticizing your dream.
I’m saying that, honest-truly, motherhood is my loftiest dream. And that should be okay. After all, God sent His Son not as a full-grown Man, but as a Child. In the care of a mother. He wanted Jesus to grow up the way all people do, starting as a single cell in the womb of a mother.
So the next time a girl, little or not-so-little, dares to admit that she wants to be a mother, don’t belittle her. Don’t mock her dream because it doesn’t hold the same value to you. The world does need good mothers, after all.
And I will do my best to smile at others’ consternation when they discover I want to be “merely” a mother.