A Memorial to Moms

Since this past Sunday was Mother's Day, I thought it fitting to write a post for all of you moms out there, or at least the few of you who might stop in to read this blog. While our country has been honoring mothers for over 100 years, it seems hardly appropriate to give moms only one day of honor and recognition. After all, the rest of humanity wouldn't even be here if it weren't for mothers. In reality, very little of what truly goes on in a mother's life is about honor and recognition. Motherhood is a memorial to the pains of birth, followed by the pains of the heart. A life of toil, meeting the needs and demands of others, with snippets of joy and laughter slipped in. A stew made up of love, sweat, tears, scented soaps, dry hands and pretty scarves. A woman, but not just that, a mother, is a conglomeration of people; a melting pot of jobs and a garden of everything from herbs and vegetables, to flowers and cacti.

Photo credit  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

My mother, a small woman of English descent still wears a headscarf that makes her look like a little Polish babushka. She is a lady who knows how to whip up a pot of chicken soup and clean a house. She was a Sunday School teacher to 2 and 3 year olds for over 50 years. Her hands and face are wrinkly, but her eyes blaze with light and her heart loves to dance and laugh. At 89 years of age she still lives independently in the home I was raised in. 

Mom and Dad C

My mother-in-law was an oncology nurse for over 20 years. She has a poise and dignity that carry over into everything she does. She makes fabulous meals and has been a source of love, fun and inspiration to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. In her retirement she continues to care for and help anyone her life touches including her own husband who has Parkinson's.

There are not enough pages to give moms their due. But we must also acknowledge that all we see on a day to day basis, only glosses over the surface of who a mother really is. She is human. She was born with a sin nature and struggles against it all of her life. She knows the voice of the enemy because he lashes her with guilt and regret. She has been down the road of "what ifs" a million times and has worn a spot in the carpet somewhere with her nighttime pacing. She could own stock in the Kleenex company and I know God has many alabaster jars full of tears in heaven. She wants to be what everyone expects of her, but also realizes that is impossible. She wants her husband to succeed, but more often than not, feels too overwhelmed to help him do it. She desires the best life for her children, but must only stand back and watch when they make choices that guarantee that life will not happen. She has hopes and dreams for herself, but she is willing to give them all up to simply be for everyone else.

Who is your mother? She is a warrior! She will fight for you. She is a priestess! She will pray for you. She is a bear! She will protect you. She is a light! She will guide you. She is a fire! She will warm you. She is so many things and more because that is who God made her. God made you, Mom and you are the crown of His creation! 

 

How to Get out of a Sticky Wicket

Many of you have heard the term, "sticky wicket". See the origin of this term here. I love to say the term with a bit of an English accent and usually say it when referring to a difficult situation. Family dynamics are often a quandary. You feel, as a parent, the need to be in charge and admitting when you mess up proves that you aren't. It becomes a bit of a sticky wicket.

Family

This week on my blog I have been talking about confession. Confession within our families is a hard task. It involves humility and selflessness. But not confessing when we have hurt, maimed and mutilated allows the enemy to create walls and distance between us and those we love most.

When I was a young mom I was incredibly impatient with our two daughters and my husband. I would lose my temper, yell and throw things. Over the years God began to deal with me. He revealed through church, friends and His word how to manage discipline and life without anger. I started apologizing to my kids and my spouse when I would blow up, admitting to them it was wrong and that I was sorry.

Mug

Confession does not always mean an automatic change in behavior. Often, God allows difficulty to enter our lives to temper us. I know He did in mine. While suffering can cause us to be bitter, we need to choose to whom we are loyal. Bitterness will not make my relationship with God better, nor with my family. I must be pliable clay in the Potter's hands. 

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’ So I went down to the potter’s house and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
— Jeremiah 18:1-4

Today, think about your family. Is there someone you need to confess to? Someone who deserves an apology? Did you snip at your husband this morning? Did you yell at your daughter to clean her room? Did you discipline your five year old out of anger and impatience? Go to them and confess. Restore their faith in you and in God. It's worth it to get out of the "sticky wicket."

Family is like a tree.

There is a beautiful picture that shows a tree standing tall and the words written beside it read, "Family is like branches on a tree. We all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one." The very first time I saw that picture, I thought how lovely and how true. Families are made up of so many diverse people. People with various personalities, likes and dislikes; people that we love madly and would even die for, yet the very same people who drive us to the brink of madness.

Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

fall tree yellow leaves

Living as a family, or as a community is often a trying experience. You have heard the expression, "Blood is thicker than water",  well it is also sticky, slimy and hard to clean up...not that I speak from personal experience and no, I do not have any bodies buried in my back yard, other than my daughters' childhood guinea pigs. However, the analogy holds true. Families can be loyal, loving and trustworthy, but they can also be the source of great pain and long suffering.

This page is a place for you to come to find camaraderie in the ups and downs of living and loving our families. Are your children young, energetic and you need advice?  Is your husband not the same person you thought you married?  Are you, like me, co-parenting your grandkids? Let's walk this journey together.

Families are complex and full  of layers.  I look forward to exploring them with you.