Tag Archives: mother

Song of the Single (Paradise Uganda)

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Isaiah 54:1Ugandan children 3

“Sing, O barren,

You who have not borne!

Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,

You who have not labored with child!

For more are the children of the desolate

Than the children of the married woman,”

says the Lord.

During a visit with my pastor’s family on Monday, a familiar longing stirred within me. Pastor’s three year-old cuddled into my side and asked me to look through a book with her. I miss children.

Earlier that evening her seven year-old brother handed me pages torn from a coloring book. He had colored them especially for me, eager both to earn my recognition and to share his affection. Just a few days prior I had glanced sadly at my refrigerator, noting the absence of artwork from children who love me. Although it is covered with photographs and magnets, it seemed strangely bare. I smiled proudly at his artwork, thrilled to accept his decorative gifts. Who needs museums? Who needs professionals? I much prefer a child’s masterpiece.

DSCF0422DSCF0423

Tonight I discovered some podcasts about a project involving children from Uganda. My friend and a few other dedicated musicians are working to create change in the lives of these children and in the world by recognizing their beautiful voices. These children are talented, and they’ve gone too long unrecognized. They have incredible stories to tell, but they’ve been widely ignored. They have songs to sing; it’s about time somebody listened. Could there be any sweeter sound than that of a child rejoicing?

http://www.fln.org/fln-news/podcasts/detail/news-paradise-uganda-part-i/

http://www.fln.org/fln-news/podcasts/detail/news-paradise-uganda-part-ii/

As I listened to clips of these children singing during the podcasts, tears formed in my eyes. I want to be with the children. I want to be where the children are, do what the children do. I want to sing with the children.

I’ve never even met these children, but my heart longs for them. I’m not musical – not even slightly. The lady in the podcast mentions the rhythm that comes so naturally to those little ones and memories flood back to me. I laugh as I recall dancing with the deaf children in Jamaica. Dancing goes hand in hand with music. Both require rhythm. I was told all Jamaican women could dance. I soon learned that the beautiful teenaged girls at the deaf school – who couldn’t even hear the music they were dancing to – had more rhythm than I did… I suddenly believed the statements were true. All Jamaican women can dance. And I became all the more aware of my own fallibilities.

Ugandan children 2

Why do I yearn to be with these talented young ones? What do I have to offer them? The musicians who’ve taken an interest in these children’s lives can provide them with guidance, training, and opportunities to share their songs. But I’m no musician. What could I possibly give?

I have a mommy’s heart. And as a single woman with no children of my own, that mommy’s heart has an abundance of love eager to flow into these kids’ lives. I cannot count the number of times others have asked me about a desire for children when they hear that I enjoy being single. They are shocked to hear that I don’t really long for children of my own. Sometimes they refuse to believe me. But it’s true! There are so many children in this world already who are hungry for love! I want to love the children who are already here.

Ugandan children

In my travels, I have discovered that children often put me on a pedestal – simply because I am an adult, I am American, I am white. What happens when a small child who has been devalued stands next to woman she idolizes? “Sing, O barren woman!” What happens when that same child realizes that she is more talented than that woman? I may fall off my pedestal, but more importantly that child begins to recognize her own gifting. She feels a touch more self-confident. She feels special. And she often laughs at me. These moments – these awkward, embarrassing displays of my own inadequacies, produce some of the most wonderful memories.

I do not need to be married or birth children. I just need to be around children who need to be loved. I want to love them. I want to appreciate them. I want to delight in the talents of my children – not the children who bear my name, but the children all over this world that God intends for me to mother. I’m just a single girl, thrilled to be a mommy. And although it won’t sound pretty, I will lift my voice to sing about it!

me and the philippino kids

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How I Met You – Your Mother?

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Still haven’t gotten my computer fixed, unfortunately. I keep forgetting… But I knew the world would forget me and my singleness if I didn’t post soon. 

Just before Easter I met a young man. Late twenties or perhaps early thirties. He’s a chef. Had a motorcycle. Gorgeous blue eyes. Great smile. Sense of humor. Sounded very intelligent. Beautiful daughter. Single. My friend pegged him as “taken” simply because he had a child. I doubted her assessment since I saw no ring and no woman. He clearly announced his single status a little bit later. 🙂 Why would he point that out if he weren’t interested in dating one of us? 

Here’s the thing: I am friends with his stepmother. 

On the bright side, they get along well and she is in my corner. She was telling him that I would make a great mother and pointing out other strengths. The next day she told my mother that she thinks he and I would make a great couple. 

On the not-so-bright side, she is his stepmother. After he didn’t ask for my phone number and I assumed he just moved on… I got thinking about several of the fabulous young men I’ve encountered recently. I seem to keep meeting these guys through their mothers. Somehow, I think this inhibits my progress. Who wants to introduce their girlfriend with, “This is Sarah. She was my mom’s best friend!” 

Weird. I know. I can’t help it though. I hang out with a bunch of old ladies. “Old” of course is a relative term. No, they’re not 90. But they aren’t my age either. In all reality, these mothers would probably pick out excellent partners for their sons. They know those boys inside and out. If they recommend me, their sons would do well to listen. 

However, how many guys really want relationship advice from their mothers? How many guys really expect their mothers to set them up on hot dates? I realize I have the wrong approach. I need to work through other people my own age. 

I understand the hesitation these guys may feel. Even if they find me interesting, they probably stall over the concept that I hang out with their moms. I would. I almost automatically discard the notion of dating any man my mother recommends. Not because she doesn’t know me well. Not because she never meets young men. But because she does not understand my generation and the men she gravitates toward are complete losers… And they are often completely hideous. If she ever found one that I felt remotely attracted to, I would back away and assume he’s weird in a way I didn’t notice immediately. Just give it time – if my mother likes him he MUST be strange…

What am I going to do about this? How will I alter this pattern? I probably won’t. I work with people twice my age. I go to church with people twice my age. I’m resigned to the fact that I will continue to hang out with people twice my age. And I will meet their incredibly gorgeous sons. I will dive into infatuation. And when they neglect to pursue me because it’s completely weird that I’m their mothers’ friend, I will get over it. I will come home to my apartment and cuddle with my fuzzy companion, Oreo. And I will blog about life as a Cat Lady. Maybe if I were less comfortable with my life as a Cat Lady I would do something to change. Maybe.