mothering

Mom and I in one of our favorite places: the lake
at “The Laughing Place”
verb (often as noun mothering)  
1. bring up (a child) with care and affection 
2. look after kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so
So much of who we are as adults is due to the mother in our lives.  For some, that raises lots of complaints and personal demons, but for me, it brings tons of appreciation. Ann Voskamp, said that “…raising a child is to be trusted with a bit of eternity.” What a profound truth!  I think that’s why we mothers take our job so seriously and feel the responsibility so ardently. We’re sent home with the helpless little thing and have no idea what to do with it.  We worry endlessly about how we might have damaged them in some way with our words, or our discipline, or our choices. Then in what seems like a few short years, our kids are gone–on their own.  What part of us did they take? Did we teach them anything? Are they better people because we were their mom? 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to answer these questions for my mom.  So here’s a list of 10 things my mom taught me and the “bit of eternity” that she instilled in me.

1. If you love someone, you’ll want the best for them even if it hurts you.

2. Praying for a good parking space is important — God cares about the little things in our lives. If we go to Him with the mundane, everyday cares of life, we will feel confident He cares and therefore will handle the big things too.

3. Good cooking equals time around the table with family and friends — these  moments are treasures.

4. Good cooking also requires a large refrigerator to hold leftovers. (Be careful when you open the fridge door).

5. Someone’s got to be in charge to get things done.  If no one else will do it, then step up.

6. After God, family is the most important thing on earth.  Sometimes you sacrifice what you want for what they want, especially if it means spending time together.

7. If you don’t roll the dice the same way every time, you’ll never get a Yahtzee.

8. Set your expectations high and let people meet them.  Expect the best from your kids, your friends, and those you meet.  Give praise when they meet them and grace when they don’t. Generally, you’ll give out a lot more praise.

9. If you need something done and you can’t do it yourself, you always ask “somebody” to do it.

10. Church is a vital part of life: be loyal to its leaders and be a leader in its ministries.

11. Fishing is fun, especially when you are catching more fish than your fishing partner.

12. Being a mother means being there everyday, even if you make mistakes. Your presence alone brings unspoken stability and comfort.

I love you Mom!  You have invested eternity in me. Happy Mother’s Day!

~a

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