Valentine’s Day, Part I
“For God so loved the world that he gave…”
Love is about giving. Love is not just about giving things, but about giving your very self. Any mother could testify that this is the most difficult, yet the most rewarding, part of being a mama. We love so much, that we give…
We give our body over for almost 2 years so our babes can grow into healthy, strong, thriving toddlers. We give our uteruses for those first 9 months for the sake of creating a safe haven for our little peanuts to grow within us and then we become a milk machine for the next 12 + months. We are the means by which they get nourishment for 9 months and once they are born, we are the means by which they are sustained. During pregnancy, we give up the space for our bladder to spread out, thus giving up the right to only pee a few times a day; instead we are slaves to the bathroom at all hours of the day and night. We give up our right to choose any food in the world that we want to eat, and instead we eat what the baby wants, trying hard to choose foods that keep the baby healthy. We give up our favorite jeans and replace them for elastic waists and belly bands. We give up our heels and (have someone else) lace up our tennies. For me, I give up the comfort of food going down my throat once and staying there. For me, I give up consecutive, deep sleep, only able to get 2 or 3 hours of light sleep in at a time because my body wakes me up to eat (or pee!). For me, I give up the right to use my favorite toothpaste because I have to use the baking soda kind to dilute the acid coating my teeth. For me, I give up the right of ever being more than a few feet away from a toilet, a trash can, or a vomit bag. For me, pregnancy is about loving so much that I give… And then my perfect, precious infant arrives in a bundle and, thankfully for me, the joy of giving during infancy far surpasses the joy of giving during pregnancy. As mothers, we give so much to our little darlings, especially in those first few days and months. We give at times that no one else will ever see or know. We give in ways that no one else will understand. We stumble out of bed to the tiny newborn cries and we can’t help but give a huge smile as our eyeballs peek out of the slits of our eyelids and see…see the perfect miracle looking back at us. Who is alive today because we gave. We give a little laugh (because what else can you do??) when our newborns spray poop all over EV.ER.Y.THING. at 2 in the morning. We give an extra kiss and an extra squeeze when we are overwhelmed with gratitude at our little loves. We give a little whisper in their ears, because we cannot help but repeat over and over and over again how much we love them, how much we cherish them, how much we adore them. We give our very selves, all day and all night long, so that our littles will grow up, bathed in love. We give our very selves, all day and all night long, so that our dear ones will be fed, and swaddled and rocked with love. We give our very selves, all day and all night long, so that our children will know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we love them so much that we give…we give our very selves that they might live, and live abundantly.
On this Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t be more grateful for the honor it is and has been to give for my little ones. To be the one who gets to give so that they live. To be the one who gets to sacrifice so that they thrive. What an honor. What a joy. What a gift from God!!!!!
To all the mamas out there who spend each day sacrificially loving your own children, and to all the mamas out there who spend each day sacrificially loving children like they are your own, happy Valentine’s day! The way you have poured out your very life to love these children is reaping an eternal impact that no one can ever take away. Take heart, the seeds of love you are planting are blossoming into beautiful fruit. Take heart, He sees you as you selflessly give.