Redeemed Motherhood Introduction

From as early as I can remember I wanted to be a mother.  When my sisters were asking for Barbie Dolls and their hot pink corvettes, I wanted baby dolls.  I wanted dolls that I could hold and love.  Dolls that came with magic bottles of milky liquid that disappeared when tilted just so. 
I would spend hours wrapping and bundling my baby.  I would burp her, push her around in a stroller and rock her cradle.  I never went anywhere without a doll.  Ever. 
Looking back I can see how my need to feel loved and like I belonged may have been the impetus for my desire to mother.  Just knowing that I had a doll to hold and to physically wrap my arms around made me feel safe and loved in the middle of a stormy childhood.

There was one doll in particular that I will never forget because she was my lifeline. 

My mom had made me a cloth doll with a calico print dress, a yellow apron, brown wool hair and big blue embroidered eyes.  She had also knit tiny Mary-Jane shoes complete with a smooth pearl  button.  I named her Melissa and she went everywhere I went.
I remember the day my mom gave me that doll.  We were visiting her; it was a flash-in-the-pan visit for Christmas before she headed back out West.  Before she headed out West — without me.  And to this day I remember feeling that I didn’t care what gift she gave me because it wouldn’t fill the ache I felt when she returned to her home in Alberta.
And then I unwrapped her.  I unwrapped Melissa. 
Those big blue eyes stared up at me from that cloth face and she was soft to hold and hug. And, I was in love.

After my mom left I made sure that Melissa was never far away from me.  She was a lifeline to the flesh and blood woman that laboured to push out all 10lbs 3oz of me.  She was the soft place that I could land when I wished that I had my mom’s arms to wrap around me in my fear. She was beautiful and she was the constancy that I craved as a young child.  Melissa could be depended on to be right where I needed her, no matter what.

I can remember nights, after tending the bruises of my heart and body, holding that doll close and letting her yarn hair soak up my tears.  I would finger the smooth buttons on her little shoes,  the rhythm lulling me to sleep. The whole while I would pretend that my mom was there to stroke the softness of my cheek and brush away the tears.
Looking back I can see how God used that doll to ensure that a little girl was never far from her mother.  How He redeemed a relationship through cloth and yarn and little Mary-Jane’s.  I can see that there was not one tear that was wasted – mine or my mother’s. I had my doll to hug and to hold, and my mom had the memory of a little cloth face pressed close to mine when she closed her eyes at night.

Hindsight often provides us with the reflection that we wish we could see in the moment. And, after years of mothering and the empty nest fast approaching I’m taking some to reflect on my own raising of children.

I have regrets.  I feel shame.  I wish everyday for a do-over.
Lately however, through this woman’s writing, God has shown me that He has already redeemed my mothering.  There is nothing that I have left undone that He himself has not covered.
So, it is with trembling fingers and shaking nerves that I begin this new series: Redeemed Motherhood.  I am opening my mother’s heart in hopes of showing all mothers how grace covers what we may have missed in the raising of little minds.  It is my prayer that whether you are expecting your first child, pulling your hair out in exasperation while littles clamour for your attention, or finding ways to keep busy after the nest is empty, that you will see how God has redeemed us – even in our mothering.

To learn more about this series click here. 

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