When I venture out with 5 young children, I’m used to the looks and remarks.  But every time I go to the ACC, it’s a completely opposite reaction.

Every time we walk in, we are met with smiles and hugs and as much love as the girls can take in.

“A mama, a mama!” one woman said to me, over and over last week.  She smiled and hugged me and kissed my cheeks again and again and cooed over my babies.  It was the first time I’d met her, but you know those moments when it feels that you have always known someone?

I stood there and talked with her for a few minutes.  She told me all about her own babies…the ones who had made it, and the ones that were gone.  She spoke just a little of her life.  A refugee’s life is all too often a nightmare.  Especially an African refugee.

I started to tell her I was sorry.  I didn’t know what else to say.  I felt so sad for what this beautiful woman had been through.  For the babies she had lost.

She stopped me immediately.  “No, no,” she said.  “I’m a mama.”  She hugged me, and tears came to her eyes as she said, “We mamas, God loves us.”

I’ve been having a really hard time.  I have been struggling inside so much, with my own little troubles.  At times I let them just consume me.  And here was this beautiful, amazing woman in front of me, a woman who has seen and been through things I cannot even imagine!

She was happy.  She felt blessed.  She was grateful.  She saw the hand of God in her life, all because she was blessed to be a mama.

It shook my world.  The problems of my life in their entirety could never compare to a few years of her life.  And yet, she’s one of the most happy and contented people I’ve met in a long time.

Since meeting her I’ve tried to look at everything differently.  Today I have 5 sick babies and constant crying in my ears and though we just got over something we’re sick again.  And that’s the little stuff today.  But as I rock babies and scrub carpet I’m trying to remember the woman who has changed me.  I’m not doing perfectly, but I’m trying to tell myself this:

I’m a mama.  And that’s blessing enough to know I’m loved.

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