Month: May 2015

The Painful Side of Mother’s Day

Blog_CactusFlowerMother’s Day is not a bouquet of fragrant flowers for everyone. For some, it feels more like a fistful of pain-inducing thorns—an unwelcome reminder of things lost. A day meant for honoring mothers becomes a time of remembering the one who was never there, or the one who left to soon. Or it maybe it awakens the droning ache of unfulfilled longing for motherhood.

For many years, that ache was my Mother’s Day companion. Though I was blessed with a good mom who inspired in me the certainty there was no greater calling than motherhood, I was unable to have children in the biological sense. Adoption was always something my husband and I had desired to pursue, so it was no hard decision to journey in that direction. The process, however, was another story.

While the outcome of adoption is always beautiful and miraculous, the process is the emotional equivalent of the pain and exhaustion involved in pregnancy and labor multiplied exponentially and drawn out for years. Despite all the toil and sacrifice, there were times when I wondered if it was ever going to happen. And more times than that I was tempted to give up.

This month, my daughter turns seven. Her favorite past-time is playing with her two year-old brother. I sit here now, laptop on the kitchen counter, surrounded by bags of clothes they’ve outgrown. Exhaustion is setting in after a full morning at the laundromat and an even fuller afternoon of dishes, diapers, and more. I spent the evening cuddling my son and reveling in my daughter’s smile, knowing God turned all my tears in to songs of joy. My children were worth the wait.

Through all my waiting, I learned that every tear sowed waters the ground for joy to spring forth. And that is my prayer for those who suffer on the painful side of Mother’s Day. May God give you eyes to see through your sorrow, and ears to hear him speak peace to your storms. May you know that our God is the lifter of heavy burdens and the comforter of all who mourn. He is able to sustain the weary, uphold the weak, and repair the broken… turning tears of sorrow into seeds of hope..

Embracing Change


The dog wasn’t happy when the baby came home. For weeks she sulked on the armchair looking lost. I’d never seen her so sad.

Prior to that, she’d happily occupied her place on my lap, assured of her purpose in our family. She was a lap dog, devoted in her mission to comfort and cuddle. Now, it seemed, the baby had taken that role. My sweet puppy lingered in her saddened state for much of the baby’s first year, despite our consistent reassurance of love.

As the baby grew, things started to change…again. The dog seemed to sense it. Suddenly, her little rival was transforming into a friend—someone new to cuddle and play with. Soon they were inseparable. And when the second baby came along, the dog was unfazed. She knew the little lap-thief was a future companion. Unhappy as she was when things first changed, she’s now reaping the benefits of two pint-sized best friends.

Change is never comfortable when it comes. We lose our bearings and struggle to find our footing. But if we can look beyond the moment of change to the ultimate outcome, we may more readily embrace it. Faith enables us to see change as a seed, piercing the ground and transforming the soil. Our response is to patiently wait, knowing the seed will transform into something beautiful in its time.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)