My sweet baby girl, Olivia, is at my very favorite age of 18 months, where she is learning so much each and every day! She repeats words and understands their meanings, accepts instruction and follows through, is interested in new activities and different hobbies than I am used to with a boy and simply amazes me with her knowledge.
One of the games parents play with their one year olds is body identification. ‘Where are your eyes? Where is your nose? Where is your tummy?’ I get more excited with each new part and function she understands. We have a regular anatomy lesson at every opportunity.
Throughout my experiences as a mother the last 3.5 years, God has taught me about the various parts of my ‘motherly anatomy’ that need to be learned about, in both their name and function, just like Olivia learns her body parts. I recently read an article called the ‘Four Characteristics of Motherhood’ by Harold S. Martin, who lays out these parts clearly, including untiring sacrifice, undying love, untold influence and unfailing faith.
I need to remember when I am getting frustrated trying to clean the house and make dinner while the babies are needing attention, that I happily and willingly committed to this amazing and wonderful sacrifice of motherhood! I am reminded that my time and efforts, previously used on me, are now my chosen sacrifice to make my kids the happiest and healthiest kids they can be.
When Liam is jumping on all of my new furniture and screaming around the house throwing toys, that I have chosen to love him unconditionally, even when he is driving me crazy! When I lose hope in what God’s plan is for my family’s future or what my family will look like in 5 years, I need to regain faith that He knows, and that’s all that matters. Period.
Lastly, on a day to day, minute to minute basis, I am continually learning that every action I make and word I use is a constant influence on who my children will be and what they will come to expect as teenagers to be acceptable behavior. My manners towards strangers, my comments while driving, my style of dcsipline and even my choices of food selection for our meals will mold and create who they become. While no body part is more important than the other, they all intertwine to be my motherly anatomy that God will continually teach me how to use towards his glory.
So every time I play the game with Olivia, I think of a bigger picture and how God teaches me about the anatomy of motherhood. ‘Emily, where is your faith? Where is your sacrifice? Where is your love and remember your influence!’