What does it mean, mothering by heart?

I just read the story of a mother of young children (you can find it here) that tightened my perspective, reminding me nothing in this life is certain.

Hubby and I spent years praying for children, weeping over our barren arms.

Through that season of aching, joy and sorrow walked hand in hand each time a friend told me she was pregnant. I attended baby showers. Until it became too painful to hold in the tears.

Our story

We stopped attending church on Mother’s Day. One year we went and carnations were handed out, and then collected back when I admitted that, no, I was not a mother.

Even though my heart yearned to wear that title.

When we were both ready to consider adoption, God worked. And fast. He filled our empty arms with a wiggly baby boy who had ten perfect fingers and ten kissable toes. And a set of lungs to wake us from sleep in the middle of the night.

Seventeen months later, God gave us the gift of adopting another precious boy with deep blue eyes. We’ve rocked our boys to sleep, tucked them in each night. We’ve read them bedtime stories and prayed with them.

We’ve watched as they fell in love with the written word and pored over books, learned to play piano, and they’ve begun to dream of what they’ll be when they grow up.

I love being a mom.

Mothering by heart-perspectives

So, why is it so easy for my to-do list to steal the joy of single moments with my children?

Sometimes, I forget the blessing God gave me when He placed two boys into my heart. I forget how precious they are. It’s so easy to focus instead on training them up to be men of integrity. Sometimes, I forget to bask in their hugs, their exuberance, their smiles. I allow myself to get wrapped up in the to-do’s, and I forget the beauty of mothering by heart and being present with our boys.

The story I read reminded me life can be stripped away unexpectedly. It’s got me thinking about the memories our children will carry into adulthood.

If I was to be called Home tomorrow, what lessons would our boys take into their teen years? Adulthood? Hopefully, they’ll embrace the lessons we’re trying to instill in them.

Even more than training, I hope they remember shared times together—bowling for the first time, encouragement from their parents, family game nights, hikes, swimming in the ocean.

I want our children to know—and believe—they are cherished and loved beyond measure. This plays into mothering by heart.

Image of a mom with her sons-their smiles evidence of the love that's built when mothering by heart
Life's Uncertainties: Mothering By Heart 3

Conclusion

I’m praying for a tighter perspective when it comes to living out the gift of motherhood. It’s a hard, dying-to-self kind of life—this being a mother—but it’s one that fills me deep and overflows me with wonder. I want to mother by heart. I yearn for our boys to know they are deeply loved.

For these children I prayed.

God said yes to my pleas. May I mother—and love—in a way that fills our boys with confidence and points their hearts to Him.

What about you? What have you prayed for that has changed you? What have you learned through the gifts God has given you?

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