Being a mother means having your heart broken. But, oh the joy in a broken heart! Every day brings my babies closer to grown up. Each day they get older, they stray a little farther, need me a little less. And my heart aches for those tiny hands and feet that, not so long ago, clung to me. Those tiny hands and feet that now go and touch and feel.
How it breaks my heart to watch my babies sleep. To see them, for a moment, in the innocence of their infancy. When everything they breathed and needed was mommy.
Now, I watch you scoot and crawl and walk and run and stumble out into that big world and my heart breaks. Because you don’t come back to me as often anymore, confident in your budding independence. You are no longer mine to protect at my side. You are running your own course. A course guided by me, but a course that will ultimately be up to you and the Lord.
So I sacrifice my heart. I sacrifice myself and I let the cord begging me to pull you in out a little further instead. And I release you to the Lord. I will guide you and teach you and protect you for this moment you are with me.
You will forget some things and ignore others. And I will love you. And one day, those little hands will hold your own miracle, your own gift from God. And my heart will break. A thousand times it will break. With joy.
As mothers, we put so much work and sacrifice into our children. Work and sacrifice that does not get the worldly rewards and recognition of other jobs. Work and sacrifice that, sometimes, seems to go unnoticed and unappreciated. Even so, we continue to work and sacrifice tirelessly for these little lives given to us. And if we are purposeful and never tire of doing good works (Gal 6:9), the seeds that we sow in our children will grow into future generations, as the lessons they have learned are passed down to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And when our short time on this earth is done, we can rest confidently in knowing that every sleepless night, every sick day working without a break, every sniffle and nose wiped without a thank you, have all been seen by our Father. And he will bestow upon us blessings more than we can imagine, and our children will rise up and call us blessed (Prov 31:28) for all of our efforts in caring for our children, the least of these.
Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake
For the strawberries:
3 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
For the shortcake:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
- For the strawberries: Slice the strawberries and toss them with the 1/2 cup of white sugar. Refrigerate for about an hour.
- For the shortcake: While the strawberries sit, start on the shortcake. Preheat the oven to 425°. Grease and flour an 8 inch round cake pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tbsp of sugar and the salt. Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and pieces of butter are no bigger than peas.
- Beat together the egg and milk in a measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in the pan on a wire rack.
- For the whipped cream: In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla and whip on high until stiff.
- After the cake has cooled partially, slice into 6 pieces, and slice each piece in half making two layers. Place strawberries on the bottom of one layer and top with whipped cream. Top with the other layer of shortcake and add more strawberries and whipped cream. Enjoy the best summer treat ever.