A note from Amy Boutan
A note from Amy Boutan
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
I am to full of reflection lately. Mother’s Day is approaching and my empty nest is looming. This fall Samantha is heading off to college. Last year Zach got married to sweet Ambria. This is an exciting time but full of mixed emotions. I am thrilled and simultaneously sad, overwhelmingly proud but full of dread. I am very aware that it is a an honor and privilege to even be able to be in this position. My mothering journey started 22 years ago. Being a mother has been the most difficult job I have ever had, but one I am so grateful to have had. We found out I was pregnant on a vacation to Hawaii. It is amazing how I immediately began to change and kick in to mothering mode. Suddenly I began to eat more salads. Immediately I learned that sleeping at night and sleeping in were no longer going to be regular occurrences. From the moment I learned I was pregnant, my world began to be connected to with my kids and it continued for the next 22 years. I know that I am only 22 years smart. There are a lot of mothers out there that have done it longer and have more experience than me. I have not yet walked down path of grandchildren and older adult children. But on this Mother’s Day, I want to encourage fellow mothers to keep up the good work and not lose heart. God taught me some valuable lessons in my journey through motherhood:
1. I learned sacrifice. Mothering is full of sacrifice. My body never looked the same after pregnancy. I walked away from a good job to stay at home. But every mother makes some form of career sacrifices. I learned to adjust my life and finances. I have a keen understanding of needs versed wants. I learned that nothing I owned was sacred; mud and dirt and broken things now surrounded my life. I have developed more of an eternal perspective. These sacrifices have helped soften me and mold me.
2. I learned my lack of character. Children are the most powerful tool of God to reveal your weaknesses. I have seen my ugliness at its fullness. God in His divine wisdom gave me children completely opposite in temperament. Zach pushed my buttons and Samantha required this creatively-challenged person to become crafty, and even own and use a glue gun. When faced with my lack I have learned to apologize, admit my faults and seek help to do better. In this process I have become keenly aware of my inadequacies, open to Jesus’s pruning and desiring a connection to Him and His love.
3. I became more humble and dependent on God. Children increased my prayer life. My worries and my cares for my children caused me to press closer to Jesus and take deep dives into the scriptures. The older they grew, parenting became even more challenging. My mother says, “When they are young they step all over your feet and when they get older they step on your heart.” Both stages have their own special form of exhaustion. It is easy as a mom to feel weary. I fought my battles using spiritual weapons. Fasting became a regular part of my life, that never crossed my mind before I became a mother.
4. I have experienced love like I never have before. I have become more brave than I thought possible. Two years ago, I chased down and confronted a man that was harassing Samantha at work. I have adjusted, adapted and became willing to do things that I never thought I would. Paul has two tattoos to prove it. I have have surrendered my plans and desires for my children and placed them on the altar and had to trust God’s best for them. I thought that Zach was going to be an engineer. But God had very different plans. My reverent fear of God and trust in Him ultimately helped me believe and see His best. I am glad to say that all the sacrifices over the past 22 years have now, in due season, have begun to show some signs of sweet fruit. I am more patient and humble now. I have a wonderful relationship with my children. I am so proud of who they have become. I am so thankful for the relationship we enjoy now. I hope these lessons learned over these past 22 years will serve me well into this next season. I don’t know where you are on your mothering journey. I would encourage you to not give up. Keep the end in mind. Do all you can to develop your children’s spiritual growth. Be willing to be inconvenienced. Make sure you keep your own spiritual life vibrant and genuine. Maintain a relationship with your children. Apologize regularly. And in due season, with Gods grace, a lot of prayer, help from brothers and sisters in Christ, then you may reap a harvest if you don’t give up.