This is the Gallery Wall in my living room. Because it’s in such a prominent place I think about these pictures often. I think about the stories they share and the deep lessons they represent in my life. Much like a vision board, this Gallery Wall has evolved over time. Pictures have been traded out to make room for new ones. And some remain with each passing season. The newest piece in the centre was an extremely thoughtful gift from my amazingly talented friend Erin Wildsmith. She has titled the painting, “A Better Story.” The perfect title in my opinion for a painting so rich with meaning and colour.
If I were to give the whole of my gallery wall a name I think it would be “Becoming Mother.” For a couple of years now I’ve been thinking more about what it means to become a mother. Some questions have been swimming around in my head and heart over the years: Is motherhood a part of the identity of every woman? Does “real” motherhood begin with pregnancy? Is it a woman’s vocation to “mother” regardless of whether she has children; Regardless of whether she spends her days at home or on the job; Regardless of her job title? These questions surface and I ponder them. Not because I’m concerned with the state of our society, our families, and our children (although I am.) And not because I’m concerned with what has happened to the traditional roles of women over the past 60 years (because I’m not.) However, I am deeply inspired and intrigued by what God had in mind when He created woman. What was His vision for us? For me?
The first woman’s name of course was Eve. Meaning “the life-giving one” because she would become the mother of all mankind(Genesis 3:20.) Sometimes and even as I write this, I can become easily disheartened because I have never physically given birth the way this passage talks about. I cannot look into a child’s eyes and see my resemblance. But then I’m gently reminded that spiritually speaking by nature I am also a “life-giving one.” I have in fact “birthed” life in small ways in the lives of the many people I have been blessed to know, my adopted son’s included. I believe this truth is for all women. We each have been created to offer life and peace, nurture and beauty wherever we are.
I think Mother Teresa is this kind of “life-giving” woman. I fell in love with this picture of Mother Teresa holding this beautiful baby orphan the moment I saw it. It has captured my heart in big ways. One might disagree with Mother Teresa’s religious beliefs and expression, question her motives or the way she managed the “Home For the Dying.” But this woman, this “mother” lived her truth. She did “small things with great love.” As I celebrate Mother’s Day this year I resolve to live out my days with a faith that says, “I am filled with the measure of all God’s love and I am a life-giver.” May all women and mothers everywhere be blessed.