[caption id="attachment_171271" align="aligncenter" width="1180"] Image by Taryn Elliott (2020), Pexels.com, CC0/PD[/caption]
It is Mother’s Day this month, a time to celebrate the unspoken heroes: moms. Moms are the first teachers leading our souls to God. A leader is one who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way. The vocation of mother and wife was designed by God with Mary as our model.
There has got to be a special place in heaven for moms of five boys. Let it be a place where she can find rest for her soul. When a mother of five boys speaks, listen up. I can guarantee you will learn something. When she opens their mouth, wisdom given to her from God pours out. In her motherhood backpack is a winning smile, a quick wit, and a firmness to not budge no matter what pressure comes from her five sons. What she says and does, she learned traveling on the road named Grace. Don’t you agree?
This Mother’s Day I have a surprise for you. My co-host Jane Ann Bonbrake (who is also a mother of five boys in a row and six girls) and I interviewed Rachel Balducci. I like to call Rachel “Radiant Rachel,” because she radiates Jesus Christ. Rachel is one of those Moms who has done the journey. Her husband, Paul, and she have been blessed with a quiver full, five amazing sons and an awesome daughter. She is a woman of wisdom who speaks, writes, and has authored three books: Overcommitted: Cut Chaos and Find Balance, Make My Life Simple: Bringing Peace to Heart and Home, and How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?:And Other Delightful Mysteries Of Raising Boys.
When Rachel speaks, I listen up. You will too. What will you hear? Listening between the lines will not be necessary as godly wisdom wrought in prayer shines through loud and clear. It is evident that Rachel has traveled down the road of grace with Jesus as her chauffeur. An expert in the field of motherhood is not learned in a book, it is traveled with the Savior Jesus Christ. You see there is no true Mommy manual for your family, because one size never fits all. All children are different, all mothers are different, and every day is different.
Mother Teresa is not the only one who chose a mission beyond her doing. We are all mothers on a mission on which the book is being written as we travel down the road and back again. Each mother may feel overwhelmed, over committed, and just plan over having another child until God opens her heart and blesses her once again. Miraculously, her heart enlarges. She is then more comfortable on her knees in prayer than anywhere else. It is in those moments she learns that God gives more than we can handle so that we turn to Him to handle all we are given.
A mother holds her child first within her womb and then within her heart. No matter how far away a child goes, each child always lives in a mother’s heart. Can a mother forget the child of her womb? Even if she does, “I will never forget you,” God says to the prophet.
The miracle of motherhood is that from the first time we hold our baby boy or girl, God changes us. I heard a quote I later memorized: “You cannot scare me; I have children.”
Rachel walks unafraid along unknown territory each day on the road God paved for her alone. God keeps her in peace by directing her steps and leading her in the “way of righteousness, for His name sake.” It is not a cloud by day or fire by night, but through His still, small voice sought daily in prayer.
This Mother’s Day I am so grateful for moms who embrace their vocation. Those who train up their children in virtue to walk in God’s grace. Moms who know how to keep their eyes keep on Jesus and on their own paper. Listen to the podcast of Rachel’s interview to hear what she has to share.
Do you ever wonder what the Blessed Mother would look like if she had raised five boys? She would look like herself! When Jesus hung on the cross and He gave His mother to John. In that act of sacrificial love, Jesus was giving Mary, His mother to all of us as well. His beloved mother, who is full of grace, had birthed, raised and followed Him. She was His most prized gift. It was at that very moment Jesus gave His all to the Father. It was an act of total surrender. Then Jesus took his last breath and died.
[caption id="attachment_171270" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Copyright 2020 Ellen Mongan. All rights reserved.[/caption]
May we all radiate Christ.
Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me and be, so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine. It will be you, shining on others through me. Let me thus praise You the way You love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You. Amen. (St. John Henry Newman)
Copyright 2020 Ellen Mongan
About the Author
Ellen Mongan, a Catholic writer and speaker, has been married more than 40 years to Deacon Pat Mongan. They have 7 children and 12 grandchildren. Ellen is a host of WOW Radio Podcasts, a religious columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, and has spoken on both radio and television. She is the founder of Sisters in Christ, Little Pink Dress Ministry, and Women-Fests.