Motherhood is completely unlike anything I ever thought it would be. I struggle even to find a handful of words to describe my experience as the maternal guide of a large family. I dare you to throw a word at me (within the bounds of decency, please) that doesn't apply at some point.
Wonderful, stressful, heart-wrenching, joyful, inspiring, exhausting, invigorating, painful, healing, awe-inspiring, humbling...
One of the primary difficulties for me lies in the fact that very few challenges in the family involve black and white solutions. There is a constant struggle for proper discernment. Parenting requires sensitivity and respect for the little, complex, beautiful people in my charge. It also involves a serious commitment to doing the right thing at the risk of being "mean".
I was an only child. There are times where I just stand in the middle of my bustling world and blink...In utter confusion. A frequent question I ask of my husband: "Are they SUPPOSED to do that?"
In the midst of it all, I'm striving to grow in my relationship with our Lord and bring my family along with me. I'd like to share one of my favorite quotes from another mother of a large family. It soothes my soul and reminds me that there is no Easter without the Cross.
"There isn't something inherent in our vocation that excludes us from a deep, intimate relationship with God. In fact, it's really quite the opposite. Since our lives as wives and mothers are a true 'vocation'-a calling from God to us-God must want us to find Him within our family life.
So, although all is grace, a free gift of God, there is still much we can do to seek Christian perfection, no less than religious...of the past and present. We can make ourselves available to God as best we can-to find ways to foster and dispose ourselves to God's presence in our lives, right now, amid the diapers, the bills and the stomach flu...."
Excerpt from "A Mother's Rule of Life" by Holly Pierlot