As a Mother. As a Person.

“Nikki is a mother to everyone she meets.”

Like most first-time dads, when my daughter was born in 2012 my life drastically changed.   

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Like many men becoming dad’s for the first time I thought of many things differently the instant I saw this new life enter mine.  The first night our daughter slept in our home I stood outside her room with my arms crossed for almost three hours.  What did I think was going to happen?!  I didn’t know, but I stood there nonetheless. 

I thought about diapers.  Diapers.  So……many……diapers.  Can I get a witness?  I thought about rounded corners for the first time.  I thought about what babies eat.  Surely they don’t eat that crazy colored goop from Gerber.  What about pizza?  Can babies eat pizza?  Pizza is pretty soft.  Maggie Grace would probably like it.  Just kidding.  I never gave her slices of pizza when she was a baby.  I always put them in the blender first. 

A few other vital questions…  How do I hold this tiny human?  Why does the blanket burrito look so cruel?  How can this mini-me hold so much poop?  So many questions.  So many thoughts.  I wasn’t exactly freaking out, but my brain felt like it was being rewired. 

For my wife?  Not so much. 

Did her joy take on a different shade?  Did she see new colors when she became a mother?  Yes and yes.  No doubt.  But her personality?  Didn’t change.  

I won’t get too personal, but let’s just say when the moment came that it was clear it was time to go to the hospital, I was ready to go full Speed Racer and use all the buttons on the steering wheel of the Mach 5 to get her there as fast as possible.  (For the 3 of you that know what car I am speaking of it’s still one of the coolest cars ever, eh?)

So what did she say as I was in full “Let’s get going” soon-to-be-a-dad mode?  As low key as you could ask she says, “You mind if I take a quick shower?  I’ll be ready in a bit.”  Said with all the emotion of someone giving her glass of sweet tea a refill during a break from reading a good book on a lazy summer afternoon.

And that’s her in a nutshell.  That’s my wife.  That’s our daughter’s mother.  Exude calm and be the source of it regardless of the situation.  Always.  

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Another aspect of who she is as a mother, and I hope you take this the right way… 

The way Nikki is a mom to Maggie Grace is largely the way she is with everyone else. 

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Is that weird?  It’s something I’ve noticed in the 7+ years of Maggie Grace’s life.  Nikki has always, and I mean always, treated everyone with love, care, and respect.  Her daughter, her co-workers, her family and friends, those she leads and serves with in her various circles of life, her students both past and present, the Target employee, the UPS delivery driver, people that are nice, people that are not so nice, on and on and on, demographics mean nothing.  And she does so regardless of the environment or season of life, including the season we are currently going through as a society.  Same.  Always the same.  Good days, bad days, pandemic, whatever…. love, care, respect.  Like a mother.

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She is a mother with a gentle but powerful purpose.  Words of wisdom.  A tender word of encouragement.  A gentle touch.  Hushed and humble words of correction.   All given with love and compassion.  While never seeking the spotlight or credit for all that she has done or is doing. 

Proverbs 31:26 – When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instruction with kindness.

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She is the same way when names come up between us in the privacy of our home.  When other people aren’t around, when names come up about people in and out of our lives, she is mothering in her words about them.  When she has a chance to “let ‘er rip” as my dad would say, even when it would seem justified to let loose on someone….she never does.   She speaks in a motherly tone with motherly words as to “where they may be coming from”, “what they may be facing in their lives”, etc.  She’s not making excuses for the behavior, she’s not justifying it, but simply speaks knowing Who could give them peace in their hearts and desires it for them.  She’s mothering them toward Jesus even when they’re not around.

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Nikki is full-on a mother all of the time.  I never had any doubt she would be a great mother to our child if the Lord ever blessed us with one.  But I guess I didn’t realize she really wouldn’t change her approach in how she treated our very own versus how she treated everyone else.  

Is her level of responsibility different?  Of course.  Does our daughter have her heart in a way no one else does?  Of course she does.  But the traits she demonstrates with her are the traits I’ve seen her demonstrate to everyone else throughout our relationship long before she became a mom.

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She has never raised her voice.  She has never spoken condescendingly of another or to another (ever).  She has never used a relationship to better her view of herself.  She has never used a relationship to give her life “meaning”, including the life of Maggie Grace.  She loves being a mother.  She is humbled and honored to be a mother.  But she was created by God….her life already had full meaning, and that realization, that truth that she lives, is for the good of everyone…especially Maggie Grace. 

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Is she the perfect mother?  Nope.  She would tell you so.  Who is?  To be clear, we have absolutely no expectations of perfection in this house.  Who can live up to that?!  But she knows she is not charged with achieving perfect motherhood, but simply to get out of the way to allow our perfect Father to do the work through her.  To allow His love to flow freely through her.  Unfiltered love.  To our daughter.  To everyone.  And because of that, she is an incredible mom.  Leading everyone she meets closer to the love of Jesus.

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“Nikki is a mother to everyone she meets.”   

Love God.  Love your neighbor.  Happy Mother’s Day. 

 

 

 

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