Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sometimes Being a Mom Hurts!

Okay, maybe that statement is pretty obvious, especially if you are a mother. Certainly, pregnancy has its discomforts including morning sickness, stretch marks and if you are like me, swollen EVERYTHING! Labor definitely has its pains. But, no matter how "bad" labor is, it does come to an end with a precious baby. Then there are the sleepless nights and endless demands of having a newborn. The toddler and preschool years are definitely challenging just keeping one step ahead of a mini tornado!
These are all challenges for sure but tonight my mind is on something not so obvious. When the labor pains are done, the sleepless nights forgotten, and the potty training finished, I have realized that the real hurts still lay ahead. The days of bandaids and a kiss to fix a "boo boo" are behind.
My heart is on my son, Daniel, tonight. Daniel is 8 1/2 and quite an amazing kid. In fact, it is a miracle that he is still with us. Over the course of his early years he was treated for a very aggressive brain tumor. Multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation and lots of prayer have given him the last 5 years tumor-free! Praise God! It is likely that he is "done" and will not have the tumor return. He is healthy and happy and learning and growing every day! We are so blessed indeed!
However, apart from the scar on the back of his head, Daniel has some unseen "scars." He struggles with some things the rest of us take for granted. He has to work a bit harder than other kids. Whether it's reading, writing, riding a bike or just "fitting in," Daniel has to make a real effort. He is often quirky and misunderstood.
Tonight he went to his first swim team practice. He was a bit apprehensive, but excited and willing to give his best. I was so proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone to give it a try. Well, it was his turn to jump in and swim across the pool. He jumped in and panicked. After trying a little more, he came back to the side of the pool mad at himself, saying things like, "I'm a bad swimmer," and "swim team is too hard for me."
My heart just broke as I listened to him berate himself. My attempts at encouraging him were met with deaf ears as I watched him replay in his mind all the things he "can't" do. Why does everything have to be so hard for him? And why can't he be "good" at something?
Now, don't get me wrong. Daniel is good at a lot of things. And no one can make me laugh like him. I just wonder if Daniel knows how precious he is? And how talented he is in his unique way? It is my prayer for all my children, but especially Daniel, that they would embrace the truth of Psalm 139 and know they are "fearfully and wonderfully made." I want my children to know they are loved, and they were created for a specific purpose. Daniel's "quirks" are not a mistake but are the precious fingerprint of his Maker. I am praying and expecting that the bumpy road Daniel has to travel will strengthen him and prepare him for his future. I am excited to see the plans that the Lord has for Daniel.
In the mean time, I will stumble along this rocky path with Daniel - carrying bandaids, the Bible, tears, hugs and of course laughter! This Mommy thing is hard and painful at times, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! Daniel - I love you and I'm so grateful I get to be your Mom!


  1. Oh, How I can relate. I love how God has made moms with those big hearts. Thank you for sharing your heart with this fellow mom who hurts with and for my children at times too. How I pray that I may deepen in love for them but also in my understanding of his love for me. Your a good one Julie!!!!

  2. I have to say this brought tears to my eyes. I can deeply relate to this because I'm a mom with a big heart also. I don't like to see my children hurt mentally or physically. You are a GREAT mother Julie! I always love seeing those beautiful and precious children. Daniel, You are a special child of God! It does not matter how slow you go, it's the effort that counts! Keep on trying Love you all!

  3. t's all about perspective. Looking at the small picture, it is heartbreaking to see what a struggle everything is for Daniel. I hurt for you last night, our children don't realize the depth of love we have for them. But God has made Daniel to glorify Him. As Daniel was fearfully and wonderfully made, God designed him with his temperament, his personality, and his gifts and abilities in all the right places just for His glory. He has allowed the struggles Daniel has gone through. We can't see the big picture right now, but God can. He sees Daniel at the end. It's all for His glory, and framing things in an eternal perspective can help us get through our daily hurts. In the meantime... my door is always open if you want to talk. I'll see you in a little while. :)

  4. Wonderful post Julie! I can relate as well...my daughter has some of the same issues. Your kids are lucky to have you!

  5. Julie,
    What a touching example of the struggles of parenthood. Can't you just see our Heavenly Father encouraging us in the same way, carrying us through the bumps, loving us so purely, wanting the very best for us?
    Keep sharing and blessing your readers! Hugs!

  6. Hi Julie ... Mom here,
    Daniel will be fine, he has you for a Mom. Remember, you had your struggles as a child. While it was not easy and my heart ached for you at times, the struggles helped to make you the wonderful, compassionate person you are today. Daniel already has given so much to all of us....he is a reminder of just how fragile and precious life is. Thanks for being Daniel's Mom and caring so much....I know he was given to the right person.

  7. Dear Daniel-
    I am Karen and Brenda is my big sister. I have a boy named Daniel, too!
    I am writing to say learning to swim was not easy for me. I still don't think I am a good swimmer, but I can get across a hotel pool where I can't touch. Sometimes you learn best by jumping in and sometimes you learn best by hanging on the edge and just going a little bit at a time. That is for swimming and a lot of other things in life. Isn't it neat that God made us all just a little different? Keep paddling.