A Sarine Thought… or Two

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

A Sarine Thought… or Two

A Mother of a Tale

There once was a young girl in a small east Texas town who dreamed of settling down, getting married, having children, keeping a clean house and making three square meals a day for her family. She would whip up homemade organic granola for her 3.2 children and stud of a husband before moving the refrigerator to sweep behind it and scrub the baseboards of her pristine home. What a gal she was going to grow up to be! I don’t know this girl personally, but I’m sure she is out there somewhere! Growing up in Sulphur Springs, Texas, this was not what I had in mind for my future, and you can be sure my family has never seen me move a fridge to clean behind it!

Babysitting did not appeal to me, and kids in general weren’t really my jam. I spent most of my time as a teenager reading, studying, cheerleading, hanging out with friends and working at a local business to earn some extra money. Motherhood just was not a dream of mine. In fact, I really wanted to go to college, then head to law school and become a trial attorney. I grew up watching “L.A. Law” and was fascinated by the research, arguments and closing soliloquies each week. I just knew I was destined to dominate a courtroom with my affinity for arguing my side of the story, regardless of whether the argument was actually correct. I was going to prosecute the bad guys, defend the good guys and look like a rock star in my power suit getting it done!

But God had other plans…

Once I got to college and began studying, my desire for a BA in Marketing was paling in comparison to my desire for an MRS in Ross Sarine. I fell hard for that boy and would go anywhere he wanted to go once we finished school and got married. But even when being a wife became my dream of highest priority, motherhood still wasn’t on my list of top ten dreams. Honestly, motherhood was not even among my top one hundred, so when Ross let me know he really wanted children, I knew I had some praying to do.

We had been married about three years, and I had still not come down with baby fever. I knew Ross wanted to be a dad, and he would be REALLY good at it. I also knew, since he married me, I was his vehicle of choice for getting to his daddy destination. So, I prayed. I got really honest with Jesus and just shot Him straight. I told Him I didn’t want to have a baby, but I knew Ross did, so I asked that He please help me want one too. Let me tell y’all something. You better be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it!

A few weeks later, I began to notice how cute baby clothes were, to get weepy at Hallmark card commercials of mothers and their children, and to really have a change of heart on the idea of adding another personality to the Sarine mix. To put it mildly, I wanted a baby, and I wanted one ASAP. It was a complete 180-degree turn from where I had started. Needless to say, not only did the Lord provide me with the desire for a child, but He also had the exact one in mind to put into my care.

I remember the moment Jack Hays Sarine was born with acute clarity. Once he was delivered, I vividly remember experiencing what I call the “divinely inspired moment of motherhood” phenomenon. As the nurse lifted him up so I could see him for the first time, I instantly recognized him as mine. It was very strange. I remember thinking to myself, “Of course that is what you look like. I have known you for a while.” To be fair, I was hopped up on pain meds, but still, this was a significant revelation to me. I already knew this child was the one God had for me to shepherd and love, even though I had not laid eyes on him until that moment. I have also discovered that this phenomenon is not exclusively experienced by biological mothers. From what I’ve gathered from friends who have adopted, those mothers also instantly knew which child was theirs to take in and love as their own. It is a beautiful and mysterious moment, and I am so humbly grateful I was able to experience it for myself.

Within 15 minutes of crossing our threshold, bringing Jack home for the first time, it became painfully obvious that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. So, what did we do? We called in the professionals, my mom and mother-in-law. These girls really showed up and showed out. I knew my mom could handle any crisis because she raised me, and I am a hot mess! Seriously, though, I trusted her to be calm in any kind of baby storm because she had weathered the diagnosis of my Type 1 diabetes with flying colors when I was only two years old. If you can care for a child with a chronic illness by injecting her with insulin several times a day, taking her to endless doctors’ appointments, waking up in the middle of the night to place cake icing between her lips in order to fix low blood sugar and associated night terrors and learning the dietary guidelines she should follow, you are a mutha of a mother. And mine is! She did all of this while never letting me feel that a disease defined me. I knew Ross’ mom could handle any kiddie crisis, as well. In the decade I had known her, she had handled any challenge that came her way with grace and poise. Nary a bead of the sweat of distress ever glistened on her brow. These were the all-star mother team captains, and I had them both in my nursery corner. WINNING!!! Also, producing Ross and myself as the resumes of their mothering careers really bolstered their momming average. Jack’s survival through infancy is largely in part to the efforts of these ladies.

As we are approaching Jack’s 13th birthday this July, I am so glad God allowed my dreams to change to include being a mom. I have felt every emotion more deeply, seen miracles in every day, laughed and cried more than I thought was possible, and all this because of the gift of one incredible baby boy who is now three inches taller than I am. Maybe I’m more like that girl from East Texas with all the domestic dreams than I thought. I’m still waiting to be granted equal enthusiasm about cooking and cleaning. Maybe I will pray about those too… nah, probably not!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Ours is a high calling and privilege, indeed.


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