Sunday, May 8, 2016

Changing the Course

Can I be honest with you all? I struggle with Mother’s Day. Not because my mother has passed away, but rather because of the fact that I didn’t grow up with the “June Cleaver” version of a mom.   Here, in my mid-forties (gah!) I still struggle with how to make sense out of my childhood.   I’d be willing to bet that I’m not alone in that struggle.  Can I get an amen, or at least an acknowledging nod?

We all come from different backgrounds, including our mothers.  Believe it or not, your mom (and mine) had a life before becoming someone’s mom.  During those pre-mom years, she walked through many valleys, suffered unspoken wrongs and made mistakes.   Those things shaped her, and ultimately had a hand in shaping you.   If we could look into our mother’s history we might be stunned at what we see, but we might also be a bit more understanding of the quirks that exist in her behavior.

Whether your mom was “June Cleaver” or “Mommy Dearest”, you can look for the good in her.  You can pass those good things on to your children.  Her only redeeming quality may have been her ability to laugh at herself when falling down drunk.  Teach your children to laugh at themselves, and not at each other.   Perhaps your mom was a strict disciplinarian who made you “tow the line” every minute of your childhood.  Teach your children to behave, but grant them grace when they behave like children.

We, as mothers, have the ability to shape and mold the future with the little things we do each day.  It’s our choice which things we allow to go into that shaping and molding.  Let me tell you, it’s flat out HARD to want to respond a certain way, based on your upbringing…but instead you choose to react the right way.   Sometimes we have to draw a line in the sand, and say “No, this behavior, this trait will not be passed on to my children.   I choose to be different.”

Whatever struggle you’re facing today, know that you don’t have to face it alone.  God assures us in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The 18 year old daughter of one of my closest friends recently went to jail.  I sent her a note to let her know that I was praying for her, and that this wasn’t the end.   I found myself penning the words “Nothing is wasted if you learn from it, and allow it to point you in the direction you were meant to go.”     Those words are true for us moms as well.   Continue to learn, grow and move in the right direction, and point your kids toward their final Home in all that you do.
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  1. Wonderfully written. My mom was a single mom from the time I was 18 months old. We were and are very close. It was us against the world. But, I learned so much by watching her and yet, wanted a very different life. So far so good. Happy Mother's Day.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Yes, sometimes it's best to learn from other peoples mistakes than to have to make your own.


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