To The Mama of The Kid in the Gorilla Cage

Oh, sweet mama. There are no words to express how glad the nation is that your sweet baby is ok. The fear you must have felt watching your baby fall that far into an enclosed area with a giant animal must have been immeasurable. The relief when you knew he was going to be okay must have been overwhelming.

I know it must have been simultaneously gut wrenching and relieving when the animal was shot and killed- on one hand, a beautiful animal’s life was taken in an effort of precaution because no one knew what may have happened, on the other hand, your child’s life was being spared.

I pray I never have to endure anything like that.

And you’re taking a lot of criticism in a moment when you should only have to be grateful for your child’s life. Many have ranked you lower than the gorilla in their thinking when they’ve made these ugly comments.

But, I will not.

As the mama of two littles, ages two and four, I know how hard it is. I know the fear of Looking up and not being able to see my kid in a crowded room. I have a runner. My four-year-old, who is typically very obedient, is also very high-strung. And if she gets a wild hair, she will take off running, which always ends in us both panicking. I know the fear of being a mother and constantly wondering if the child is alright or needs anything or is thinking of breaking the rules even when I’m standing right there. I know the anxiety of lying awake at night wondering if all the windows are locked. I know the worry that if I turn around for a moment, say at the zoo, to give the two-year-old a goldfish cracker, my kid might fall into the tiger cage, or the gorilla pen.
But for you, mama, all those fears came to pass. Your baby’s life flashed before your eyes. Your heart stopped and did not restart until he was safe in your arms again.

LISTEN TO ME:

Parenting is HARD. You have two hands when you need three hands per child. I don’t know if you were alone at the zoo or how many kids you had with you or what you were doing at the time. What I do know is this: what happened was a FREAK ACCIDENT. It does not define you. It doesn’t define whether or not you’re a good mother. It does not define your parenting skills.

Look to Jesus for all that.

I get judged and ugly comments because I put my kid on one of those backpack kid leashes. You get horribly harassed and kicked when your down because you didn’t and you may have turned your head. You can’t win with this world, mama. You just can’t.

The world can call you what they want. They can judge you and be ugly.

But here’s what Jesus says:

-You are worthy. (John 3:16)

-He uses your weaknesses to showcase HIS strengths. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

(To learn more about how Jesus overcomes our shortcomings and how to LET HIM, check out my FAVORITE book I’ve read this year HERE.)

-He gives you grace when you need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)
I know you’re holding onto your baby tightly tonight. Just know, as tightly as you hold him, Jesus is holding you both tighter.

From one mama to another, IT IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.

❤️

I desperately hope this letter finds you.

Cate
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Why I Won’t Be Saying “Happy Memorial Day!”

I’m not a big fan of the saying “Happy Memorial Day!”

I’m not sure in what way it is a happy day. Am I excited for a three-day weekend with my husband? You bet. We typically don’t get even a Two-day weekend. Do we grill out and have fun? Absolutely.

But while we are having fun spending time together and giving happy patriotic holiday greetings, another wife and mama just like me is fighting for her sanity today. She’s fighting to keep her head above water because the man she pledged to love “till death do us part” has parted from her way too soon. As the grocery store clerk tells her “Happy Memorial Day” she fights tears because to her, every day is Memorial Day as she desperately tries to help her young children remember the man who gave them life and liberty at the cost of his own.

It’s not happy for the father who will never see his daughter again or the mother who is raising her grandchildren because her daughter answered the call. For the mother giving birth today to a child who will never see the strength and love she saw in his father’s face. She will wrap him in a blanket today and pray it’s all a bad dream and he will walk through the door with flowers and they will be a family again. But he won’t.

He won’t. Because he gave his life so we could have the freedom to say what we want, no matter the cost. He died so we could stomp on our flag and drive through fields of memorial crosses. So we could abandon our veterans and ignore our God. He died so that we could violate the very Constitution he gave his life to uphold.

But she also died so that my babies could know what it is like to be carefree, if only for a while. So I can raise them to know their hope is in Jesus and He will get them through the hard times. So they will know they’re always protected.

I heard it said once that the only two people who have ever died to save us are Jesus and the American Soldier. And I know it’s true.

So, as I spend today with family, I will pray a little longer for those who can’t because they made sure I could, and that I never have to live in memorial to the two men in my life who have answered the call to duty.

And today, I will take the time to explain to my girls WHY we “celebrate” Memorial Day me why all give some, but SOME GIVE ALL.

Love to my Loves,

Cate

 

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