Sooooo excited for this first "guest" blog post written by my very own MOTHER!
I didn't realize how totally kick-A my mom was/is until after I became a mom. I had no understanding of what her daily sacrifices and determination meant and truly cost until I had to walk out this motherhood thing myself.
So here's a little background...
8 children birthed NATURALLY. 20 years of breastfeeding. Holistic approach to medicine. (I especially did not appreciate this quality as a child when she made me chew raw garlic to beat a cold. LOL!) Each child home educated from 1-12 grade, each attending (thus far... Don't fail us, Sam. Hehe) college in some way, shape or form. Several completed (or on-the-way to being completed) Masters degrees. Several highly accomplished musicians (my mom literally sat through every violin lesson of mine for 14 years). House in PERFECT order every second of the day (not even kidding.... my mom's attention to detail and ability to maintain order and cleanliness is just off the charts.) An avid runner who has completed countless marathons and ultra marathons. 15 (almost) grand babies. Still running. Still kicking butt. Corporate woman, helping keep Manna Church in order while wearing stilettos. ;)
My mom is a tireless servant with a gracious and very educated (also sassy) opinion. She's a classy, well-dressed, well-read, lover of Jesus whose devotion to her family (and any other task she's working on!) changes the world daily.
P.S. Yes, I do recognize that even with top notch parenting, some members of my family are somewhat full of themselves (okay, maybe just me), readily give their passionate opinion on everything (okay, me again) and have occasionally made some wildly BAD decisions (ummm... ME). Let the record show that my parents are still saints even though some of us are major brats. LOL.
Thank you, Mom, for being willing to share your infinite wisdom! There's no mother whose opinion and experience I value or trust more. You are my greatest inspiration!
When my daughter Meg asked me to write a guest post for her blog, I felt honored, closely followed by, terrified!! What to share with her lovely readers that would be encouraging, helpful, pertinent?? Then, I remembered that we moms have probably shared the same concerns and fears through the generations, no matter our heritage. So, I thought over the four main truths that kept me going, got me back on track, or whispered, “See??!!” at the end of a day or season I didn’t think I’d survive ;)
1) Being a Mom is an incredible privilege!!
No matter the circumstances that led to you being a parent at this time, God was not surprised or caught off guard. This was His plan, and He does not give us what He does not supply the grace, wisdom, energy, strength to, not only “handle”, but, “handle” WELL!!
One of the first and biggest battlefields we face as moms is with our minds- what we tell ourselves, what we believe about ourselves and this task of mothering- “I can’t do this anymore!”, “I don’t know what I’m doing!”, “I’m going to ruin this child!”, “All that I sacrifice and ‘put in’ isn’t going to count for anything!” This is all FALSE! God wanted to show His pleasure in and through you by giving you a little person/persons who express God’s glory that have your unique “flavor or stamp”, if you will. He changes the world with those little people. It IS a demanding task, but there is nothing more fulfilling. It is profound “discipleship” at its most basic. And, in the bargain, we learn things about God we can not learn any other way- how He loves us unconditionally; how He’s always about what’s best for us even when we don’t understand or have the big picture; how patient He is with us in our stumbling. We get to participate with God in the thing He loves to do the most- create people who love Him, love each other, love life!
2) God made each of my children wonderfully!!
My special mandate as a mom is to instill His delight in the creation that is the individual child. Not that they are the center of the universe, but that they are made specifically (unique, special) by God. There is no one else like them!! For this reason, they have PURPOSE!! They need to hear this often!! God loves them whether they DO anything for Him or not, but He’s created a special task for each of them and if they choose to “walk” in it, they get to participate in changing the world!! Nothing feels quite as fulfilling as living for God in what He’s called us to do and I wanted my children to grow into that experience.
3) I Am In Charge!!
I hesitated to use that wording initially, but nothing else quite gets the message across. This is not a tyrannical dictatorship I’m talking about here. This is a confident leading of children who at this time in their lives don’t know what’s best for them--what’s dangerous, what’s safe, what’s healthy, what’s not, what’s appropriate, what they need to learn, what their gifts and strengths are, where they’re headed… I’m in charge, NOT for me and my convenience, but for the child’s best interests. If their tone of voice is not pleasant/respectful to me now, it is not going to be acceptable to their boss in 20 years. If their refusal to eat certain foods (not talking about allergy/health risks here) is troublesome to me now, it can lead to major health issues, and future social faux pas (you would be surprised how many times I’ve heard adults determine not to invite a certain person to a gathering because they are so narrow in their eating- “Oh, let’s not invite them, they only eat….”) for them later. If their unwillingness to do required tasks because the tasks are too hard, they are too tired, they don’t feel like doing them now, my children are unprepared to succeed in the face of difficulty later because they don’t know what it “feels” like to function when they don’t WANT to…. If I am aware that my child cannot distinguish the difference in musical notes, helping them realize that their dream of a music degree may be somewhat misguided, is not ruining their life, but saving them time/money/wasted effort.
4) Consistency (not perfection) is Key!!
There is nothing fancy or sexy about this final truth. I wish I could make it something exciting, but through most of life, consistency is nothing more than making the same, small, “right” choices day-in-day-out. Consistency is not a rigid sort of rules, but, a regular, reliable way of life. Generally speaking (life sometimes throws, sickness, crisis, etc. at us), meals, bedtimes, chores, consequences for disobedience, education, family worship, recreation are all “accomplished” in a stable “rhythm” that works for your family. Note what I said there- works for your family. Your consistency may not look like my consistency. But, the power of consistency is the fact that your child can count on you being there and “the same” no matter the season, their actions, the political climate, etc. They know that if they hit their brother there will be consequences (the same consequences) not because they’ve made you angry this time or you're having a rough day, but because you consistently deal with hitting in a prescribed way. Consistency builds security in a child, because they know they can count on you.
Thank you for allowing me to share!! I love my babies and am particularly blessed that this “baby” is following her calling and changing the world through her many gifts- the top one being making MORE babies!! :)