Hollie Stokes Photography Tulsa, Oklahoma
Artifact Motherhood Project
At this very moment I’m sitting in our living room watching the sun slip below the roofline. It’s last rays illuminating a trail of legos and trucks strung across the floor. I have no intention of picking any of it up. I’m utterly exhausted from a weekend full of lots of adventure and exploring. Right now I'm wanting nothing more than to climb into bed and close my eyes. This is how many, many of my evenings end. Your dad and I put you three to bed. I come down stairs and analyze everything that wasn't able to get done; making mental notes for the next day. The house is quiet and in this little bit of time, I can be still.
A mother of three, I think the most surprising thing about my journey so far is the valuable lessons you, my three children, have taught me. For instance, the meaning of true selflessness. From the moment you were born I had to learn very quickly how to prioritize selflessly . In no way shape or form did my priorities have me anywhere near the top. As a young mother, this was a hard lesson to learn. There are times I still struggle with this, but as the months and years move forward, I feel like I have become more well-rounded and balanced at prioritizing in this area.
You’ve taught me to open my eyes and enjoy the beauty around me. I think I could write a blog post on this topic in and of itself. Elijah, I remember when you were about two years old and we were sitting outside. You were gazing up at the trees listening to a robin’s song. “What do you hear” I asked. “The birds.” You replied. “ They are singing happy birthday to me.” Mesmerized, I watched you soak in the bird’s song, as if it you were listening to Mozart himself. I was in awe, complete awe that you took something, I as an adult take for granted, and discovered it's raw beauty. I'll never forget that was the very moment you re-opened my eyes and I was seeing the world through yours. I marveled at your innocence and goodness of the world around you. To this day, I am constantly reminded to look in my own home, to find and seek out the beauty among the piles of laundry and stacks of dirty dishes.
Time. I’m so much more aware that our time together is sacred and fleeting. One day you’re going to grow up, move away, and start families of your own. In a world where we are so connected with the outside world, it’s so easy to get distracted with social media, emails, text messages, and phone calls. You’ve taught me how important it is to just be... to turn off these distractions and concentrate on the present moment. I can honestly say my best days with you are the days when I leave the phone on the charger and just walk away.
"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3.
I’ve written this verse on my heart, I think of it very often. What you have taught me in the ways of selflessness, beauty, and time I am forever humbled and grateful. You’ve opened my heart and spirit in ways I had never dreamed of. You three are the greatest gifts the Lord could have bestowed upon your father and I. For that I am deeply, deeply grateful.
Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back.These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Up next is the amazingly talented Shana Randy Petersen, please follow the link and show some love: Shanda Randy Petersen
You can also read more about Artifact Motherhood by clicking here.