I glance on Facebook and see that today is International Women’s Day.  As I recently read I am Malala to my 5 year old daughter (and she was enthralled and couldn’t “put it down”) and am reading about Christine Caine’s organization A21, which is an anti-human trafficking organization, this day holds greater weight. Being a woman around the world poses discussion far beyond the challenges of fertility, mothering, “me-too”, and the intricacies of being daughter, sister, friend.     So here I pause for a moment to acknowledge everywoman and her story, spoken or silent.

A woman cannot deny that her body was designed to bear children.  She was created with a womb and her monthly cycle reminds her of this.  She may choose not to have children, she may struggle with barrenness, she may become pregnant when she didn’t want to be.  But she cannot deny her physiology.  It shapes her.
In this vein, mothering has shaped me.  I always wanted to be a mother, not that I profoundly loved dolls or babies (in fact, to this day, I’m not particularly fond of holding babies); but I desired to be mom.  I was awakened to the reality that motherhood is wrought with “intense pain and suffering” (Genesis 3:16) when I miscarried my first pregnancy.  Subsequently, I realized mothering does not go as “planned” when I (finally) became pregnant with my second child only to surprisingly find out I was being blessed with an extra baby: twins.  Mothering twins is an arduous endeavor.
In my recent challenges of facing brain cancer, reading the bible and spending time in prayer has become an absolute life-line for me.  It was in a recent time of prayer that I became aware that my role as a mother is more profound than I realized.  It matters greatly.
As I realize my primary role in mothering —- this happened: my love for my children is bursting out of me.  Our pastor recently spoke on “where your focus is your feelings will follow.”  As I focus on my children more, my feelings overflow!  And below I catalogue the result.
A prayer for my children
My children I truly pray and believe that you will change your worlds; however, I also realize how greatly you already have.  You shape me and help loosen out the junk in my life.  You compel me to equip myself well to be your mom.  In the process I am better able to make a positive impact in our family, our neighborhood, our city.  Children my prayer is that you’ll always remember your God-given ability to change your world!
The Gift  
Exhausted, these hands are full.
I am weary and oh so worn.
I am broken.
I feel my inadequacies. 
They penetrate: the everything I try to accomplish
                        : the everything I try to be.
And I am not enough. Not even close.
These blessings I hold are more than I could have imagined
And so often, more than I can handle.
I am humbled that I’ve been chosen.
Chosen to mother.
When you were conceived I did not understand what lay ahead.
My children have become great teachers in my life.
Non-stop relentless
Frustrating, precipitating anger I didn’t know could exist in my bones.
My flaws are magnified, amplified for clear view.
Dear God:
Oh Maker of my children, Maker of me
I thank you.
For the beauty I hold in my arms.
Blessings abound and flood over me.
These children
My gift to shape and raise
(Oh God grant me wisdom!)
And give these children eyes to see your beauty
And lips to proclaim your blessings,
Wisdom to understand how to use the gifts and talent you have granted them.
God replies:
I turn everything to good.
I am the great Creator.
Look at these children bringing LIFE into your home!
Look at this life journey and the treasures you’ve uncovered.
I bring LIFE
I bring LIFE
Ephesians 6:10  “Be strong with the LORD’S Mighty Power.
Children, this life will batter you sooner or later, so always remember where your strength comes from: God’s mighty power!
My children shape me tremendously.  I learn from them as they require me to sharpen myself as a mother, as I see my stark inadequacies and try to remedy them.  I learn from them as they teach me to believe, to love, to have courage, to be passionate and to find tenderness.  I learn from them continuously.  They reflect my own self back to me and I see strengths and I see weaknesses.  I see humanity.
I hold my tender 2 year old daughter and stroke her cheek and look at her precious small toes.  I am overcome by belief in my Almighty God; my children are a testament to me of our great Creator.  These 3 children knit in my womb, flesh of my flesh.  And there’s something about 2 year olds: they are no longer babies, they’ve become these precious miniature, but full of life, humans.  Humans with rage and delightful sweetness entertwined, cute as can be and exhausting as all get out.  The miracle of life overwhelms me.  This little life I hold in my arms is already passionately beautiful.  She came from me with perfect little toes, so lovely.  Life breathed into her by God Himself.  And I am blessed beyond measure to witness this miracle in my home.
Oh how my God is so good.
Thank you Allison for teaching me passion and tenderness.  Thank you Rayna for teaching me kindness and generosity.  Thank you Garrett for teaching me diligence and light-heartedness.  Thank you children for opening my world to greater love.  I love you all more than I can possibly describe and in ever-increasing measure.