Nurturing life

Melanie Sextro

Being a mother.

Last week was my younger son’s birthday and amidst the joy of celebrating him and his sweet, innocent life, I rejoiced a little bit internally as a mother. Each year on their birthdays I take time to reflect on the past year of their lives, their births and our pregnancy. I think about how this little person came to be and am in complete awe of how the whole process works.

God and our incredible bodies take care of the whole human developmental process.  All the while being pregnant, we don’t have to work daily on the formation of kidneys, dainty lips, 10 fingers and toes or a nervous system.  As pregnant women we do deal with aches, pains and morning (or all day) sickness amongst a whole list of other uncomfortable things.  As uncomfortable as this may be, God does the main work. Most of the time, the formation of a human being is done just so. Just ever so perfectly without much additional effort.

I believe one of the most magnificent and beautiful gifts from God, not to mention greatest adventures in life, is to be a mother.  Mother’s Day is an occasion to celebrate and honor all mothers: biological, adoptive, foster, step, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, etc. To be able to grow life inside you, to give birth to another human soul, to take in a child who is motherless, to accept the role of step-parent are absolute selfless acts. Some people are even fortunate enough to not only have the love of their own mothers, but also the love of a mother-in-law who takes you in as one of her own. You are a mother because you nurture life.

Mother’s Day is certainly a day to celebrate, but it is also a day full of heartache and grief for many women. Each and every day, there are women who suffer through infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths and the early death of their children. If you are facing this Mother’s Day with a broken heart, please know you are being thought of and prayed for. Other mothers are here for you, we embrace you and we want you to feel surrounded with love and hope. Treasure the moments of motherhood, the good, the bad and the ugly. They are all worth celebrating.

God has given me two of his children, two exceptional souls that he created to be on this earth.  Two sweet boys, to call ME their mother, our lives intertwined into his master plan.  I am their mother and I am here for them. I choose to be present and available. I am here to take care of, to hug, to love, to teach them how to be kind and brave, to show them how to listen for what makes their heart sing, and most importantly to teach them wisdom to trust in God. They need to know they were put on this earth for a purpose and that we are all here for a purpose much greater than we could ever know.

To my mom, thank you for giving me the gift of life. You are and have always been an amazing and endlessly selfless loving mother.  E and L, you are the best adventure I have ever had. Being your mommy is an extraordinary privilege and you are both such precious blessings to this world.

On this Mother’s Day, celebrate the gift of motherhood God has blessed you with.  Know and understand how important you are as you guide and nurture your children.  Be available and present in their lives.  Becoming a mother and raising children is an incredible gift and honor; enjoy it!

Happy Mother’s Day and may God bless each of you!

Melanie Sextro is a military wife and mother to two sweet boys. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.

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