When I was a little girl I just knew that I would grow up and change the world. I was destined for something great and glorious and glamorous.
Then I became a mother. All I found myself changing was diapers.
There were days when I wondered if I had accomplished any good at all. You know those days, right, when we are mired in everyday life? The meals range from bland to burnt, the laundry is never done, babies cry, children quarrel, there are stacks of dirty dishes, lost library books to find, a toilet floods, there’s not enough money to pay the bills, and we haven’t felt great or glorious or glamorous once. The day ends, family prayers are said, and children are sent to dreamland.
My own dream, to change the world doesn’t even cross my mind. I am too busy worrying over my children. Am I helping them each find their own way? Am I spending enough time with them? Do they know I love them unconditionally? Do they recognize the talents they have been blessed with, the greatness they are destined for? Am I up to the task as their mother?
So many questions, not the least of which is “Are my efforts even worth it?”
One hundred years ago F.W. Boreham made this observation, “A century ago [in 1809] men were following, with bated breath, the march of Napoleon, and waiting with feverish impatience for the latest news of the wars. And all the while, in their own homes, babies were being born. But who could think about babies? Everybody was thinking about battles. . . .
In one year between Trafalgar and Waterloo, there stole into the world a host of heroes! Gladstone was born at Liverpool; Alfred Tennyson was born at the Somersby rectory . . . Oliver Wendell Holmes made his first appearance at Massachusetts . . . and Abraham Lincoln drew his first breath at Old Kentucky. Music was enriched by the advent of Frederic Chopin at Warsaw, and of Felix Mendelssohn at Hamburg.
But nobody thought of babies. Everybody was thinking of battles. Yet which of the battles of 1809 mattered more than the babies of 1809? We fancy that God can only manage His world by big battalions when all the while He is doing it by beautiful babies. When a wrong wants righting, or a work wants doing, or a truth wants preaching, or a continent wants opening, God sends a baby into the world to do it.” (F. W. Boreham, Mountains in the Mist: Some Australian Reveries , 166-67, 170)
And God sends those babies to mothers – to women who will learn what it is to become unselfish nurturers. Whose hands will see hours of service, wiping up crumbs, drying away tears, helping little hands fold in prayer. Whose feet will swell from constant rocking back and forth while soothing a baby to sleep, chasing a toddler, or driving a teen to wherever they need to go. Whose hearts expand and contract with pride and joy and worry and heartache. Whose knees are blistered red from the hours of bending, pleading to God for help in raising those very souls that are really His and just on loan to us.
It is these gentle, caring women, you mothers, whom God calls upon to raise those innocent babies, whether you bore them or adopted them. And I realize my little girl dream has come true. While battles rage, diseases spread, and evil rears its ugly head God is working quietly behind the scenes using mothers and babies to change the world.