Our society has different names for the maternal influence in our lives; Mother, Mommy, Mom, Momma. But there’s just something about being called “Momma” that I like. I’m not only the formal birth “mother”, yet not as casual as “Mom”; I’m no longer the “Mommy” they depended on as babies, but when I hear them say “Momma”, there’s a deep undertone of comfort, an inflection of honor, a rhythm of appreciation and respect, a sense of being intimately treasured.
That’s how I feel when my kids call me Momma. Intimately treasured.
Since today is Mother’s Day, I am going to indulge myself in a shameless “Momma brag” post. I’m going to pull out the literary “slide show”, and introduce you to four of my my most valuable treasures.
My oldest is 2LT Hedges. When Josh was born, my Daddy held him, the two of them gazing into each others’ eyes. Dad lifted Josh’ tiny newborn hand into his big, calloused work-worn hands, shook his head, sighed as his eyes misted, and spoke words of blessing over my firstborn: “He is gonna be a big man someday”. Growing up, Josh was outgoing, friendly, very protective and fiercely loyal. We still laugh about the time he was about 10 or 11, when he chased off the neighborhood bully (a mature teenager who was picking on one of Josh’s younger friends), telling him to “pick on someone your own age”. He has always been a friend to his sisters, protective of their honor, the watchdog. Their boyfriends didn’t stand a chance with big brother watching over her shoulder. Josh and his beautiful wife recently became parents, I have a feeling their daughter will benefit from his protective hand as well. Josh’s name means “Jehovah is salvation”, he is a bold witness of the love of Christ, and an example of Christian manhood, that reflect those words of blessing spoken over him as a baby.
My eldest daughter is Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn was a beautiful baby. I was told often, that she looked like a little china doll. Big blue eyes, dainty little features, and a high pitched mini-mouse voice. She was probably the most laid back baby I had ever seen. I could take her to her room, lay her in her crib and walk away. She didn’t’ make a peep, just fell straight asleep, pretty much from day one. Kaitlyn was given the gift of strength and mercy, from the time she was very young. It’s no surprise to me that God placed her with me for most of my seizures, she had a quiet strength and presence of mind that was necessary in stressful situations. When she was eight years old, her daddy got a phone call from her at Wal-Mart informing him that “Mom had a seizure and they’re taking us to the hospital”. She was more level-headed than many of the bystanders, correcting and instructing them not to put anything in my mouth, turn me on my side, etc. It was this level headed strength that made her an asset to the long term skilled care and assisted living center where she later worked. Further, it has been God’s gift of grace for the ability to make it through her husband’s year-long deployment to the middle east, her newborn daughter’s health issues and subsequent surgeries, and the additional challenges that came during those difficult times. She is a wonderful Momma now to two beautiful girls, who will have a true life example of a woman of strength and dignity spoken of in Proverbs.
Briana is my second beautiful daughter. Briana’s temperament differed greatly from that of her older sister. Her pediatrician often mentioned her remarkable strength for her age. She was beautiful, and she was bright, but most of all, she was busy! If we had to use one word to describe her it would be “big”. Briana didn’t do anything half way, she still doesn’t; she is all or nothing. As a toddler, she climbed before she walked, was curious about closed doors and high places, and more than once caused this Momma’s heart to falter from her lack of fear. We tease her about jumping off the slide as a toddler instead of sliding down like normal kids. I used to tell people that I was not afraid of Briana being kidnapped, they’d get halfway around the block and bring her back with an apology, “wrong kid”. I can remember crying out to the Lord daily for Briana’s safety and my own sanity. I second-guessed myself constantly with this child, begging the Lord to show me how best to handle her. A dear friend of mine gave her testimony one night at AWANA. Her description of herself was very much like what I saw daily with my Briana. She said that once she yielded her life to the Lord, He changed her. Completely. She had a new outlook, a new purpose, and a changed temperament, she was a new creation. The woman I knew was soft-spoken, loving, and sold out to the Lord. I began to pray this blessing for Briana, and as she grew, and matured, and began to practice saying “yes” to the Lord, an amazing transformation began to take place. To see her now, you would never guess that this child could/would not sit still long enough to have a story read to her. She is a bookworm, and will read or listen to books on CD for hours. She has a hunger and a thirst for the Word of God that I don’t see in many teenagers, and her generosity has been a blessing to us personally on more than one occasion.
Kristin is my youngest. She was born on the 4th of July and marked with an independent spirit. She was a beautiful, happy, laid-back baby, and has grown into a beautiful, gifted young lady. She developed a contagious laugh and a strong wit, both of which she quickly learned to use to her advantage for diffusing a cranky Momma, or unpleasant circumstances. She is the most imaginative, most creative of my four, and often acted out silly skits with her friends for our entertainment. She is a gifted artist, often frustrated with the lack of instruction in her art class, but exhibiting beautiful, deep works of art out of her own imagination. As a little girl, her tender heart made her the surrogate parent of numerous orphaned animals, including bugs and spiders. She is often burdened with empathy for people who hurt, and is in the process of learning both how to carry this burden, and when to lay it down. Kristin is driven. Once she makes up her mind what she wants, she makes a plan on how to accomplish it. She is not easily swayed, and hardly ever talked out of something she has her mind set on. To some, this might look like a liability, but to God and me, the two people who love her the most, it is a priceless asset that needs to be nurtured and developed for the work He will do through her. My prayer for her is that she will set her heart and her affections, and her will on God and practice saying yes to His call. When she does this, she will be firm in her resolve, unmovable, unshaken. She will be a tool that God uses to bring hope to hurting people, healing to the broken, and joy to the brokenhearted.
I’m blessed beyond measure to have these four great kids call me Momma. It’s been my prayer from the time they were babies that they would grow to love and serve the Lord. Because when you think about it, our offspring are the only “possessions” we can take with us from this earth.