May 2015 - Thoughts for Mother's Day

The setting for this fun photo shoot was at Josh and Kerin's farm. Bowties, hats and suspenders are not something the men would normally wear!...but they obliged me for this shoot. :) I guess you might call it a 'styled' shoot with 'props?' It was something a little different for this year's family photos, hope you enjoy!

Thoughts on Motherhood -
Gender is certainly getting lots of attention these days!  Especially with the coming out of one very famous person in the recent week! I will not comment on this particular very public gender story, but I did want to share my 'gender' story.  What follows are some of my own thoughts as next Sunday we set aside time to honor and celebrate the 'mother gender' who gave each of us a safe womb to grow in until we were big enough to enter the world. And then took upon herself the mantle or yoke of loving and feeding and teaching and training and protecting and finally releasing us into adulthood.

I was raised by a mother who wanted more for me than she had herself.  She was not sent to college and got married fairly young.  She had just 2 children and I think probably wished that she could have had a career before having us.  And she quite amazingly fulfilled that career dream after raising us and sending us both to college, starting when she was 48 by going back to school and becoming a pastor, being ordained when she was about 50.  From that point on, she had full time work until she retired.  She was an amazing woman and I tear up thinking of her accomplishments, service to God and to others, and the great Mom she was to me and my brother.  She did it all I guess.  But although she excelled at being a wonderful mother and wife, she wanted me to be more independent and to have a career, and not get married until I was older, to do things differently than was her lot.  So off I went to get my college degree and become a nurse. I had a 'career' first as a nurse, then as a campus staff member with a Christian ministry. But, I got pregnant soon after marriage, throwing me into the world of motherhood.  I tried to do my mothering job well, but still felt my first calling was to be a campus minister alongside my husband.  So much effort was placed in hiring babysitters so I could go on campus and do the 'real' work.  I remember a day I was working on a talk I was to give and it was not a good day for my son.  He needed me.  All day he seemed to want to sit in my lap.  Which didn't work too well with my plans for my day.  I remember praying and talking to God about it, saying 'God I have so much to do!  And it is all for You! When I get to heaven I want you to be happy with all the work I have done for you!'  And I felt His response to me, as if He was gently speaking to me, saying, 'You can show me all your ministry, but I will ask you, what about your son?  What did you do with the first ministry I appointed to you?'

Something changed in my heart at that point.  And when I started my homeschooling journey, (after my first son had an unsuccessful year in a private kindergarten,) that pretty much used up any time I might have had to pursue other things.  So from then on, my life was poured out for my family in many many ways.  It was hard!  It was 24-7!  And I never did it as well as I wanted to.  But in the end, looking back, there really is no career for me that could compare to the privilege of being a mother.  And the privilege continues now that I have the chance to be a part of my Grandchildren's lives as well! And although there is no official 'pay' for the many things I did as a Mother and even now as a Grandmother, I am very fortunate that my husband values what I do and is happy for me to continue to be the one who cares and serves and is the pulse in our family, serving in ministry alongside him as his life partner often in behind the scenes ways that he could not function without. 

So, although at times I felt small next to other mothers or women with outside the home careers, even big ministry careers that influenced lots of people, I would never have been satisfied or felt right about delegating the teaching and training of my children to someone else, so that I could have a paying career.  Whether acknowledged by society as important or not, being a mother was a full time 'career' that for me leaves other careers hollow.  Looking back, everything pales next to the privilege I have had of being a part of shaping, training and releasing several members of the next generation in this way. This was actually not 'my' plan or even something I could have imagined as I felt pretty ill equipped for the task. But as it unfolded for me it became clear to me over time, and especially clear looking back, that it was God's best plan for me.

Josh and Kerin and all 6 of their children in front of
   their home.
                                                    But yet, each must find their own way.  And just because it has been true for me, doesn't necessarily mean it is true for all. And I realize that! Some reading this might think me odd or worse. If I had read this when I was younger I might have though it odd too! Yet God is the one who writes our stories and I just hope I can be one grateful voice who doesn't wish I could have been 'emancipated' from childbearing and child-rearing and even helping with grandchild-rearing, like it is only a menial and lowly calling.  Am I allowed to say that in today's world?  I hope so. I almost feel that admitting this takes almost as much boldness and fear of criticism as the person I referred to in the beginning of this letter! But if you are reading this and have a similar heart, be encouraged as you journey on.  And may these scriptures remind you of Who made you and Who designed your calling.  Thank you and keep on!!!

Verses from Mark...

Mark 9:35-36
Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.

Then he put a little child among them.  Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.

Mark 9:42
But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.

Mark 9:50
You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.

Mark 9:5-9
He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts.  But God made them male and female from the beginning of creation.  This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.  Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.

Mark 10:14-16
Let the children come to me, Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child, will never enter it.  Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

Mark 10:26-27
The disciples were astounded.  Who then in the world can be saved?...Humanly speaking it is impossible, but not with God. Everything is possible with God.

Mark 10:31
But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.

Aaron and Christina and Ezra

Great news: We are happy that Aaron and Christina are expecting a girl, due in August. :)  Our eighth grandchild! Pray for the final months of Christina's pregnancy, an easy VBAC birth, and for healthy Mom and baby!

From our family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful time this coming Sunday celebrating and honoring the mothers in your lives! 

Happy Mother's Day to all!

~ Linda for the Bealls

Photos by:
Susan Schmidt Photography

PS...this makes my heart glad, music is like medicine to my soul, and to be able to help my grandchildren learn to play the violin gives me huge amounts of joy!

Sarah works with them on piano too.

Wonder what this will look like in a decade or so if they all stick with it?

Ezra is only 22 months but already is very serious about wanting to try. :)

Three with my daughter, two amazing daughters-in-law, and all five granddaughters. :)

Three generations of the Beall men...Bernie with all three sons, and two grandsons. :)