I am a steward of my children.

I had that thought the other day, after listening to a podcast in which a mom shares the story of losing her son. It was a sad thing to listen to, and it had me pushing off tears with the back of one hand while the other balanced the stroller on my walk. It made me realize how much I take for granted, made me rethink my role yet again, made me reevaluate for the thousandth time.

I am a steward of these two little boys that were given to me by God. Given to me, yes, but just for a time.

In the throes of toddlerhood, that time seems agonizingly slow. My days are centered around making meals and then cleaning them up, wiping bottoms and wiping noses, making sure the house runs somewhat close to peacefully. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the everydayness. It’s easy to forget that this is such a short phase of life, that I won’t always be needed so adamantly and so often. It’s easy to forget to pause and notice and savor the things I will one day miss.

What does it mean to be a steward? To steward means to take care of, to attend to, to nurture, to love something that isn’t mine to begin with.

Out of all the millions of combinations of egg and sperm, Auden and George are the ones who made it. Each started as a mere collection of cells, yet with a unique code of DNA so surprisingly early and a beating heart that I heard after just a few weeks. But even though it was my body that sustained those pregnancies, and my body that birthed those children, I know and recognize that they were miracles not of my own doing. I did not create them fearfully and wonderfully; I did not knit them together in my womb—I cannot claim that. That’s when my stewardship started.

And now, although I know those two little boys better than anyone else, I am not the one who knows the number of hairs on their heads. I love them more than I can articulate—what can compare to a mother’s love? Yet I know God’s love is greater than even my own. And yeah, I will say that I would die for my kids, but Christ already did. My stewardship continues as I teach them that.

My point is that these two boys are not truly mine. They belong to God, just as I do. They were given to me, and I was given to them, for a time. How can that not be holy work? I am caretaker, I am steward, I am mother.

I guess I just needed to remember this right now.

Motherhood can be so hard, and moms of young children are in the trenches. It’s freeing to acknowledge the struggle. It’s freeing to say, “Um, hey there, I’m drowning.”  But I don’t want to get so caught up in the struggle of it all that I forget the whole point, you know?

I can be so incredibly human, which means I can be so incredibly selfish. My own selfishness causes me to only see the hardships of this phase of life, this phase of motherhood, instead of choosing and chasing the joy that is right there alongside the hardship. Not to say that this phase isn’t difficult—cause it is—but to challenge my selfishness requires a constant challenge of my own perspective.

When I think of my motherhood as stewardship, it makes me want to be better. It’s humbling, but in a good, true way. I want to love them more, love them better, because they’re only in my care for so long. That’s my personal perspective shift for today, for tomorrow. Loving a little bit more, loving a little bit better.

2 thoughts on “December

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