I love the springtime! The flowers, the green grass, the budding trees, the sound of the bees buzzing around the beautiful pink and white apple blossoms, the smell of lilacs…..I could go on and on.
I see God’s hand in my life all around me!
But springtime means another celebration that not everyone loves. It’s Mother’s Day.
I’ve never really struggled with the day…I just let it happen and move on and remember my own mother who though wonderful in so many ways, was not a perfect mom. After all, is there such a thing? No!!
However, I know many women who hate mother’s day. My neighbor admitted to me that she hadn’t been to church on Mother’s Day for six years in a row. I know the feeling…the perception that I’m not enough as a mother, that I have failed my children in multiple ways, the “if only I had,” the regrets…all can bring feelings of shame.
As I look back over the 30 + years that I mothered children at home,I do recognize that I could have done better but I also know that most of the time I was just doing the best that I could. Not perfect but trying.
Now with 7 grown and married children, 25 wonderful grandchildren and a more realistic perspective, I share with you some “Mother’s Day gifts” that have come to me in the last week in hopes that you will see your own “gifts”.
First of all, I participated in the SAL women’s Recovery retreat last week. After the first long and emotional day, I received a text from my middle son.(a little background on my relationship with this son….I have felt for over thirty years that I had not been enough in his life and I have expressed that to him through my tears…we have both worked to be closer in our relationship). This is his text to me: “When I watched this powerful rendition of When You Believe, I thought about you and the many women who stand strong and believe that miracles will be performed in answer to their prayers of hope. I see these women depicting the strength and determination that you and so many around you show when confronting trials. Love you! And God bless you for your resilient and believing heart.” I wept with gratitude that he had the sensitivity to think of not just me but of all of you…women he does not know, but those he feels for.
Next, my oldest son (43 years old) had a very difficult thing happen in his life this past week and he called to talk to me about it. “I just need to talk to my mom,” he said. Then he explained that he was feeling more peace because he had written some personal mantras and words of encouragement on a card and put it on his bathroom mirror. “Wow,” I said, “That is really a good thing to do. What made you think to do that?”
“Mom, he replied, I got it from you. You always had something positive on your bathroom mirror.”
Oh yes. During that particular son’s teenage years I had a water-stained, yellow sticky note stuck on my mirror that said, “When you’ve said enough, it is enough!!” I was continually trying to “motivate,” encourage, even fix his grades, etc. I often went into control mode. Apparently it was not what I said that stuck with him, but what I did.
Finally, my youngest son, his wife and darling three little girls came last week for a visit. As we talked that afternoon, he started to talk about his wonderful childhood. He went on and on about how loved he had felt , that he was so well cared for and felt secure, and had everything a child could ever need. I was surprised! I then brought up that our family had “issues” during his growing up years and hadn’t that affected him? He told us that he still believed that his childhood and family were great blessings. It was exactly what he needed.
So, to all you moms…moms in trauma and pain, moms worrying about your children…there is hope, even for your children! As our inspired, qualified therapist explained to me over 12 years ago when I was fretting about how to teach my children and keep them safe from the effects of sexual addiction and trauma,
“You won’t teach them, they will watch you.”
They have and they do. As I continue to turn with gratitude to God for inspiration and guidance, He does comfort, direct and support me. It is the greatest gift I can give my children. A believing, courageous mom.
Have a “reasonably happy” Mother’s day!