Joy of motherhood
As a child, Patricia Lawson wanted to be a teacher, and being a mother seemed a natural compliment because she enjoyed caring for and being with children and wanted to be married.
After college, she was open to a religious vocation, but God called her to the vocation of marriage. “My vocation to motherhood is the crowning joy of my marriage,” said the wife of Deacon Phil Lawson, executive director of evangelization, catechesis, divine worship, marriage and family and respect life for the Diocese of Burlington.
Now parents of six children from three months to 11 years old, the Lawsons have been married for nearly 13 years.
“The moment I held my first-born son in my arms was truly the happiest moment of my life,” she said. “The amazing love that filled my heart at that moment has only deepened and expanded as I have watched him grow and welcomed the blessing of each child with which God has blessed our marriage.”
Mrs. Lawson, 40, homeschools her children and is grateful for the example of her own mother “who generously gave life to myself and nine siblings.”
She knows many Christian and Catholic mothers who are raising their children to know God’s love for them. “They give me strength and support when I feel discouraged as a mother and inspiration when I’m trying to figure out what the best thing to do in the many challenges motherhood puts before me,” she said.
But it is the Blessed Mother’s “complete ‘yes’ to God’s plan for her that Mrs. Lawson seeks to imitate. “I ask her to guide me as a mother and help me to trust in God’s plan of love for my life,” she said. “She never lets me down and has truly blessed our marriage in so many ways.”
Her faith is of paramount importance to her: “It is my strength, my comfort and the reason I get up in the morning. It animates everything I do as a person, wife and mother. I am so grateful for my Catholic faith and find it a joy and gift to share with my children.”
For her, motherhood is love: “It is the privileged place of being the mediator of God’s love to the child God has chosen especially for you to love, nourish, form, educate and ultimately prepare for the vocation He has prepared for them.”
Mrs. Lawson, who grew up in San Diego, California, has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a master’s in pastoral theology.
A member of St. Luke Parish in Fairfax, she has been a teacher, worked in Catholic schools and been a director of religious education. “But I love being a wife and homeschooling mother, which is more challenging and rewarding than any other job I’ve ever had,” she said.
She currently paints “Simple Saints” peg dolls as a small business.
According to Deacon Lawson, the reason the family’s home is a place of great love, utter joy, and peace — even amidst the craziness and challenges of life — is because of his wife. “Her presence, personality, faith and love make our home what it is,” he said. “I am inspired to be a more patient and loving husband and father through seeing her example, especially with our children, but also through receiving her unconditional love for me. She is a gift that I thank God for every day and aspire to in some way be the same for her.”
To young mothers Mrs. Lawson offers this advice: Seek only God’s peace in your decisions even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. “When I offer my day to God and pray that what is necessary be done, He is faithful to that prayer,” she said.
— Originally published in the Spring 2018 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.