Jackson Five Friday: Calculating Motherhood’s Happiness Limit

I can relate to the saying “a mother can only be as happy as her unhappiest child,” because my sons’ momentary struggles bum me out, and way more than they should.  I know it will pass, that in a few days or maybe even hours the hurt or disappointment will be forgotten, but somehow my heart is intertwined with theirs.  If they’re sad, I’m sad.  It doesn’t even matter if the sadness doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Let me give you two examples from the last twenty-four hours: (1) Sammy cried when I made him do his math homework, which while very simple, was met with fierce resistance and crocodile tears; and (2) Will obeyed his dad who wanted him to read John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony but boys at school made fun like he was reading “My Little Pony” instead of the classic.  These are such silly examples, but honestly I can’t watch Sammy cry and not feel a little sad too, and even though Will and I laughed a lot when he told me about the pony teasing, I was still a little sick about my baby feeling ridiculed.

We cannot know just how many mamas are hurting for their babies along the East Coast this week, but we do know it’s a very large number, probably one with at least seven digits.  And they are not hurting over trivial things like I just described, but huge, painful losses, and heartaches that won’t soon fade.

This is my prayer for those hurting mamas, young and old, rich and poor during these difficult days:

May you know the special measure of grace that God gives those who grieve.  May you be strong for your child, setting a godly example in marching on with faith and humility, hope and perseverance.  May you exemplify patience, even in the hardest of times.  May you seize those moments to hug your children, to tell them you love them, to count your blessings even in the midst of much despair.  May God bless you with a family that is closer because of the sorrow.  May the bonds with you and yours be a testimony to those around you.  May your path be filled with generous people who want to help, and may your heart be open to receiving the love and compassion offered.  Most of all, may you fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

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