I like to know what’s going on in our world, but my information doesn’t come from our local paper. There were too many photographs depicting blatant sin posted on the front page. I realize that this is news, but I don’t appreciate the images being recorded in the minds of my family. Recently, I was online checking news and ran across an article about the death of Eunice Shriver. I knew her name well as the founder of the Special Olympics and an advocate for those with disabilities. (I worked with hearing-impaired children before my daughters were born and among my colleagues she was an example of how to affect change.) The article told about how Eunice Shriver had founded the Special Olympics and opened the eyes of the public to the needs of the mentally disabled by openly disclosing the needs of her own mentally retarded sister. She received many honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, the Lasker Award for public service, and the Theodore Roosevelt Award of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Some have said that she should’ve been president.
Deep into the third page near to the end of the article, it mentioned that she was the mother of four sons and a daughters, saying that she “thoroughly believed ‘in motherhood as the nourishment of life,’ once writing that ‘it is the most wonderful, satisfying thing we can do.’” It is a rare thing in our culture for an accomplished woman, by the world’s standards, to recognize the value of motherhood.
Motherhood has always held a place of high esteem in my world. The example of my own mother gave me a strong desire to follow in her footsteps. It was only when I found myself a high school graduate without a sweetheart that I began searching for an alternative career path. I chose to study music education, hoping to use it with the hearing-impaired community.
When I was first married, I was hired to teach music at the only elementary school in the city that had hearing-impaired children. I began to write my own curriculum and work with others across the US who were writing the first nationally-recognized music curriculum for hearing-impaired. My job made for great conversation at my husband’s business functions. Then I had Victoria and quit my job. When someone asked what I did, they backed away so fast you would’ve thought I said, “I’m a carrier of the plague.” It was the first of many times that someone would communicate that motherhood was not valuable and that because I was a mother, I was not valuable. A discontent set in.
I have to admit that there have been moments when I didn’t feel satisfied in my “mommy world.” I wondered how it would feel to do something important—not instead of, but in addition to being a mom. I now recognize that those thoughts come from one who has taken her eyes off of her Savior and His plan, one who is trying to earn her value. God has been faithful to teach me that my value is in who He says I am, not in what I do, what I look like, how my house looks, how my children behave, or how much they know. When I keep my eyes and heart focused on the Lover of My Soul, I recognize that my value is in being His—His creation, His friend, His servant, and His choice to be the wife of my husband and the mother of our precious children. That is a satisfying place to be.
You can read the full article reporting the death of Eunice Shriver here. (NOTE: I do not support nor recommend this publication as a source of information. I am merely providing the source of my quoted material.)