My Great Commission

My motherhood journey began when I was nineteen and Julia was born.  Four years and eight months flew by and I was suddenly a mother of three.  Julia, Aubrey and Chase.  I loved every minute of it.

For lots of different reasons, my ex husband and I decided three was our limit and he had a vasectomy.

I loved my three and we had So Much Fun together.  We went everywhere and did everything together.  And very shortly, I began to deeply regret my choice to stop at three.

You see, I am a kid person.  God tooled me with a deep love for kids…He has given me a tolerance for their messes and their silliness.  And while I lose my temper like any mom, while I sometimes long for just A. Minute. To. My. Self. Please., I think I am gifted in handling their brand of crazy.  Motherhood is my Great Commission.

The Great Commission is this:  to make disciples.

And this is my Great Commission:  My two warrior women, my strong, compassionate son and my two littlest ones…they are my life’s work.  The ones I am privileged enough to have influence on- our bonus daughter, Deanna, my sweet nieces and nephew to come, the little guys I see every day, the young people we know through our kids and church and Bible study…these ones are my life’s work.  All of them.

I was just discovering this all these years ago.

And so, there we were, quite a few years ago and Chase was one.  I began to deeply long for a large family, for more children.  I got a couple of words from the Lord about my role as a mother, how it was my calling.  I began to feel that so intensely.

My heart grieved for another child.  I begged the Lord, I begged my then husband…I cried a million and one tears.  And ultimately it was decided that we would go to Indiana for a reversal.  Eight years of praying and pleading and longing…

My pregnancy with Lila was stressful.  I had preterm labor and was consigned to bed rest somewhere around month seven.  For what felt like forever, I laid in my bed and prayed for this little girl.

Her birth was complicated.  I had an induction at week 39, amidst concerns about her size.  Completely founded concerns, as it turned out.  The last ten minutes of her birth were extraordinarily stressful and the thing I will say about that is this:

You just never know how a birth is going to go.  My first three were text book, no complications, no nothing.  Big babies that were born easily.  But my fourth?  I almost lost her…She was 10lb. and 4oz., which turned out to be about my limit for easy births.  I’ll spare you the details.

She was born, she was beautiful and she was a dream come true.  A long deferred hope that came to pass…When I held her for the first time, I was almost in shock…It was a surreal moment…here was the baby I had longed for and prayed for and prayed for and longed for.  Lila Rebekah, born April 27, 2007.

She was an early talker and a late walker. She could speak in sentences but didn’t walk until she was seventeen months old. She was serious about things and she loved Yo! Gabba Gabba!

Happy first birthday!

She was so funny, her little personality cracked everyone up. I was on staff at LivingStone House of Prayer when she turned two and we were third order workers at Living Stone Monastery. I can remember Lila dancing in prayer room, singing “You’re Beautiful” out on the patio…Such a character.

And then she was three. A few months before she turned three I married her Stepdaddy. She slept through the wedding! She began her love affair with animals that year. (It hasn’t ended yet.)

She also became a big sister in her third year.

And then she was four. Four has been a fun year. Lila is a smart girl, full of questions and a desire to figure out how everything is connected. She’s so funny, she still loves the song, “You’re Beautiful” and she is a great big sister.

Five years old today. I just can’t believe it. Our lives have changed so much in five years, it’s been a bit of a wild ride. At five, Miss Lila loves dancing to Kids Bop, she loves to pray, she still loves her animals, she loves her family- all four parents, all of her siblings, her grandparents (with four parents, she has quite a few), her cousins, her friends. She is very relational and I see that as a strength. She’s a leader, sometimes to a fault, sometimes to the good. She is, in short, amazing.

She is more than I ever could’ve dreamed when I began asking the Lord for just one more so many years ago. (And because God is who He is…He gave me two- Lila and Claire!)

So happy birthday to my miracle baby. Happy birthday to a little girl who is the fulfillment of a promise- my Samuel, my Isaac, my Lila. I give thanks for her today- for her quirks, for her strengths, for the way she loves. She is a treasure. An absolute treasure.

Five years old…full of promise…Thank you, God.

2 thoughts on “My Great Commission

  1. It has been said that there is no higher calling than to be a mother. And the older I get, the more I believe this to be true. For to be a good mother, patience, wisdom, perserverance, prayer and tons of love are required…every day, every hour. Would you believe ..every minute. What I know is that you have this and it is truly a gift of God.

    I also know that those babies that were longed for and waited for are extra special. Our Lindsey was one of those. We waited for 6 years for God to see fit to have her join our family. Like your Lila, Lindsey demonstrated extraordinary characteristics, very early. She taught me biblical truths at every turn in ways that were so simple and yet so startling that they are with me still. Lindsey and Lila are God’s spirit children: they will always bring His truth and joy to others. And you and I have the honor, responsibility and joy of teaching and encouraging them…always.

    Hug Lila for me. Tell her that I love her…even though she doesn’t know me. And know that I love you too for you, too, are one of God’s special people: teaching others how to live with love by your actions and your writings.

    Late April blessings, Lena Epps Brooker

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