So many years on Mother’s Day, I have spent the day enjoying my family’s attempts to cater to me in every way. The handmade cards. The homemade breakfast. The break from cooking and washing dishes. The gifts. And hugs.

And while I treasure all of that attention this year, like any other, I can’t stop thinking about this amazing gift God has given me. This gift of being a mother.

From the beginning, we “try” and hope to create that new life. We give up our very bodies to sustain the life of another. It’s a wonder that is nearly impossible to comprehend unless one has experienced it firsthand.

In some cases, we talk about a baby as an “accident” or an “oops”. For others, it’s not easy or unplanned. Some agonize and seek medical help. Or they are blessed with a gift so special I can’t possibly fathom what it would be like — that gift of adoption.

We think of ourselves as the creators. As the ones who created a child. But in every case, there is only One who gives life. One who decides. One who knew us before we were born.

I have realized that as a mother, I am merely the vessel. And I have tried to do that job the best that I can.

The baby is born, and we focus on its physical needs. We try to keep him warm. Give her nourishment. Provide a comfortable place to sleep.

Then, the brain starts to grow and develop. We teach colors and numbers and letters. We insist on good manners and remind the little one to eat his fruits and veggies.

And through it all, we moms sacrifice our wants and desires, our dreams and goals and ambitions, to wipe noses, clean bottoms, wash clothes and cook healthy meals. The job seems overwhelming at times. We think about how we might ruin our children or scar them for life. We worry that we won’t expose them to art and culture and sports and opportunities.

We try to meet their physical needs and provide a safe and loving home.

We strive and work and toil. We try to shape their minds and their hearts and prepare them for life outside our little nests.

But today, as I think about my children, I see things a little differently. It’s a big responsibility, the job of being mom. But it’s not so much about me, and all that I’ve done.

It’s a gift that God has given me. It’s the most amazing gift I’ve ever received. I’m so thankful today that God chose me. That he entrusted me with these little lives. It’s a gift like no other. This gift of motherhood.

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