Happy Mother's Day!

 

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“Everybody knows that a good mother gives her children a feeling
of trust and stability.  She is the one they can count on for the things that matter
most of all.  She is their food and their bed and their extra
blanket when it grows cold in the night; she is their
warmth and health and their shelter; she is the one
they want to be near when they cry.  She is the only person
in the whole world, or in a whole lifetime, who can be these
things to her children.  There is no substitute for her.
Somehow even her clothes feel different to her children’s
hands from anybody else’s clothes.  Only to touch her skirt
or her sleeve makes a troubled child feel better.”
Karen Butler Hathaway

How do I find the words to describe the meaning and purpose of my life and how much it means to me?  God placed the call of motherhood so strongly on my heart that it has been my main goal in life.  The reaction, sadly, of most women when they learn this about me is disbelief and even slight ridicule and teasing.

But it’s true.  Ask the 15 year old me what I wanted to be when I grew up?  I would have said, “I want to be a stay-at-home mom”.

When I think of how much the Lord has given me the desires of my heart, I want to cry!

He led me to my perfect match and life partner– and we were married young–I was 19 and he was 21.  We were married for 1 year and 3 months before we welcomed our firstborn into our hearts.

Jacob was born 2 weeks early.  As a first time mom I was not expecting that wave of love that I felt when Rich finally brought tiny Jacob to my hospital room after his first bath.  “He’s so beautiful” is what I said and thought so many times. 

So beautiful.

Jacob was 14 months old when Ethan arrived.  Once again I fell in love with a baby boy.  Ethan was and is a happy boy, in a calm, thoughtful way.  To see his bright eyes while he laughs is one of the biggest rewards in my life.

I found out I was expecting Grace shortly after Ethan’s first birthday.  I was scared, I admit.  She was born when Jacob was 2 months shy of his 3rd birthday and Ethan was 21 months old.  To have my first daughter was all I needed to carry me through those early days and months with 3 little ones in diapers!

In the few years before our next baby came along, I had so much fun with my 3 preschoolers.  Yes, there were difficult days, (but I won’t get into that).  I remember FUN and lots of it:  trips to McDonald’s play place, little amusement parks, lots of walks to the playground.  The sheer delight and enjoyment of simple things–like blowing bubbles and washing matchbox cars.

Jacob was in Kindergarten when David was born, so my “carefree” (doesn’t that word make you snicker?) days of being a Mom to preschoolers were over.  When I had David I thought I had never been so in love with a baby before!  (Aren’t moms funny?)  David was my 4th child, yet I took MORE pictures of him than any of the others thus far!  He was and still is a unique, bright part of our family.  He makes me smile and chuckle every single day.

Caleb, our fifth baby, was born when David was almost 3.   I felt so happy, peaceful, and content when he was a newborn, more than I did for any of the other babies.  For instance, I knew that it was okay to hold him (and did hold him) as much as possible!  The babies grow too fast. . hold your babies!  Too soon they wriggle themselves away to their own adventures, far too soon!   An added blessing of Caleb’s birth was the joy of seeing my older children enjoy their baby brother.  What a wonderful feeling it is for a mom to observe the love between her children!

Jacob is 10 now.
Ethan is 9.
Grace is 7.
David is 4.
Caleb is almost 2.

As for me, my life is so fulfilled.  My dreams are all coming true.  God gave me my family and I give all the glory and honor to Him.  I lay my family down at His feet. 

The tears in my eyes are there from sheer happiness.

Enjoy the photos, which were taken by my husband (whose technique is to start clicking and not stop):

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To be a Mom
you need to be very very
very very very very
patient
and
keep smiling

0 thoughts on “Happy Mother's Day!

  1. This is so sweet, thanks for sharing your story.  The succession of pictures your husband took make me crack up.  The first four are more truth than anything.  It takes minutes to prepare for the perfect shot and one second to take the perfect shot.  But the minutes beforehand are really the memorable ones!

  2. Shanda, I could cry right now. Your post is so touching. God is so good isn’t He? You sound like me. I always wanted to be a mom. I love it. There are trying times, but it is all worth it. Your family is beautiful and you have done a wonderful job at being a mom. I love the picture of you and your kids. What a blessing. I pray your day tomorrow is a joyful and relaxing one. Love, Tara

  3. Truely, I laughed out loud looking at the photos your husband took. He totally caught the pre-moments before a portrait gets shot…and the look on Caleb’s face in the last one is priceless Your post was also so lovely…the passion you have for your children shines forth. What a wonderful “job” you choose for your life’s work. My focus while growing up was to be an artist. God not only blessed that desire of my heart, but He changed my life when Bri was born. I LOVE BEING A MOM! We were only blessed with one child…how empty and strange my life would be without her…how sad those people who opt for a career over a family…they don’t realize what they’ve missed.
    Now that I’m on the verge of an emptinest, God has been gracious once again. He has brought into my life 3-4 young adults to mother and love because they never had that as children. (That should hold me over until grandchildren arrive!)Happy Mother’s Day dear friend

  4. Happy Mother’s Day to you! What a beautiful post- love the successive pictures. They make the journey to the beautiful, posed and perfect picture alot of fun. I love that your dh did that for you for Mother’s Day. What a sweet guy Thanks for sharing your journey- it is beautiful

  5. Such a beautiful post (but that has already been said–several times)!! Your joy in your motherhood is inspiring. I am gong to hug my two kiddos that are at home, and will send forth special prayers for the three that are not at home right now.

  6. Happy Mothers Day Shan!  I can remember when you were at a young age and dreamed of being a mother and I always knew you’d be the great mom you are today!  Love, Elisha

  7. Beautiful pictures!! What a lovely family. Yes, God is truly good to us! I have the blessings of a wonderful husband, three sweet daughters, and two precious grandchildren, and I praise God for each of them. Have a delightful Mother’s Day!

  8. Happy Mother’s Day to you too Shanda!   I could relate to almost every word you have written here, it is so touching…I was also married at nineteen!  : )  I have the four daughters, 13 -24…and what a blessing they are to dh and I. My firstborn was also a bit early, so tiny…and oh the love in my heart as you so wonderfully described… Your heart is a beautiful one. 
    Love,   ~Amelia

  9. Happy Mother’s Day to you!  I can see so much of myself in your posts.  I didn’t have the luxury of always getting to stay at home, but I loved my five with a fierceness that amazes even me.  I had the three in diapers at once also.  Mine are now middle-aged adults and I weep with joy at the amazing people they’ve become.

  10. I truly enjoyed this reflection on your journey to motherhood.  I agree that you seem like a terrific mother and have a joyful heart for your children and husband.  Thanks for being a great example!  I am well on my way to following in your footsteps.  Corban will be three in July, Finley is almost 18 months and Piper is due the middle of June!  Fun times!!

  11. Wow… how encouraging! It’s so awesome seeing Jesus bless His childen by giving them the desires of their hearts! It’s a walking, true and living testimony! I know what you mean by “wanting to cry.” Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by His love for us that it feels like crying is all I can do! He is SO good! And 3 little ones in diapers… I’m there now and I’m so happy to see that you lived through it… I WILL TOO!! The pictures are so precious. You have such loving and caring arms… no wonder your babies fall asleep in them! Happy, happy Mother’s Day!

  12. These pics – in this particular order – remind me of a flip-book.  Remember those from when we were kids?  I think it was the perfect way to not only get the perfect Mother’s Day pic, but also to capture the memories of that little photo shoot forever!
    Thanks for the {{{{hug}}}} – here’s one right back at ya’ – save it for a day when you really need it.
    Happy, happy mother’s day! -Alesha

  13. Great post for all us Moms (and those who want to understand our hearts!).  I remember when I decided I wanted to go to college and my father looked at me in shock.  He asked me why in the world I wanted to do that.  My reply was a defensive “everyone does!”.  He looked at me and shook his head saying, “You are meant to get married, have kids and live in a cottage on a hill.”  Amazing how he saw that in me even before I recognized it.    Happy belated Mothers Day!

  14. And what a sweet and beautiful smile it is. Oh see how the Lord has blessed this handmaiden! Happy Mother’s Day to one of the best I have seen (in pictures that is)

  15. o no, i missed this yesterday! you are the cutest mom! broncomom (mary) and i spent last weekend together and i thanked her for swaying me over to your site. it is always so uplifting and full of joy. you are a precious woman! my sarah is in college and very frustrated trying to declare a major. she says “all i want to do is be a wife and a mother!” and my heart just sweels up with pride and smiles. i hope she is able to do that, it is what our Lord wants from women. our husbands provide and we prepare, how important those two are to go together so that our families run smoothly! have a blessed week πŸ™‚ 

  16. One of my favorite posts.  It’s pretty cool that your hubby did take the pics as he did.  You can appreciate the end results all the more.  Happy Mother’s Day Shanda!

  17. I needed this.   I am not patient and there are so many days I do not smile.  And now I realize how important those two things are.  A commitment to patience and to joy has brought you through 10 years of motherhood and God has blessed you for it.  Thank you for your example!  Somehow through the tired, haggard moments of my day I am going to strive to remember that other moms of even more children have done it and done with patience and joy.  Now, I know I can too.  πŸ™‚ 

  18. I couldn’t stop laughing over how you described R. taking pictures and then how you demonstrated by posting them!  It made the last one more valuable..it is a wonderful wonderful picture and would look great with my collection of photos of loved ones (hint hint) that I have in my kitchen.The last quote is what I was thinking about you during this whole post, you are a Mom that I respect b/c of your patience and you sense of humor (among many other things) but those are the two that came to mind during this post.

  19. a beautiful story and beautiful photos :o)……what a nice series of photos to make a complete memory!  My story is kind of like yours……but different.  Different beginning, same ending, I guess you’d say.  It’s hard to believe, but I never really thought much about what kind of a mom I was going to be.  I planned a career as a social worker and went to college, got married, had a baby and when I got that baby home it took me about 1/100th of a second to realize that no one in the world could pay me enough money to leave my child while I “went to work”.  Happily for me and our children, my husband was (is) in complete agreement with me.  I had preschool age children for 23 straight years :o) and loved every minute of it.  God knew my heart better than I did—and that shouldn’t be much of a surprise!  (in case you’re wondering—there are only 5 children, but God planned our family to last a long time :o)  Anyway—–I understand the feelings you have so eloquently expressed because I have the same feelings……..Happy Mother’s Day every day.

  20. how precious! I was alwasy the same way…I remember praying when I was about 9 years old that Jesus would not return until I’ve had at least 3 children! Now I have 9…been trippley blessed!!!The last picture there is beautiful! I can’rbelieve this was years ago already…I guess I am indeed a long time reader (would love to meet you someday!)

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