rotating header

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers to Mothers

On this day we honor motherhood.  I taught my Sunday School class this morning on Ruth 1, using Paul Miller's excellent now book A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships.  Naomi and Ruth embody the courage of love, giving up everything for the good of another.  This is the essence of motherhood and why these relationships are where we first and best learn of the essence of God's nature.  A life put on the line for us.  So today, a tribute to the mothers who put me here, and to the way that extends forward, on and on, life for life.

First, my own mother, who lost her father at age 4 and her own mother at age 21, but threw her whole energy into building a life with my Dad, creating a home, helping run a business, taking us to piano lessons and cheering a soccer games, leading in pioneer girls and Sunday School, teaching and loving and providing.  Her passion for history and an artful order are seen in this photo taken in Williamsburg, VA, a few years ago.  Pray for her now, recovering from back surgery and a blood clot in her leg, the combination of which will mean she misses her planned trip to Luke's graduation next week.

Then, Scott's mom Ruth, the best mother-in-law a girl could hope for, kind and encouraging and serving. With a master's in home economics she sounds intimidating, but she taught me to make a pie crust and scandanavian treats and never, ever made me feel inadequate.  She is the glue of the Myhre clan, caring for our kids and planning vacations and drawing in the scattered cousins for Thanksgiving and giving us wise advice.

From these two women, I have received the privilege of being a mother myself.  

This photo is from this morning, I got Julia and me matching batik wrap-around-skirts from the Maasai Market on Friday.  It is by far the greatest privilege and joy of my life to have been able to marry Scott and together parent these amazing children, who are witty and fun and strong and faithful and in all ways an improvement upon the raw material from which they came.   Whatever they do in this world, as parents or doctors or pilots or engineers or nurses or teachers or politicians or builders or cooks or artists or preachers or whatever path they take, they will be an impact and a blessing.

And with them, the friendship that comes from raising children with other women, both my fellow moms and my friends like Bethany who mother my kids and many others.  

And last but not least, my job means that I have a role in supporting motherhood every day.  Literally.  In the last week I have been in the delivery room holding onto crying mothers who were anxious and in pain, praying with them.  Giving them good news and hard news.  Pouring the hours of my life into the survival of that most precious to them, their babies.  Lines and blood transfusions, calculations, listening, inspecting xrays, making decisions.  

Baby Victor's mom lost her first child, then arrived at Kijabe as preterm labor overwhelmed her.  Within the hour she delivered her tiny infant son.  And now we have transfused his little 1.3 kilogram body in 3 double-volume sessions, meaning 6 times his blood volume, in and out.  His life still hangs in the balance, his mother's prayers and our work pulling for him to survive.
Emmanuel was our sickest baby for most of last week, struggling to breathe.  His mom has lost three previous children.  She was anxious, hovering, hoping, crying.  I felt the burden of her need, the difficulty of his survival.  Here she is on the day he turned the corner, tenderly touching him, having taped a Bible verse there by his head.

And one of our youngest survivors, 26 weeks, Mariah snuggles against her mother's chest, content and ready to go home.

So from Victor, Emmanuel, Mariah, from all of us at Kijabe and in our family, a happy mother's day to all.  A day to ponder the blood and determination and grit that brought each of us life, and to purpose to share that with others.

No comments: