Although I am looking forward to Mother’s Day (I actually refer to the whole month as Mother’s May – stolen from a friend – because I think I should be celebrated all month long), I know that it is not a happy occasion for many women and bittersweet for others. My twin sister is one of those. Many people can’t tell my sister and I apart. We look alike and act and talk alike in many ways. But there are key differences. She is more left-brained and I am right. She is smarter than I will ever be and I strive to be as thoughtful as she is. And yet unfathomably, God allowed me to have children, while she remains without.
Kristen lost two pregnancies and struggled with infertility for many years. I will never know or understand her pain from miscarrying a loved and hoped for baby. I will never experience the dashed hopes of a period that came once again. Kristen is my only frame of reference for the side effects, monetary cost and inconvenience of fertility treatments. But I hurt with her every Mother’s Day (and many other days) as she’s once again reminded that this dream of hers never came true. But as much as it pains me, our loving and compassionate God grieves with her so much more. Psalm 56:8 NLT says,” You keep track of all my sorrows.[b] You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
When she goes out of state to see her husband’s nieces and nephews, she plans and executes “Cooking with Aunt Kristen”. They all look forward to making a new fun and tasty treat with her at every visit.
And my girls? They adore Kristen. She has bedded down for the night with Shelby to give Chuck and I a break and plans special shopping and dining adventures with Allie. She comes to plays and volleyball games and special Olympic banquets. As my youngest is firmly implanted in those tough teen years, it brings me joy and ease of mind to know she has a mature Christ-follower who loves her to talk to when she would rather not talk to me. It really does take a village, and I’m glad my sister is a part of mine.
I know it can’t possibly remove the pain of a longing unfulfilled, but I hope my sister feels joy and pride in knowing how much she has impacted so many. My kids…and many, many others are so much better because of her. And I pray that God will inspire and raise up other women to mentor and “mother” children not born from their bodies. The world needs more believing women loving and nurturing those in their sphere of influence.
A couple of years ago, Kristen’s sister-in-law sent her this bracelet on Mother’s Day to show her just how much she’s needed and appreciated. I wish I had thought of it. Romans 16:13 records Paul referring to Rufus’ mother as also being a mother to him. When Kristen is one day welcomed into her eternal reward, I believe there will be a line of people with the same testimony for her.
Mary Geisen says
Thank you for this tender tribute to mothers. It’s easy for those of us that have children to get caught up in the hype of mother’s day. I am much more aware of the struggles and heartache of many women as we approach this day. Thank you for your thoughts
Me too, Mary. Thank you.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Lauren, this is such a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes, because I have walked that road of yearning and yet being left barren. God brings each woman to terms with His plans when it comes to mothering. It’s beautiful to see how she so intentional to love on her nieces and nephews so fully. I’m praying for her this weekend.
Thank you for those prayers, Jeanne.
Kristen Ray says
Thank you, Jeanne, for your prayers.
Theresa Boedeker says
Lovely piece. There are many ways to mother, and often they get overlooked. Thanks for honoring your sister. I know I have several women who mothered me in my teens and I used to get them mother’s day cards to let them know how much they meant to me.
Such a thoughtful idea, Theresa.
Sarah Geringer says
Beautiful story, Lauren. I did not realize you had an identical twin until now! You are both lovely women and I’m glad to know a little of Kristen’s story through your blog. Blessings to you this Mother’s Day.
Sarah, we aren’t actually identical, but could easily pass as!
Martha J Orlando says
What a gracious, giving and loving woman your sister is, Lauren! I’m sure she has been and will continue to be a blessing in the lives of all the people, young and old, she touches. Thank you for this tremendous tribute today.
She is all of those things, Martha. Thank you for helping me celebrate her.
April Schwarz says
Thank you for sharing this. I remember a year or so before we got pregnant, my husband bought me a mothers day card. It was such a sweet, small thing he did for me on a day I was otherwise sad.
What a thoughtful husband! Happy mother’s day, April.
Rebecca Jones says
No tear slips past our Heavenly Father, just beautiful. May I quote you? I think your sister still mother’s as many women do, we have to choose joy over pain, Happy Mother’s Day.
You absolutely may quote me. Thank you, Rebecca.
Your sister sounds so awesome!! I love this so much because I have a special heart sister that has been a mentor and 2nd mother type figure to all my children. God placed her in my life years ago and there have been many reasons but one is, now that I have health issues, I’m unable to do a lot of the active type things with my youngest, as all the others are grown and so her aunt KK takes her to a lot of things. God is soo good as he blesses us all in the way He so intentionally placed her in our life.
What a blessing for you April. I hope more women will be encouraged to pour into younger women like Kristen and KK do.
Your sister sounds amazing! To shower love on others despite her own suffering is a true imitation of Christ’s love.
Maree Dee says
Lauren – Your sister is a jewel. I know she hurts, but she didn’t let that stop her from being the best aunt ever. What an example of love. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth link-up. Maree
She is a jewel for sure.
anna at Muttonstyle says
So moving. I suffered too trying for a second child and miscarried and never conceived again. I adopted after that. Thank you for sharing on my Muttonstyle Monday Monday linkup
God completes our families in many creative and beautiful ways. Thank you for reading and responding.
June should be Aunt’s Day! A beautiful tribute. My sister said I was a better Aunt before I had my own children – no time!
Yes, my other sister and I have conceded the title of best Aunt. Kristen wins hands down.
Patsy Burnette says
What a beautiful post Lauren! I love the idea of the entire month of May being Mother’s Month! There certainly are all kinds of “mothers” out there that need to be celebrated! Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!
Thanks so much, Patsy. Love linking up with you.
Lauren, I actually read this post several days ago and am just now getting around to commenting. I had to think about what I wanted to say. First, I never knew you are a twin. I believe the special bond you share with your sister makes you especially empathetic to her sorrows and joys, but even if you were not twins, you would want to give your sister everything she wants. One of my sons and his wife are struggling with infertility now too, and they would be wonderful parents. Your sister’s nieces and nephews are lucky to have such a great, fun, kind aunt to mentor them and love them. Thank you for sharing this story!
I do have a twin. Isn’t she cute! 😉 And she is the best
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au says
What a wonderful woman your sister is – to be able to transcend the heartache of her own lack of children and to invest in the children of others says so much about her character and her godliness. You are blessed indeed to have her in your life.
Amen and amen.
Please know I will be praying for your sister Kristen! I know all too well this hard walk. We have a son through adoption and just lost a surprise, miracle pregnancy/baby after over 10 years of infertility in late March to a “missed miscarriage.” I’m so thankful and take great comfort know that God is sovereign. And you are so right- nothing goes unseen by our Father!
Kristy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for paying for my sister and I am praying for you.
Debra Jean says
I love this! I have been thinking a lot about how Mother’s Day must affect a lot of the women we don’t often think about on Mother’s Day, such as those who battle infertility, miscarriages, death of their mother, or just bad relationships. And the thought that keeps coming to me is that every woman is a mother in some way, and we are all daughters. God knows the hearts of each one of us, along with the heart breaks and the joys. And yes we each plan special roles to many younger to us, even those of us with children can be a special adult to another child at different times. Beautiful post, thanks so much for sharing. 8)
Thank you, Debra.
Michele Morin says
I love that you are a twin and have this special empathy with the sadness of infertility. One of my dearest friends was unable to have children as well, and she has taken my own sons into her heart in so many ways. We are enriched by the wideness of another’s love, pouring out of a broken heart.
Yes we are, Michele. Thank you.
It sounds like your children are blessed with two “almost” moms! Your sister sounds like she is using her mothering talents for the Lord and for others! I believe she will be blessed in this world for her kindness, and especially in the world to come for serving so many children!
God is good!
I agree, Laurie. Thank you.
Aryn The Libraryan 📚 says
Well, you’ve got me planning! I love the concept of Mother’s May! My mom’s birthday is in may, I became a mother in May, and a dear lady who ‘adopted’ me has her birthday in May as well. I need to start planning nowfor next year!
There are many different types of mothering, and this post about your sister is one of the best pictures of that I’ve seen! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Aryn! Your celebration next year sounds epic!
Heather Keet says
I also don’t have children and it has taught me to focus on my nieces and nephews and pour all my love into them. I trust it’s the plan. #GlobalBlogging
That is important work you are doing, Heather. Thank you.
Such a beautiful post and your sister sounds amazing Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime
She is. All those who know her are blessed by her.
Noleen Miller says
A beautiful post and to mother does not always mean you birthed a child but that you are blessed to nurture and give love to others #globalblogging
Absolutely true. Thank you, Noleen.
Dee | Grammy's Grid says
Thanks so much for linking up at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 37! Shared ♥
Thank you, Dee.
Charlotte Stein says
Sounds like you all really support each other in your family. Life can be so hard and unfair at times, I;m glad she’s found way to deal with the cards she’s been dealt in life #ablogginggoodtime
God redeems. Thanks for commenting, Charlotte.
Mackenzie Glanville says
This is a beautiful post and so very true! I actually have this with my brother who has not been blessed with children and he has been like another father to our children and is always there for them. He has the kindest heart and my 3 adore him. I know they can not replace what he can not have, but I know they fill his heart with such love and happiness and his life with more purpose and laughter. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with #ABloggingGoodTime
Thanks so much, Mackenzie. I know your kids are so blessed to have your brother and vice versa.