A mother’s heart, for the rest of her life, will struggle in labor, stretching, swelling, contracting, for her flesh and blood.

This post was written this spring just after Boy Two (Kid Kaboom) had played his last part in a musical on the high school stage. With that last, a new first has come for him – college and all that it will bring. And the labor continues…

How naive of me, young mother that I was, to think it ended then. To think that with the act of giving birth, the labor pains were over. Done. Finished forever. Now, I know what I didn’t know then – that a mother’s heart, for the rest of her life, will struggle in labor, stretching, swelling, contracting, for her flesh and blood.

For all the pain in labor, there is a wild joy in the birthing. I know that, too. For we mamas (and daddies) are partners with God Himself in the very creation of life, in the bringing forth of a piece of the Divine, a tiny scrap of immortality. Oh, this joy…

Watching our son this weekend, shining up there onstage, I felt it; felt the joy that comes when you see the fruit. What are we after all but gardeners; tending and sowing, pruning and feeding, weeding and protecting tender shoots and praying for the harvest? And there it was.

Over the years, there’d been plenty of labor pains with this one, Second Son, a strong-willed kid, to say it plain. But sitting there in the darkened auditorium, he shone, and there went my heart again, swelling with pride, love, gratitude. Thank You, Lord.

So many treasures. So many gifts to count today. The friends and family who came, cheering, too, and sharing our joy. The sound of my father’s laughter over a funny line. The way the cast – our kids – came together, all sizes, shapes, and giftings, into one magnificent whole. The solos that stick in your head for days. The sight of Second, playing a reverend, preaching truth in a black robe. Of him dancing his heart out, feet flying, face beaming.

The words. The love. The hugs and happy pictures. The applause that rolled in waves, us all standing to our feet, cheering as one.

Driving out of the parking lot after the last performance, there went my heart again, feeling it keen. Last musical. Last time. Last year. Joy and sorrow, all mixed together, keeping a mama’s heart soft, pliable. The pain of labor that keeps her turning to the One who knows it, too.
Jesus loves me, this I know. Jesus knows me. This, I love.


Rhonda Schrock lives in Northern Indiana with her husband and 4 sons, ages 22 to 6. By day, she is a telecommuting medical transcriptionist. In the early morning hours, she flees to a local coffee shop where she pens “Grounds for Insanity,” a weekly column that appears in The Goshen News. She is an occasional guest columnist in The Hutch News. She’s also blogged professionally for her son’s school of choice, Bethel College, in addition to humor and parenting blogs. She is a writer and editor for the magazine, “Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living.” She survives and thrives on prayer, mochas, and books. Her new home in cyberspace is at RhondaSchrock.com.  

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