This months Warrior Mom is a long time Mom Blogger friend “Pearls and Grace” who we have followed for years. Her story of redemption, love and loss touched our hearts. We look forward to her next Pearl Event this month in Nashville!
I wish I had a long list of credentials and titles and awards to share with you but the reality is that I don’t have any. Unless you want to count that time I was one of the top ten finalists in the county beauty pageant. But even then, no crown. I’m convinced I lost because two other contestants showed up in the same white Gunne Sax dress I was wearing, straight out of Seventeen Magazine, mind you. They eliminated all three of us, most likely due to lack of originality. This was about the extent of my worldly accomplishments! I do bear the marks and wear and tear of an overcomer and I am so grateful for all that God has helped me survive in life. He also called me into motherhood at the tender age of 18 years old. Motherhood is all I’ve ever really known. I was a single mama for 10 years and then married a wonderful man 16 years ago who shared the same goal in life that I had secretly held captive in my heart for nearly a decade. To raise a big family together.
By His unimaginable mercy and grace, I have seven gifts. Three daughters, ages 26, 13 and 8 and four sons, ages 10, 7, 5 and 20 months. I am very passionate about each one of them and consider mothering them a tremendous honor. The lists are long about what makes each one unique but I would say that one of the most important jobs I have as their mom is to help them see their own uniqueness and to celebrate it. To point out their good qualities and to pull out their gifts and talents. To be a constant source of encouragement for them. To teach them that their foundation must be rooted and grounded in Christ.
Since I’ve been mothering for 26 years, I have definitely seen my share of challenges.
I have walked through the unthinkable and the unimaginable. Sorrow and sadness and despair so deep that it cuts like a knife and hurts to breathe. Untold loss in life, the pain of three miscarriages and standing with my husband as he walked through cancer and the aftermath, are some of the hardest things. My husband and I have also each been abandoned and rejected by every birth parent, adopted parent, step-parent, grandparent and in-law, at one time or another and for many years, at the same time. I’m not sure I can properly put into words what that does to a person, how it unravels you from the inside out until there isn’t a shred of you left. And there isn’t anything that stirs up the Mother wound and the Father wound, like having children of your very own. But God. My two favorite words in the bible. Those powerful words would prove truer than true as we experienced how He would hover over our chaos in life and was relentless in His pursuit of us- to teach us and heal us and show us that He alone is our one, true Father. Grateful me.
I can’t highlight one specific lowest point because there have been so many incredibly painful and unfair low points that I wouldn’t know where to begin and where to end. Sometimes I cannot believe that I am still standing. By His grace. But I know that I know that I know that there is purpose in my pain. That what the enemy meant to harm me, God will use for my good and His glory. The only way that I have survived any of the suffering is by absolutely refusing to give up and by clinging to Him. I have been nourished in the faith. Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise. I have clung to Him and His word and His truth when I physically could not stand, when there was no one and nothing to help me.
I think motherhood is challenging whether you have one child or ten children. Because it requires an unending stream of pouring out and sowing and serving and teaching. Motherhood is full time ministry and a beautiful fire. It refines you. Challenges you. Humbles you. Changes you for the better. If you want to know what you are made of, you will find out quickly in the raising of children. I have made my share of mistakes and definitely fallen short many times. But motherhood will not allow us to stay the same. It is a relentless pursuit of trying to get it right. We are always learning and growing. I don’t have any friends who have seven children, so there is definitely not support or encouragement in that regard and there is also a big feeling of isolation. But I am an encourager, so I have learned how to be a good listener and encourage other moms in different stages of Motherhood and I truly love that.
Their enthusiasm about anything you do. The tiny puffs of air on your neck when you are rocking them to sleep. The peanut butter scented kisses. The sound of their voices. The stampede of feet that greet me at the door every time I walk in the house. Encouraging them. Braiding and brushing their hair. The loads of pink laundry. The loads of blue laundry. Cooking and baking together. Dance parties in the kitchen. The sound of their laughter. Singing together. The white noise of dishes clanking because we are eating a meal together, one more time, one more day, together. R2D2 floating in my coffee cup. Hot Wheels in my shower. Dinosaurs and Barbies in my bathtub. Seeing the fruit of your labor in the way that they love others and one another. Reading together. Praying together. Teaching them in one way or another the truth of God’s word. Watching their faces light up every time you tell them how amazing and incredible they are. Getting to be a force of love to be reckoned with! Love never fails…
Because God specializes in using the least of these, He called me to partner with Him in 2009 to create a ministry of outreach and reconciliation for overcomers through an annual Christian women’s conference called, The Pearl Event. Our next conference is coming up on April 30, 2016 in Nashville, TN.
I am also incredibly grateful to travel and speak at churches and conferences to teach and encourage women with stories of overcoming and the power and truth of God’s word.
More info can be found on these websites.