Mom Stuff

I thought it would be fun to add a little commentary to some entries published in my book, Blessings for Mothers. Enjoy!

This first poem was the result of my thinking about the things we chase after, only to discover that God can use the joy of motherhood to fill some of our empty places.

Mothering (Day 243)

My body is tired
My mind is mired
It has become distressing.

But just when I think
I’m on the brink
God gives me another blessing.

Hugs and a kiss
Heavenly bliss
Upon me He’s impressing

A child’s love
Is far above
Others worth possessing.

This next writing was inspired partly by my own tendency to compare myself with other moms who seem to have it all together. The funny thing is, they’re probably also looking around at all the other moms who seem to have it all together. Just who are those other moms anyway?

Nobody’s Perfect (Day 224)

Say this with me: There is no perfect mother. There now, don’t you feel better? No matter how it appears, no matter how perfect someone looks, no one gets this motherhood thing exactly right all the time. We are all works in progress who make mistakes – sometimes big ones. Good thing our goal isn’t to be perfect. It’s to be perfectly usable.

I remember a speaker at our church many years ago told the following story about himself. It stuck with me for good reason. How often do we ask God to do something He is already doing?

In His Hands (Day 72)

A man traveling out of town asked God to take care of his children while he was away. God replied, “Who do you think takes care of them while you’re here?” What a comforting reminder that even though we go to great lengths to ensure the safety and well-being of our children (and rightly so), the Lord is their supreme caretaker!

As I recall, I actually had been awakened on the morning I wrote this next poem by my seventh child who was three at the time of writing. Although it was always exhausting to be summoned in the wee hours by a small person, I did become more accepting of it as I had more kids and realized how quickly the time came when they didn’t need me in the middle of the night anymore. These days, with our youngest at almost seven, I just wake up all by myself for no apparent reason. So, in Heaven I will either sleep all I want to or sleep will no longer be required. Either way, I shall feel rested!

For Now (Day 16)

I awoke this morning
At three o’clock
To crying in my ears.
I calmed my child
Tucked her in
Then thought of all the years
Of diaper changes
Newborn cries
Feedings in the night
And told myself
Someday I’ll sleep
But for now I’ll hold her tight.

I guess I wrote this next one just to make myself cry. I shared a version of it with my oldest daughter on the day she married.

Never Again (Day 255)

Dinosaurs in my bathtub
Building blocks on the floor
Stuffed animals in my bed
Handprints on the door.

Peanut butter, jelly kisses
Macaroni and cheese
Picture books and bedtime prayers
Memories are made of these.

Homework, college tests
Career decisions then
Suddenly my child is grown–
Never small again.

And one more just for the fun of it. I think this one stemmed from my being continually frustrated with intricately planning our homeschooling days, only to wake up to kids puking or running fevers or the septic system backing up in our laundry room and running under the kitchen cabinets. The schedule flying out the window became so frequent that it went from frustration to just plain humorous. And at one point when my kids saw me making a schedule on the computer, they would moan, “Oh, I don’t feel so good…” Real funny, guys.

Flexibility (Day 293)

There’s the possibility
that planning is futility,
so employ flexibility,
that the fragility
of your security
doesn’t cause senility.
For in all probability,
your controllability
limits your adaptability.
So live in reality
and decrease your anxiety
by adapting to
changeability–
immediately.

Yes, controllability is a word even though my blog editor doesn’t think so. But it didn’t really matter because I would have used it anyway. You can get away with that in poetry. I think.

Janice Powell, 2013

(Selections from Blessings for Mothers are copyrighted by Barbour Publishing, Inc. 2010.)

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