In the shadows

In the shadows

At the end of each year, my in-laws create a newsletter featuring their three sons and their wives, and their grandchildren’s accomplishments attained throughout the year. Nathan and I married and had children fairly quickly, so I never really had a career or significant accolades over the past 3-4 years. All of the other five sons and daughter-in-laws have grand updates in their lives as doctors, directors and Captains in the military, and “Katie stays at home with their two wonderful children.”

While anyone else would read that and think, “That’s nice.” Every year when it’s newsletter time, I feel a pang in my stomach. My in-laws are truly amazing and the way that it is presented in the newsletter is not at all a slight against me, it’s just the way that I interpret it, question and devalue myself.

That’s all that I do? What do I do all day? Why does it matter?

I don’t know if you ever feel the same way as a mom. Being a mom is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Time Magazine posted an article a couple of years ago attempting to calculate a mother’s worth. Of course, we all know that a mother is priceless, especially when I think about my own mom.

We are on-call throughout the night. We are present to care for our kids, when they are well and when they are sick. We feed them, clothe them, change them, play with them and teach them. That is significant.

Whether you work full-time and come home to your children after a long day working, or stay at home with your children 24/7, what you do matters. You are a mom and your calling is significant. The way you care for your little ones after a bad dream, the dinner you provide (and if the only dinner is through the drive-thru, that’s ok), the way you instruct with tough love, time-outs, kissing boo-boos, pulling a comb through tangled hair, sitting on the floor and building a castle with legos. And love is love is love. It matters it matters it matters.

It’s easy to get caught up in the idolatry of magnitude. We want to pursue the next big thing, big goal, big dream, learn a new language, a new skill, obtain an advanced degree. There is a cultural push to pursue more money and more success, but the little years, the hidden years as Sarah Mae calls them, are truly significant and a special thing to be savored for a time. Our church, Highlands Fellowship, is devoting a series of sermons on small things that make a big difference in the Kingdom of God. Without a doubt, motherhood is exactly that.

Ann Voskamp says it best when she writes,

“God said I need somebody who can shape a soul and find shoes on Sunday mornings and get grass stains out of Levis.

And make dinner out of nothing and do it again 79, 678 times, and keep kids off the road and out of the toilet and in clean underwear and mainly alive though she’s mainly losing her mind and will put in an 80 hour week by Wednesday night and just do one more load of laundry.

And one more sink of crusted burnt pots.

And keep on going another eighty hours because raising generations matters and weaving families matters and tying heart strings matters and these people here in hidden places matter.

So God made a mother…”

My mom is one of the most selfless people that I know. She gave and gave, and she gives and gives. On this day, the International Day of women, I just want to dedicate this post to all the moms that are hidden in the little years and giving their all. You are raising the next generation, and influencing the world in greater ways than could ever be summed up in a newsletter or blog.

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