Blake’s arrival was a mixture of extreme joy and unknown fear. I had just turned 20 and we were 9 days shy of our first Anniversary. My hearts desire from the time I was 2 or 3 was to be a wife and mommy. However, I was finding out how hard the being a wife was, my pregnancy was 6 months of severe morning sickness and 6 weeks of shingles. After 19 ½ hours of hard labor and 2 hours of pushing I ended up having an emergency C-section. Nursing was not the delight the other mommy’s were talking about either. Clint was on a full scholarship at Iowa State and not allowed to work, so I had to return to work when he was just 6 weeks old. Was I going to be the mommy I desired to be to this beautiful little boy? More on the forefront of my mind, was everyone else going to think I was the mommy I should be?
Over the next several years I missed a lot of the joy of motherhood worrying about what others thought. Poor Blake was always disciplined just a little more often so that other mom’s wouldn’t think I didn’t take the exhortations of Proverbs 22 or 23 lightly. I worked on his alphabets and flash cards like a Mensa drill sergeant. He had to have the perfect hair and wear the perfect clothes. (To this day he hasn’t forgiven me for the “Bill Cosby”ish sweaters with a turtleneck I insisted that he wear.)
I worked on memory verses and shoveled the gospel down his throat as if he wouldn’t get it if I messed up at all. I struggled with constant comparison of other mothers.
Now thankfully for Blake, and for me, he was an easygoing child. He was compliant and very trainable. When he did deserve discipline, he accepted it and repented quickly. He was a delight to my heart when I could let go just enough to see clearly. He put up with a lot of my mistakes as a young mom. He unfortunately also endured my years of depression and anguish over infertility. But here’s the thing: in spite of my best efforts, God saved Blake! He loved and chose Blake to be his own. God let trials, things beyond his control and Blake’s choices mold him into His likeness. He used my mommyhood as a tool to develop in his own heart the things He had in store for Blake; the good, the bad, the ugly AND all my failures.
Blake is a man who loves God. He loves his wife and his 5 little girls.
He’s hilariously funny, bright and charming. He’s handsome and a proficient beard grower. He’s grounded in theology and talented in the works of his hands. He’s a gifted musician and an amazing worship leader (when he needs to be). His dad is his best friend and he is a prolific story teller.
He has struggles like any man, and he has to pursue Jesus daily and he sometimes makes mistakes. Now he has chosen to follow after his dad and is in medical school. (Even with my worry and wailing to try to get him not to!) So, my only resource to help Blake continue to be all that God calls him to be, is to faithfully pray for him. Then, to trust the God “IN” Blake, for it is God who works in (him), both to will and to work for His (own) good pleasure! (Phil. 2:13)
Happy Birthday to my firstborn! I count myself blessed to be called your mom and love you more than you will ever comprehend. I will be forever grateful that God used you to show me a clear understanding of the gospels transforming grace! Far above my pride that you are my son, is my joy that you are His son!