I'm only four years into the experience of motherhood, but it's enough to see how quickly children grow from feather-light swaddled packages into youths who beg you to watch as they perform new feats. Yet only now do I realize that the growth and achievements visible in our children often parallel the changes taking place in our adult hearts and minds. Parenting is transformative, perhaps most of all for mothers. As mamas, each moment brings scenarios requiring our response: the baby wakes early; the toddler tugs at our pant leg while we're washing dishes; the child bursts into tears when plans are thwarted--but with these daily events we take a breath and find ways to respond with patience and creativity that we lacked a day or two before.
Do you see how you are growing, mama? Have you realized how you are beginning to shine with these daily opportunities for response? Don't fear that you are losing yourself. You are beautiful both because of who you are and who you are becoming. In this process of being shaped and chiseled as a parent, radiance can emerge, fill the hearts of your family, and flow into the lives of your acquaintances. So when you catch yourself marveling at your child's sudden ability to read a word or extend uncommon kindness to a sibling, remember that you, too, are not the person you were yesterday. You're learning to respond with grace and mercy, and the occasional (forgivable!) moments of parental frustration and anger are being replaced more and more frequently with measured words and intentional responses. When you catch this image of yourself altered a bit more from the self-oriented person you were before you had children, thank the One who is doing a good work in you, and rejoice in your transformation.