Monday, January 17, 2011

Mother Hearts

How does a mother hold her heart together, when her heart is scattered? When her heart is in six different places all at the same time?

Twenty years ago ... overflowing hearts of joy at the birth of baby #6, our youngest son ...

I read a quote years ago ... Being a mother "is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." (Elizabeth Stone)

Wandering and in many places, my mother-heart is constantly needing to be gathered up, to be held, to be gently brought back together. Which is why I need to learn over and over, day after day, to continually run to my Maker, the one who fashioned my heart, the one I desperately need to hold this scattered heart together.

And it is a life-time of running to My Father. My children are all grown now, and my heart continues to walk around with them.

Walking around outside my body, for 37 years now ... walking around with my six children. Places like Taiwan, Macau, Japan, the Philippines (missions trips three of our daughters went on) ... in places of wandering and tears when there was discord ... in the carefree play of childhood ... in waiting rooms and hospital rooms for appendicitis, leukemia, bone marrow transplant ... on school grounds and in school rooms, sometimes in locker rooms hearing unkind words ... with a son, off to New York City, living in the middle of Manhattan while attending design school ... with four daughters as they labored to bring their own babies into the world (one who labored for many years, through tears, until her two were placed in her arms through adoption).

And now, in this year 2011 ... my heart will be on a big company fishing vessel off the coast of Alaska and up into the Bering Sea. In my heart, I'll be there for three months with my youngest son, who is made for drama and adventure, who has taken on this job of adventure to earn money for his future, bigger dreams of adventure.

And in all these places, and in all these years ... as mothers, we encourage, we love, we pray for, and we let go ... while our hearts continue to walk around with our children.

This is the way of mothers. And in the midst of this walking around, and letting go, we must hold on tight. To the One who is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present ... always with our children, and always with us.

In the early morning hours, I hear these words ...

"Always be full of joy in the Lord.
 I say it again - rejoice! ... 
Don't worry about anything,
 instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need 
and thank Him for all He has done. 
Then you will experience God's peace 
which exceeds anything we can understand. 
His peace will guard your hearts and minds 
as you live in Christ Jesus." 
(Philippians 4:4-7)

In the midst of a sometimes fragmented heart, scattered and in many different places, and mingled in with the tears that come with motherhood ... I can have Joy, and I can have Peace, and so much more. All a gift from the one who fashioned my mother-heart. All that I long for.

"And because we are His children, 
God has sent the Spirit of His Son 
into our hearts
prompting us to call out, 'Abba, Father.'" 
(Galatians 4:6)

Within me, in my heart, holding me together, giving me true, overflowing Joy, giving me Peace.

Loving Lord, thank You for the priceless gift of children, and thank You for Joy, and for Peace, and for holding this heart together ... 

Linked to Faith Barista, Imperfect Prose

Linking up at A Pause in the Path, sharing a favorite post from 2011


  1. Oh Mom, this is a beautiful post, from your sincere pursuing heart. It brought many tears for me, thinking of you and your children, and also me and my children, including the two who are not with me. Thank you for sharing and please know how much your children love you, and our hearts often long to be with you as well!

  2. Dear Cherry...this is so, so beautiful. So beautifully written and expressed, but what I love most is that even if it were all jumbled, simply coming from the life you have lived and live with these six children--it would still be gold!! So it is gold purified many times by fire...

    So much more I could say...loved the how much encouragement you give me for what lies ahead. Thankful that ours is a friendship I can take with me wherever I go!

    and, i think i understood right, one of yours had leukemia and went through a bone marrow transplant??!! It may still be too hard, but I would love you to write about this journey...

    with love and thanks, abby:)

  3. Mom, this was beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your heart, and about your feelings as a mother. You are such a fantastic one - you truly care for your children, even when we have grown and left home, you still love and care for us, and are concerned for us. Thank you for this love. You have taught me so much about what a mother is. I love you!

  4. Oh beautiful transparent your heart is! Yes, as mothers we have to learn to let go and allow Him that holds it all together give us that peace and love that we know He can give.

    Knowing that your children call you "Blessed" is reward enough to know that how you are is pleasing to HIM that gives you JOY!


  5. To that beautiful prayer I say a grateful "Amen". The verse you share here reminds me once again do "these things" and then you will experience God's peace. Those few things are simple and comforting. Thank You Cherry!

  6. Dear Cherry, you are a beautiful writer, showing us the truth of your heart and reflecting the grace and joy of God in it with you. This is joy I can relate to, and it was wonderful to "meet" your children in this post. Your heart is in different places, spreading the love you've invested in all those years. Thanks for placing this in the jam this week. Wonderful.

  7. This makes me cry because I struggle...I mean, I REALLY struggle in being divided among three children (and they are all right here). My son was an only child for nine years. Sister #1 slid beautifully into the family. Sister #2...not so much. My son is now 11, and the baby is 5 mos. You wouldn't believe how much my son and I have cried in those 5 months. I am in awe of you for raising 6 children! God's blessings to you and your family!

  8. When her heart is in six different places all at the same time?

    oh friend...this made me tear up too :) you touched a mother-chord. absolutely beautiful. i LOVE the photo... i'm only expecting my second... to have one's heart extend six times... wow. what a gift and a sacrifice. thank you for this beautiful offering.

  9. Oh my...I am there with you! My middle daughter who is our "fragile one" due to an attack five years ago just moved 1,000 miles away to work for a new company. My son is ready to sail the world, and is going to buy a sail boat, and my oldest daughter is pregnant with her third child and is going to be so busy with three tiny little ones! So I am there!! Love this post, I am glad you shared what I feel so often. I am visiting from A Pause on the Path