Monday, May 14, 2012

A Celebration of Mothers, Reflecting on Yesterday

I left work today saying to the Lord, "It's hard being a mother!"  I had just observed a mom trying to corall her son, who was running away from her throwing a fit.  It's tempting to think something like, "that woman needs to get a hold of her child," but I know better.  I know how easily "that woman" could be, has been, and probably will be again, me.  Oh Lord, it can be so hard some times.  I remember the fits my own mother had to endure.  She tells me of the time when we were in the grocery line and my three year old self was begging for something she told me I couldn't have.  After being firmly admonished that it wasn't going to happen, I piped up oh so clearly, "Are you going to beat me again?!"  Please know I've never been beaten a day in my life.  It's amazing any of us ever survive these tender and tenancious days of parenting and being parented.  One of my favorite people is a dear woman that I see often at church.  She has successfully raised three boys to adulthood.  I look at her and feel encouraged.  I think, "if she can do it, I can too."  Those boys run circles around me.  But my favorite circles are the ones like this morning, when all three wrap their arms around me  and give me a big hug at the same time.  So nice.

What I thank God for today is mothers:  Mothers who raised us, who praised us, who prayed us through.  Mothers who washed us, wept for us, wept with us.  Mothers who kept us fed, and sometimes kept us fed up!  Mothers who cooked and cleaned, then who made us learn how to clean and cook.  Mothers who spoke life into us and scared the life right out of us.  Mothers who disciplined us, ultimately giving us the gift of self-discipline.  Mothers who laughed, sometimes at us, often with us, and always at themselves.  Mothers who clothed us, often with whatever creative means necessary, so that we could walk confidently into our days, whenter we wore name brands or not.  Mothers who taught us the value of separating colors and whites while doing the wash, and gave us the gift of not redoing what we failed to do, so we could learn that lesson well.  Mothers who gave us Mother wisdom every day, feeding our brains with the well-worn words we would someday repeat to ourselves.  Mothers whose voices are as familiar as our own, the sound of which calms us, carries us, yet also carries the challenge that spurs us on.  Mothers who can see through our shenanigans, yet see the real us too.  Mothers who see us as God created us and see the potential God placed within us.  Mothers who hear us, not just the words that we say but everything simmering beneath.  Mothers who understand without us even having to say a word.  Mothers who open wide their arms and hearts, allowing us to take up residence there, feeling deeply the pain of loving with abandon, and rejoicing exuberantly when that love is returned.  Mothers who so carefully bring the ministrations of the God who tenderly leads and cares for the sheep that we are. 

All of us have mothers.  I thank God for them.  Without them we wouldn't be here.  Even if we had the worst mother ever, she still was the vessel that poured out our gift of life.  And I am thankful for those brave souls who carry within them that fierce Mother Love, who have opened their hearts to new life, yet carried the anguish of loss in their arms instead.  You are such fabulous mothers too.  Because you dared to open your soul and give yourself fully to another.  That's the most any mother can do. 

So Lord bless all the mothers.  We need Your blessing.  We need Your Strength, and Help, and Hope, and everything else that is You.  Because it's hard being a mother, and only You can help us see it through.

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