I’ll admit that I had no idea what to name this post. “Mother’s Day” seemed too cliche and far off, “Being a Mom” also felt too straight forward. I felt like it didn’t invoke any emotional response in me and if it didn’t in me, how would it in my readers? I love Proverbs 31, as I am sure many women do, and in doing some research for this article, I came across an article a woman wrote about being at a conference and looking for art prints to help support ministry and came across prints with various sayings on them, one of which was “Real Love Bleeds.” You can read the article here, but those three simple words suddenly made the idea of love make so much more sense.
You see, lately, I’ve been feeling myself get really short and irritable with my toddler, Carly. Oh my sweet, sweet Carly. I love her deeper than even I could know, but she’s entered that terrible 3 phase where every word that comes out of my mouth invokes a response that sends her over the edge. “No, we can’t wait another episode of Sesame Street.” “We just ate lunch.” “It’s quiet time…” “Because you have to take a quiet time in the afternoon…” “No you can’t have quiet time on the couch…” All of these things are world ending to a 3 year old. It’s really began to wear on me and I’ve found myself getting short and sort of apathetic towards her.
On Saturday night, Colby went to put Ellie (our almost 9 month old) to bed and Carly and I went out back to enjoy the weather while the sun was setting. We decided to grab some bread and go down to the lake to feed the pekin ducks (they look like the Aflac duck and we named them Minnie and Daisy) and while we were throwing food to them, I happened to get a glimpse of something just at the water’s edge. January is when the ducks (in our case, mostly mallards) mate around here and come mid March, all the females disappear and only the males are out swimming and quacking. This “something” was a male mallard, but he was sitting awfully still right up against the shore… not moving… I walked over and my heart sank. He was dead. It must have just happened because he wasn’t there when I was outside enjoying the morning before the girls woke up. I couldn’t help but wonder if he had a Mommy duck waiting for him to return with some food while she sat on her eggs. My heart was broken for this little mallard and the potential family he has trying to keep warm somewhere.
At that moment, Carly spotted me and asked what I was doing. I suddenly found myself in the situation of having to try to explain to my 3 year old what death is. How do you possibly explain the concept of death to a 3 year old? I did the best I could, but it made me realize how apathetic I had become over the last couple of weeks to her and in that moment, I sat down in the grass with her, took her hands, and told her how much I loved her. Of course, she loves me too, but she said, “Let’s go over there to those ducks” like it was nothing.
You see, real love bleeds. It is the kind of love that people who believe “real love doesn’t hurt” can’t ever understand. Real love DOES hurt. Real love hurts the worst because that love is so deep within our souls. Deep love is great love and great love is just like what Jesus brought to us when he chose to die so that we could have eternity with Him. Bleeding love is the ultimate sacrifice; the kind of love that means you’re willing to sacrifice everything for that person. It’s the kind of love I have as a follower of Christ, it’s the kind of love I have as a wife to my husband, and it’s the kind of love I have as a mother to my children. It’s easy to get caught up in the frustrations of day in and day out with a toddler in THAT phase and forget that these little people are people too and in need of knowing that bleeding love we have for them.
I hope, on some level, you’re able to relate to this post as I usher in the Mother’s Day season. I created this video to inspire you to be photographed with the people you love. You never know when you won’t have that chance again. Yes, that’s cliche, but it’s only cliche because it’s true. Even if I’m not the one taking your picture, please take pictures. Please be in pictures. Your loved ones will someday come to think of those pictures as priceless. More on our Mother’s Day Sale can be seen by clicking here, but for now, I leave you with this video. I entitled in “Extraordinary” because our lives, even though they may feel ordinary, are extraordinary when we are willing to see it as such.