The Journey of Motherhood

Hi Church family! I am touched to be asked to share with you my thoughts and experiences as a mother. If you are a mother or hope to one day be a mother, God bless you! This journey of motherhood is full of awesome surprises and abundant blessings. You have so much to look forward to. It’s also full of challenging days, sleepless nights and fervent prayers. But again: you have so much to look forward to! How do I know? Well, I’ve been doing this “mom thing” for almost 23 years. I’ve been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. I’ve had four full-term pregnancies and one miscarriage. I’ve mothered healthy children and a child with cancer. I’ve mothered strong-willed children and compliant ones (sometimes the same child in different seasons). I’ve been confident at times and completely bewildered at others. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And I am SO BLESSED!

My husband (Jeff) and I have four “little ones” that are not so little anymore: Gabe is 22, Miller is 20, Cam is 18 and Jensen is 16.  As I’m moving into this different season of life, not only mothering our own kids but also others that God places in our path, I can truly see the way God has been faithful. I feel like I am living in the land of milk and honey. Like God’s richest blessings are being poured down on me. That may seem sappy: my perspective has no doubt changed as I have moved away from the sleepless nights of babies. 

Even after 22 years I don’t have all the answers. And frankly, I haven’t met any mothers who do have all the answers. We are all doing the best we can with what we have, and I truly believe God honors that. So, here are my thoughts from one mama to another. I pray that you receive them in the love and heartfelt humility with which I say them.

God thinks I’m great! Motherhood isn’t a hobby. It’s a calling. We are all imperfect moms with imperfect kids. But the truth is that we are the most PERFECTLY suited imperfect people because we were chosen by God! He picked us! He has such an amazing way of making the ordinary extraordinary! One of my favorite prayers that I’ve carried in my bible for a long time (until I spontaneously gave it away to a young mother) is this one from Lysa Terkeurst:

"As a mom, I want to be single-minded on the reality that if God entrusted these kids to me, I am the exact mom they need.  And as the rightful holder of that position, I will believe not only in God but I will also believe that I have what it takes to raise these kids right.  As long as I ask for God to help me each day, I can be the mom I need to be."

How comforting to know that the creator of the universe believes in me! God’s got my back!

This too shall pass. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed sometimes. I still do. Even as I’m writing this actually. Motherhood is exhausting and it’s happening RIGHT NOW. It’s an in the moment kind of job. It’s sick babies in the nighttime, school projects due tomorrow, 3 practices at 3 different fields and driving a minivan like a NASCAR driver. Life feels crazy at times! According to Jerry Seinfeld, parenting young children is like turning on a blender without the lid! Reminds me of the time we found the big brothers had covered the baby and the baby’s room in baby powder. I had to take a deep breath. Maybe two. Then I remembered that these moments don’t last forever, and this is actually pretty funny. So I took a pic of the snow-covered boys and powdered bedroom, had a good laugh and then tackled the cleanup job! It’s definitely true what they say about parenting...the days are long but the years are short.

I am covered by GRACE! The greatest blessing of all is that God’s grace and forgiveness covers our sins. As mothers we will make mistakes; we will be humbled and brought to our knees. We will come up short and  speak harshly, hurting the ones we love. But the good news is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Any feelings of guilt or inadequacy are not ours to carry: Jesus gave us victory! So let’s move forward accepting grace, believing Romans 8 that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And claiming this grace for our children too: knowing that God fills in the gaps where we fail.

My prayer is that we EMBRACE each season of motherhood, living in the FREEDOM Jesus died for and ENJOYING every moment with the BLESSINGS we’ve been given.

Happy, Happy Mother’s Day!

Jennie Hilliard