Tag Archive | mother

Pleasing Wanted

A young woman named Pleasing gave birth to a child she named Wanted. Pleasing’s goal in life was to make sure Wanted was always happy. Pleasing’s childhood was fraught with sadness and she wanted a different life for her child.

She fed Wanted only the foods that made him happy. She let him pull the dog’s tail and bite the neighbor kid because it brought Wanted joy. As Wanted grew older, Pleasing made sure to attend to his every need so that he would remain happy. She did all the household chores and protested when his teachers admonished him for not turning in his homework. Schoolwork made Wanted feel stifled and kept him from what really made him happy: sleeping in late and playing video games. When Wanted became an adult, Pleasing made sure he had the money he needed for dates and gasoline for his car. She continued to clean his room, cooked his meals and did his laundry. These things made Wanted happy.

In middle age, Pleasing had gone bankrupt and was weary after all the years of making Wanted happy. She couldn’t figure out why other mothers in the neighborhood had the energy to do fun things and why their children seemed self-sufficient. They had all started careers and families of their own. Wanted, on the other hand, was still living at home, had become overweight, unhealthy, dependant on others and had no friends. Pleasing couldn’t figure out why Wanted felt so empty and depressed.

Hadn’t she done everything to make him happy? Pleasing wondered.

My sweet mother, this is a fictional story of course.  Nevertheless, through it, I pause to think about my role as parent. Perhaps you can relate on some level with Pleasing. She wanted to save her child from the unhappiness she innocently experienced as a child. Perhaps you too want your children to experience a happiness you never knew. While there is nothing wrong with being happy, can I persuade you to think about wholeness over happiness? What you needed as a child and what your children need is a wholeness that comes with proper perspective. What makes a child whole are love and nurture, but also teaching and discipline. That means our children will not always be happy. They will not like us sometimes. But that’s just fine because what we want them to have is something better: the joy and confidence that comes with a personal character that is in alignment with God’s design.

Scriptures: The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice. Proverbs 23: 24-25

The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. Proverbs 29:15

Prayer: Lord, please help me to raise my children in the way you have lovingly directed. Please help me to teach and discipline them and not grow weary. Help me to see the big picture of their lives and not give in to their unhealthy wants today.

Photo compliments of Wikipedia

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Imperfectly Different

Image courtesy Microsoft Images

I remember when I was in the fourth grade our teacher had us draw mountains. Most of my classmates colored their mountains brown. A few colored theirs purple. I wanted my mountains to look different from anyone else’s so I peeked at their drawings and chose colors they hadn’t used. My turquoise mountains were pretty but looked nothing like the real thing.
When you became a mother, dear one, you vowed to do things differently than the adults in your childhood. Maybe your dad was never home for dinner or went missing for days. Maybe you left for school in the morning with no breakfast and no prospects for lunch. So as an adult running your own home, you threaten your husband if he’s not home by 6:00 pm and you pack a lunch box for your child big enough to feed the entire fifth grade class.
While deciding not to repeat dysfunction from our childhoods, we can go so overboard that our homes take on a Stepford Wives feel rather than an authentic one with natural imperfections. Striving so hard to do things differently can take on obsessive tones that drive the family nuts. Certainly improve upon the past dear one. This is an admirable goal. But leave room for spontaneity and the sweet surprises that result. Your children won’t be damaged if dad arrives home after dinner or if little Ashley eats lunch in the cafeteria. Relax.
Scripture: To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless. Psalm 119:96

Showers of Blessings

“I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26)

Have you noticed the stillness before the rain—when all the oaks and daffodils wait expectantly for the promised shower? When the clouds release their blessing, every green thing lifts up their hands in thankfulness, receiving the blessing they knew would come.

Are you waiting in stillness for God’s blessing? Or are you running around in angst, doing rain dances, trying to pull the blessings down? Maybe you’re not accustomed to trusting promises. Maybe you’ve been disappointed one time too many.

Trusting in God and his promises is much different from trusting in the promises of man. People make promises to us and we to them. And despite our best intentions, promises do get broken because they are made by imperfect people. But when God says “trust me”, He is making a promise to you that will be delivered. He is perfect, truthful and faithful. So when you read scriptures such as; “All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace. . .This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:13,17); know that God is a Promise Keeper and you can wait for his blessings in quiet and confident stillness.

Photo courtesy Microsoft Images

Imperfection, the New Beautiful

Nubby raw silk, unevenly woven linen, mahogany tables marred with decades of nicks and scratches: it’s the nubs, kinks and dents—the imperfections—that make ordinary things interesting and authentic.

Authentic? To be authentic means to reveal who we really are—the real us with all of our flaws and imperfections. Authentic:  an uncomfortable word for some adult children of addicts who work hard to cover the shame of growing up in an addicted or dysfunctional home.   However, it is through the total of our experiences, good and bad, that God can mold us into something beautiful. If you give your life to him, he can take all of the snags and tangles and weave them into the beautiful tapestry he pre-designed for you.  God takes all our imperfections, all of our experiences and shapes them into something beautiful.

Read Romans 8:28

Other Resources: The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias

(Photo: Microsoft Images)

You, A Work of Art

Portrait of the artis's mother

Image via Wikipedia

Do you remember the song by Stevie Wonder with the lyrics that go, “Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?” In my early years as a mother, there were days when I didn’t feel wonderful and I definitely didn’t feel lovely.  I felt lost and ill equipped to be a mother. On days like that when I could find a babysitter, I’d visit the Huntington Museum in nearby Pasadena, California.

One section of the museum show cased paintings by the Masters. The paintings were so beautiful: rich reds, deep greens and textures painted so vividly that it seemed if I touched them, I could actually feel the fibers. Sometimes the beauty of these works would bring me to tears. How could any mere human create such works of beauty? These paintings helped to brighten my spirits.

This morning I was reading in Ephesians 2:10 that we are God’s workmanship. It hit me that if artists, who are mere humans, can create such awesome works of beauty, how much more beautifully has God created us.

You are a mother designed with rich color and dimension by the paint strokes of the Master Artist who doesn’t make mistakes. You are a precious work of art. God made you that way. And he ordained your role as a mother. Believe this, even on days when you don’t feel beautiful or valued. You are a treasure shining in God’s treasure chest. You are important to him. You are of supreme value and beauty to your children, even when no one says so.

Living Backwards

If you could live your life backwards, you wouldn’t worry because you’d already know what was going to happen. You’d know that throughout your entire life, God worked out everything that you worried about regarding you and your children. So rest assured my dear one. Your life really is in his hands.

Scripture: He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

Prayer: Lord, I know that when I keep my mind on you and remember your promise to care for me and my children, my heart is at rest. Please help me today to keep my mind stayed on you.

Things I Wish I Knew Before Motherhood

What things do you wish you knew before becoming a mother? Chime in. Just think, your experience and wisdom could help another mother (or mother-to-be). Here are a few things that would have helped me:

I wish I had known that. . .

1.  I would be tempted to worry about many things but  most of what mothers worry about never happen.

2.  Children are more capable than I realized. Give them room to take safe risks and let them learn from their stumbles.

3.  My child is not me. He will not have exactly the same needs as I do.