One day, when my vocation as mother ends, I want to leave a quiet legacy behind me. I want a dog-eared prayer book on my nightstand, a well-worn set of rosary beads lying next to the lamp. I want my girls to look back and smile because of the love, patience, and faith exuded by their mother.
Most days I question if that’s the legacy I’ll leave. Just before Lent, I realized that, while I might excel in other areas as a mother (dancing around the living room singing children’s songs while my girls giggle), I was definitely lacking in patience. I often hear others say, “Don’t pray for patience, or you’ll wish you hadn’t!” So I didn’t.
There are times when mothers don’t have to yell. When a simple, kind word will do. A loving request does so much more than a firm command blanketed with a frown. Love and kindness are Patience’s sister, I believe. And so, I’ve started doing it. That which I had been made to fear.
Lord, please give me patience right now.
And He’s answered. Though I have much more work to do, I feel Him working in me. Infusing each word with so much love and comfort. Trying to show them the right way, with gentleness. Praying before each correction.
Mary of Jesus, be a mother to me now.
It’s easy to get tired, worn down. Mothers give constantly and hardly get anything in return. It’s a tiring, stressful, worrisome job that constantly asks us to empty ourselves completely even when we have nothing left to pour out. But, I wanted to do this, I needed to do this. I have always felt a calling to be a mother. I must carry on, even when the carrying is a burden. And I must do so, lovingly.
I never want my girls to look back and wish for more love, more kindness. I want them to have an example to inspire them. To aid them should they be called to this vocation. I want their hearts to be full and their souls to smile. Always. Someday, I want them to desire my prayer book, my rosary beads. Because I used them to be a better mother. I want them to pray with hope, love with kindness, and serve with patience. Because that’s how Mom always was.
I want to deserve the statement, “I want to be just like you, Mommy.”