Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ramblings on the Eve of my Birthday

There are those days I feel much older than my years. I feel so certain of myself. I look at my hands as they write out words in a journal, type at a keyboard, color in pictures, and knead bread at my counter and I know them. I can see my years through them as they slowly age. I know what they have been through, and still they serve and soothe.

Then there are days when it feel strange to even call myself a woman, because wasn't it just yesterday I was in high school? How am I here, rubbing backs, giving baths and holding all these lives in my hands? 

There are days that I still feel so new to myself, still trying to figure out who I am. I want everything just to pause, just for a minute, so I can try to get my equilibrium back. I want to catch my breath and figure out what it is I am supposed to do.

There are times that I love who I have become, and there are times that I feel I need to focus every blessed minute on getting my life in order.

Here I am, at a time in life when I should know who I am and be walking in it with confidence and authority, left wordless when it comes to explaining myself, to knowing myself.

The things I thought defined me are being let go. 
The roles I've had are ending.
The philosophical leanings have shifted.
The spiritual gifts that once poured out of me have dried up.

I don't know me. And I don't know what my life will be like one year from now. Where will we be living? Where will my big girl be attending school? How will I fill my days? Will all the girls finally be sleeping through the dark and quiet hours of the night? I don't know and to even try to imagine a day in any sort of detail seems an act of folly.

But I do know this, I am a mother.

I might question the giftings God has given me at different seasons of my life, but one thing I will never question is that I am a mother.

I was made to rock babies, to sing songs, to tickle piggies, to color pictures, to tell stories.

I was made to clean up play-dough  finger paint  dirty bottoms, runny noses, last night's dishes, and smelly socks.

I was made to hold hands, hold hearts, hold in laughter, hold in tears, and hold my breath.

I was made to teach, to share, to fight for and to love on my children.

I was made to pray for, pray over, and pray into my children.

My goals might change. My city of residence might change. My vocation might change. My passions might change. My talents my change.

But I know, that I know, that I know that I was made to be a mother. 

And when I am discouraged, and wonder what else there is for me, the Mother Heart in me that grows and grows and grows reminds me that just like my girls are nuanced and multi-dimensional, so am I .

My motherhood doesn't define me - it refines me. It has softened my heart to the needs of others around me. 

To kneel down next to those who ache and help them up, strengthen them, speak life to them. This is what I am made to do. 

To give voice to the voiceless. To empower. To shine a light. This is what I am made to do.

To call out into being, even if my voice is but a whisper, the things that aren't yet. This is what I am made to do.

To be part of seeing His Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. This is what I am made to do.

And so, on the eve of my birthday, I will press publish. And then I will go into the other room, where my babies wait for me. And we will sing songs, read stories, and hold each other tight. And I'll know, that I know, that I know, that I was made to be a mother.

On Thursdays we gather together to celebrate redemption. I'm so excited to be a part of this team! Want to join?

  • Link up a post (old or new) that relates to this week's prompt: MOTHER
  • Put the "Imperfect Prose" button at the bottom of your post, so others can find there way there
  • Read each other's posts and ENCOURAGE them


  1. Beautifully written! And thought I am hundreds of miles away from you, I know you are a fantastic Mom by your posts, photos and blogs. Your girls are so lucky to have such wonderful parents! Happy (early) birthday!

  2. "I know that I know that I know..."
    Oh yes, Brenna, this much is true. You don't have to have it all together, no one ever really does. All you need be is fully open-your eyes, your hands, your heart--open to the fullness ripening right in front of you.
    A very Happy Birthday to you, friend.

  3. On the eve of your birthday, I wish you a happy one! And a lucky momma you are to have such a wonderful family to celebrate you with!

  4. wow what a powerful, moving & oh so beautifully written post Brenna! i loved reading every word and know that you are a indeed a wonderful mother. .... and i knew that you would be from the way you used to care for your dolls! ;D Happy Birthday to my dearest first born with all my love

  5. OH BRENNA! NAILED IT! I feel the SAME...the giant WHO AM I NOW? Gorgeous write and girls!

  6. "To call out into being, even if my voice is but a whisper, the things that aren't yet. This is what I am made to do." Beautiful and powerful.
    And a happy birthday to you!

  7. Happy Birthday! And when all the questions refuse to lay down, you respond in confidence, "Yes, I am a mother." And sometimes that is enough. Just that. Your photos are lovely.

  8. You are too kind. Thank you.

  9. Yes. It is enough.

  10. Thank you, Fiona!!

  11. Glad I am not alone. I know I am a mother, but I know there is more than that, or in addition to that. Oh for a few minutes of quiet to figure it all out!

  12. Thank you so much, Nancy! Miss you!!!!

  13. This was beautiful and so true. Children stretch us and grow us and show us more about who we are and what we are capable of than any other human beings. God's gift to us as mothers. So good to be here today and to wish you a very happy birthday!

  14. Thank you for giving me a smile today. Love you too!

  15. Thank you for reading and for the birthday wishes!

  16. Thank you for reading and encouraging me,friend!

  17. FOUND. I like it. Thank you for speaking into my words. So grateful for your thoughts here!

  18. love how motherhood is your anchor in a world upside-down, a world where we are so often left grasping for something to regain our equilibrium.

    i feel the same way.

    beautiful and honest and "found" -- don't know if i've ever described a post that way. but this one? it is FOUND. :)

    (and happy birthday!)

  19. "My motherhood doesn't define me - it refines me." I think this right here is what stands out to me and I relate to it. Thank you!

  20. Beautifully written! And though I am hundreds of miles away from you, I know you are a fantastic Mom by your posts, photos and blogs. Your girls are so lucky to have such wonderful parents! Happy (early) birthday!

  21. Thanks, Me-shell, for reading and for your friendship!

  22. Thank you Holly for your unending encouragement!

  23. Thank you, mom!!! Love you!

  24. Brenna, this gives me chills. Of wonder and admiration and joy and hope. You are beautiful, friend, and this mother heart that refines you, as you so eloquently and wisely perceive, is glorious. Happy, happy birthday.

  25. Thank you so much sweet Amber!

  26. Happy Birthday, sweet Brenna! I love your sweet posts and tweets about the grit & grace of motherhood, and the way you mother and call out and encourage so many others. Love this & grateful, always, for your voice here.

  27. This is gorgeous, Brenna. Your girlies are so blessed. Happy Birthday!