Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Mother's Love: It isn't always Biological

I love being a mother.  There is ZERO doubt about it.  I don't have to sit on the fence and wonder if this is the right path for me or not.  Motherhood is my calling and I value that.  I admit there are days that I wonder if I'm cut out for it, if I'm taking the right approach to a certain issue, if I'm measuring up, and if I'm doing the best I can at the calling God has placed on my life.  Without a doubt, I have failures and regrets.  However, there is no doubt that there is nothing more amazing than to be entrusted with such a blessing.   In a nutshell, motherhood is my heart. It's who I am.

With that said, I HATE Mother's Day.  Yes, you read that right!  Don't get me wrong:  I treasure the little handmade gifts that my kids have made through the years.  I embrace the extra love they bestow on that Sunday and the preceding days as they think about the things they are making or doing.

It's all the other stuff I hate.  Just like you will hear me say about Valentine's Day, I think it does more harm than good for way too many people.  What about the ones who no longer have their mother?  It creates heartache.  What about those that want to be a mother, but God hasn't provided them with that blessing.  Their empty arms ache.  What about those who have been emotionally or physically abandoned? Or those that have suffered abuse? This "celebration" brings to the surface the feelings that abandonment bring and highlights it.  Why wasn't I good enough or why don't I deserve unconditional love?  Just the walk down the card aisle with all of the beautiful thank yous to mothers drives the knife deep.  I've talked to many people that talk about the excruciating pain that brings.   If you don't find yourself in one of these scenarios, it's a blessing to not take for granted. 

What about if you have a wonderful relationship with your mother, but yet you feel you don't measure up in your own walk with motherhood.  Mother's Day can be hard because you feel like you are failing and all you can see are the "super moms" that are getting it right.  (Which I can tell you, they are probably thinking the same thing.  They wish they could be more....this...that...or the other....)  Does a day of celebrating "you" make you feel uncomfortable?  A day that is supposed to encourage, ends up making you feel like you just don't get enough right.  What about the mother's with young children that don't have spouses that make sure the kids show their love and appreciation?  What about single mothers?  What about those families that really want to celebrate their mother, but don't have a penny to spare?  Sure, they can do their best to make something, but what they REALLY want to do is lavish her with gifts that she would love. 

Like I said earlier, I hate Mother's Day.  I love what it stands for and the role that it celebrates, but it just seems to cause so many people pain and I wish it weren't so.  I hate those days that are about celebrating something so beautiful (like love on Valentine's Day), but yet it just illuminates heartache.

With all of that said:

I am thankful beyond words for someone amazing in my life.
  • She gave up her "own" life for me in every way, though she didn't have to.  She chose to. 
  • She was there when the school bus ran every morning and afternoon.  She was there in the classroom for parties, field trips, parent/teacher conferences. She was there at the kitchen table when homework needed to be done & tests needed to be studied for.
  • She was there when life had treated me harshly.  She was there to share the joys.  She was there for everything "ordinary" in between.
  • She taught me so many values, NOT be speaking, but by doing.
  • She embodies the beauty inside and out of the Proverbs 31 woman.
  • She taught me that if you want to help someone, YOU do it....you don't wait for someone else to come in and help.  Volunteering, serving, and giving to others was a "natural" way of life. 
  • She taught me the invaluable skill of making ends meet in hard times.  You want something you can't afford?  You save in unique ways to pay for it and then you treasure it.  That might mean you save aluminum cans to sell, use your own skills to make a bit of money at a time, save every penny or nickel you find in the couch or in the car.  It might mean that you shop for bargains and don't buy everything new.  It might have meant years ago saving green stamps from the grocery store to buy that prized item.  It even means that you most likely don't buy things for yourself because you would rather spent it on someone you love.  Invaluable skills!
  • She taught me that love is unconditional.  You don't walk away from someone when times are difficult.  Your happiness isn't always the top priority.
  • She didn't tell me that church was important and then send me out the door with a neighbor or on the church van.  She was there almost every minute. 
  • She taught me the value of family meals.
  • She taught me almost every homemaking skill I know.  Even if I didn't pay attention years ago, she set in place the foundation and the desire.
  • She taught me that life isn't always fair, but God is faithful and trust-worthy.  Oh my, is she EVER teaching that only a daily basis these days!
  • She taught me the value of modesty, respect of authority, and the importance of taming the tongue.  It wasn't acceptable to even use "mild" words in her home.  She taught me the importance of watching, listening to, and reading appropriate things.  Alcohol was never allowed in our home. 
  • She filled our home in every nook and corner with her talents.  Her creativity is unparalleled.  Her talents are numerous.
  • She took great pride in each of us looking the best we could with what we had.  That meant IRONING everything (have I ever mentioned I don't have that same skill!!!), SEWING and making everything possible and doing it AMAZINGLY.  You especially took care of everything you owned.
  • She taught me the love of music.  She sat through countless piano lessons, band practices, competitions, chorus concerts, etc.... How excruciating that must have been to someone that God blessed with an amazing ear for music and a beautiful voice!  She taught me each and every little Sunday school song possible and even to this day I can't count them all!
  • She taught me that above all else, nothing in life matters more than loving and serving God. 
Though that list could continue on indefinitely, these are the ones that pop to mind first.  She taught me almost everything I would truly ever need to know about being a mother and embracing that role in my life. 

What is amazing is that this woman didn't give birth to me, but loves me just as much as I love my own children.  That's the true beauty of this woman.  She is mother and more!  She is what love is about.  She always made sure that I knew that even though I didn't grow in her womb, that I grew in her heart.  Truth of the matter is that as I grew in her heart, she grew in mine!  Nothing can ever replace that kind of love!  How thankful I am for someone like her.  I strive everyday to provide my kids with the same kind of memories, unconditional love, and love for Christ that she instilled in me!  The beauty of this woman is that she did it all by CHOICE! THAT is love.  That is the sacrificial love of motherhood.  That is the way that Christ loves each of us. 

1 comment:

Roxanne said...

Tracye, that is the most beautiful thing I have ever read about a mother, your mother! Thank you so much for sharing.