I came to this mom business late in life. I was 37 when my son was born. I had traveled, climbed the corporate ladder, and achieved my checklist of things I set out achieve. I backed into motherhood, not reluctantly but not something I pursued. If we got pregnant, great, and if we didn’t, then we weren’t supposed to. When I found myself pregnant with my son, I was determined that he would fit into my life. I continued to work, travel, and push forward to the next goal. All my mentors and contemporaries promised me that life would change, my priorities would change. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe them, I just thought I was different. But you know what? I wasn’t…
I can picture the moment life changed like it was just yesterday. The second evening after my son was born, we sat alone in the window seat of our hospital room. The moonlight was shining in the window, and I could see the stars in the sky. Holding him in my lap, I counted his toes and his fingers, noticed he had my nose and his dad’s eyes. It was at that very moment I knew my life would forever be different. Holding him, looking at this amazing creation of God, my heart hurt with more love for this tiny person than I had ever experienced. In that moonlight, I remember promising him that we would see life together. I promised him that he would grow to be a strong man, loving God and his family, and I would always be in his corner, cheering him on every step of the way.
Being a mom was not natural for me. It has been something that has grown and changed over the years. I loved to snuggle with my baby but could never master a feeding and sleeping schedule. I completely missed the caution gene and one time let me toddle walk down the street with hedge trimmers. But in my mess, I have been blessed to have a great mom who has always been in my corner. I have always had women to mentor and challenge me. And I have grown as God planted me in a community of believers who model what it looks like to be a mom.
I have learned that being a mom is about 10% artistry, 20% guess work, 20% advice from friends, and 50% God’s grace. So I decided that this Mother’s Day, I would gather advice that would make us all better mothers. I reached out to the staff here at Stonebriar and asked them to share guidance they received from their moms. My intention was to find some nuggets of life-changing wisdom. I will let you be the judge of that (names have been removed to protect our moms out there):
Avoid gossip. Be cautious around women who do.
Remember that God is always faithful.
Entre el dicho y el echo….mucho estrecho. (Translation: Between saying and doing, there’s a whole lot of space.)
El que nada hace…nada teme. (Translation: If you didn’t do it…don’t be afraid).
Remember who you are and whose you are. Your words and actions represent your Lord and your family. Make wise choices.
Choose your friends wisely.
Make wise choices!
If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do that too!?
Pretty is as pretty does.
You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
Don’t cross your eyes, they’ll stay like that.
Don’t stick your lip out like that, a bird will come along and poop on it.
Use things the way they’re meant to be used.
Put your pants on! We’ve got company over.
Only take what you will eat.
Stop wearing black all the time. People will think you’re one of those goths.
Respeta a tus mayores! (Translation: Respect your elders!)
Pick your battles. As in, don’t waste your time/energy/strength and get caught up in the drama of fighting over every little thing. Focus on and fight for what really matters.
Never go to bed angry!
Spit works perfectly fine to clean a face in a pinch.
Honey, you’re not a twenty dollar bill, not everybody’s gonna like you. And that’s okay.
Sometimes Jesus taps you with a feather – and if you don’t listen, He hits you with a hammer!
When you have an imagination, there’s no reason to ever be bored.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, because the big stuff is going to be hard enough.
Child: “Mom, it hurts when I do this…” Mom: “Then don’t do that.”
For difficult conversations or confrontations, my mom said to “Always end your sentences with periods, not exclamation marks.”
In addition, some of our moms’ approaches to behavior modification is to share a few kind words, and some personal favorites.
I brought you into this world, I can take you out.
You’ll get payback one day with your kids.
In all the sage advice, there is really only one guide to motherhood: To fulfill our purpose, which is first to love God. Godly motherhood is a product of fulfilling our purpose: loving God more by knowing Him better.
Christine Clark is the Ministry Coordinator for Family Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church. She has a passion for supporting parents and helping them gain confidence and tools to be spiritual leaders in their homes. She is blessed to be the mom of a high school freshman and the wife of her college sweetheart for more than 20 years. She is also an avid sports fan who loves all things football, especially in the fall in Texas.