When many of us think of what it means to be a mom, we envision a woman who loves her kids so much that she gives all of herself for their benefit. This kind of love is sacrificial, supportive, encouraging, teaching, and complete.
I think of Naomi from the book of Ruth. Naomi grew so close to her daughter in-law Ruth, that when her son died, Ruth chose to stay and live with Naomi. We don’t know much about these two women as individuals. In the Bible we find they are defined more by their relationship to each other, but that is where the beauty lies. Naomi loved Ruth as her own. She cared for her, encouraged her, gave wise counsel, and was fiercely loyal, all so Ruth would flourish. Most importantly, they bonded in their faith in God.
So, when I think about the kind of mother I would dream of for my own children, I think of Naomi and how my beautiful wife Cari is so much more than I could have asked for. Like Naomi, she is a fiercely independent woman who knows what she wants and how to go about getting it. She can literally do anything she puts her mind to.. She is smart, ambitious, and strong, but also kind and loving and full of faith. She can literally do it all!
Now, we have six kids. That’s right. six! We had three beautiful girls biologically born to us and we like to say that we had three equally beautiful kids “born again” to us. You can watch a sermon I preached called “Adopted By God” for more info on that. :) So, with that, let me share with you what a super mom looks like.
When our first child, Sadie, was born, my wife amazed me by how nurturing and loving she was and how she cared so deeply for our baby. But when Laine came, it was on. Laine has a BIG personality and a flair for the dramatic. I would freak out at the pressure, but Cari kept it all together for us. Then, a few years later our Anslee arrived and the kids outnumbered us! Still, Cari remained calm and attentive to all their needs.
So if our story ended there, I could add paragraph upon paragraph as to the kind of mom she was and is…. but our story doesn’t end there. You see, Cari was convinced that we could do more and that we were being called by God to adopt a boy. Fast forward about 18 months and we had our boy Malachi, PLUS his sisters and our daughters Arianna and Ayanna. That’s eight humans, a cat and a dog all in one split level house. WOW!
The process of adopting was challenging to say the least. It was an emotional roller coaster ride for our family. I would pray and trust that God had our backs and would see us through, but if I am honest, it was more than a little overwhelming for me.
I think many people would crash and burn facing what we went through, but Cari, she just got to work turning our home for five into a home for eight. She created systems and daily routines with an attention to detail and thoughtfulness that is astounding. The way she manages everything around the house is nothing short of incredible. She is home when the kids get home, helps with homework, cooks dinner, manages the bills, and is the literal glue that ties our family together.
When I get a little crazy and need to stabilize, Cari is there. When the girls need someone to lean on in their darker moments, Mom is there. When multiple kids have activities at the same time, but in different places, mom figures out how to make it all work so everyone has an opportunity to succeed and thrive. Even now, in the midst of a pandemic, she is a rock! She never quits on us and always perseveres with us and for us.
What I am thankful for most, is the way my beautiful wife reveals Jesus to our family and those around us. There are no masks and there is nothing fake. She speaks TRUTH but does so with GRACE. I tell my kids all the time that when they imagine the kind of person they want to be with, date, and eventually marry, they need to find someone who makes them better. That their faith should be stronger because they are with them. That they love people more deeply, care more wholly, and serve more faithfully, because of the kind of person they are with. I tell them to look no further than their mom, who makes me a better man just because I am with her.