Motherhood began for me at the age of eighteen, when I became pregnant with my first child. I was young, carefree, and selfish. Nothing had prepared me for such a life-changing commitment of selfless love or sleepless nights. Since that oh-so-young age, I have had eight more babies. Although I nursed each and every one of them, the five oldest were nursed for only the recommended six weeks and then put on formula. I loved my children, but the older I got, the more giving I became. By the time my girls came along, nursing lasyed to about twelve months old. As every mother learns during that first pregnancy, breastfeeding has many benefits including, but not limited to building the immune system, bonding between mother and baby, and a happier infant in general. With my five older children –all boys!, I was young and didn’t know quite as much as I did when I had my girls. However, it wasn’t just knowledge of the many benefits of breastfeeding that encouraged me to nurse longer with the girls. I changed. I grew up. As selfless as I had learned to be with my boys, I was more mature or even less selfish when the girls came along. Almost thirty with five children already when I had my first daughter, I felt like an old pro when it came to raising kids. I was much more settled in my life, married by then focusing on my husband and children. My ‘work’ was at home where my pay was love from my husband and children. Additionally, the biggest change for me was devoting my life and my family to the Lord. It was at that point when I truly began to understand what it meant to be a mother. These days, as I am nursing my youngest – six months – I watch her in awe as she suckles at my breast, trusting me to provide that nourishment for her. But it’s even more amazing to understand that through God’s design, I am providing much more than just food for her. I am teaching her how to trust, how to love while providing sustenance to her body so she can survive. I am not only building her immune system as well as countless other physical benefits, but I am also fostering an unbreakable emotional bond with her and creating, in her, solud emotions for her own life.
Through my faith, I have learned that my role as a wife and a mother is much more valuable than just cookung meals and changing diapers. I have much mord to offer my husband than a housemaid and to my children, more than someone who kisses booboos and readx bedtime stories – all of which is ver enjoyable for its’ own reasons. I have been called to nurture my family. As stated in Proverbs 14:1, “the wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” To me, the most virtuous act I may ever perform is that of being a wife and a mother. Now, in the daily drudgeries of life, when motherhood has me questioning my own sanity, when stress seems bigger than my rock and doubt is bigger than my faith, I look to the most awe-inspiring verses in the Bible to put it all back into perspective. My favorite verses remind me of what being a wife and mother really means. I remember just how important it is for me to keep striving, to keep loving, to keep giving, to keep going amidst all of life’s struggles.
Eight of my favorite verses are:
1. In the day I cried, You answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul. – Psalm 138:3
2. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
3. Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal. -1 Corinthians 13:13 – 14:1
4. Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
5. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
6. She is clothed with strength and dignity; and she laughs without fear of the future. – Proverbs 31:25
7. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:12
8. ….be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. – James 1:19