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Mother Love

I woke up thinking of course a parenting blog needs a post in honor of Mother’s Day. It seems only fitting to give praise where it is due since I give constructive criticism fairly freely. Life is all about balance, right?

So this goes to every mother who has ever loved a child and felt it so deeply it is painful. And yet it is a love so deep you never thought you could feel love to that level. It’s an experience like no other.

There is a saying, “To be a mother is to forever walk around with your heart on the outside of your body.” It is the most versatile, demanding, rewarding, confronting and joyful job you could ever have–the hardest and the best. It stretches you like nothing else. You want so much for these little beings who are expressions of you and yet so uniquely themselves and so much more than you are, it is truly amazing. Sometimes its hard not to jump in and “help”. Your experience gives you an advantage and yet is a disadvantage.

Mothering is such a contradiction: to love so much it hurts, to want so much for them and yet to hold back and let them make mistakes and go through hard times, and to celebrate their triumphs and successes till you think your heart will burst.

Nothing hurts so much as being pushed away, ignored, “hated” by your own children or grandchildren. It takes everything you have to understand and maintain balance and self-worth in light of that, and yet you rejoice in that too, knowing it is healthy for them to come into their own individual independence.

And other times you realize it is just emotion–they don’t really hate you at all. I remember the first time my 6 yr-old-grandson said “I hate you grandma! I wish you would just go home!” It was like a slap, and yet I knew he didn’t mean it. And his 3-yr-old brother said, “No, Grandma! Don’t go home! I don’t want you to leave!” So even there God provided balance to help me keep mine.

One of my daughters only ever wanted to be a mother. I don’t think she ever wanted anything as much as that. And now she has five children. And is an amazing mom. She says, “This is a lot of children! They are glorious, beautiful, messy and painful.” She loves it. She says she sometimes aches that I am not there to share the beauty and the glory. Me too. Yet I do–from afar. I watch her and I am blessed. Each one is so different. So unique. So special. So loved. It definitely helps me understand God. Being a mother always has. I never really comprehended His love until then.

God is a mother as well as a father. Isn’t that just the coolest thought. We are each unique, each special, each so loved it hurts and thrills Them. All Three of Them God. All love you like that! All support you, cheer for you, and allow you to make mistakes–honoring your choices–even ones that cause pain. And They never stop loving. No matter what you do. They will let you do it–let you leave Them and Their love–and never stop loving. What amazing self-control! Amazing love. Even better than mother love! How is that possible? Only God!

 

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Worth It

This morning in my small group we were talking about self-perception and growing in self-acceptance of our brokenness. All the parents and one would-be parent shared that they believed there is just no way to not mess up a child–given life, evil, your own issues and baggage–just no way. I shared with them what I had shared with you last week.

Then I was able to share the ending–which I love.

My daughter had said we’d talk the next day (Friday) but we didn’t, except the little boys called to facetime a few minutes. We usually don’t talk on the weekends, but I thought maybe. No call. I was sure she’d call on Monday. No.

I asked God if I could text her and heard, “Wait.”

By Tuesday morning God said I could text, so I was smart and asked what I should send. This went: “When you’re ready I’m here. Just wanted to say I edited my blog for balance before posting–would like to see if it feels better. You look and sound happy! (facebook) Grateful for that.”

I got a text right back, “I’m not avoiding you, just crazy busy…” And about an hour later she called. Didn’t talk about us but it was good. She even admitted being like me in the things she doesn’t like.

I also got a text about the blog which said she thought it needed another sentence. I told her to go for it. And she sent one. To which I responded “You help make my wrongs right.”

And then I got this, that warmed my heart and made it all worth it, “Well you’ve taught me that, the way He is. It’s the only thing I want to give them.” (her boys)

So no, you can’t raise a child perfectly–no such thing–my mother tried. And I even wanted to comply. But the good thing I got from her, I was able to pass on–a real relationship with God. To me that is what it’s all about. That’s good enough.

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