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weeds or flowers: love for the mothers

These flowers (okay, weeds) are here are on our kitchen table. I noticed them when I was reading my Bible in the wee hours of the morning last week. They may not look like much, but they sure mean the world to the people who picked them and put them in water. Jenna and Raegan were so proud of their flowers. There are many things in the world that may go unnoticed as ordinary or not-so-special but really make a difference out there.

I think many tasks moms accomplish or moments spent with their kids change the world. The mundane, the ordinary, and the sometimes boring can really be defining and memorable moments. Fixing lunch, for example. When I was ten years old, my youngest sister was born. To help my mom, I volunteered to fix lunch one day - then it became my normal job - without a raise in allowance, I might add. We still laugh about my grilled cheese lunch menu and how I should have gotten a raise!

My mom sewed many dresses and outfits for us all.

We went to the library every Wednesday. While my younger siblings attended story time, I looked for books with my friend, checked out the limit of 15 books, knowing I would finish reading them before the next week.

My mom encouraged us to play outside everyday and then we were allowed to watch The Brady Bunch at 4:30 each day. I loved outside.

We each had special blankets to use for picnics in the living room, which happened most days at lunch time for as long as I can remember.

My mom was pretty mean, so I had a bedtime every night. I used the time to listen to the radio broadcasts and Christian music and gained a lot of understanding from it.

She was so mean, she even made us spend time in our own rooms after lunch. We called it “rest time.” I hated it, but I have good memories of reading good books and cracking my bedroom door and making faces at my little brother at his door. Let me just say, I employ this same "rest" strategy at home now. Mama needs it. I totally understand why banging around loudly or laughing with a sibling during this sacred hour made her super mad…

She backed the car out of the garage and let us take the boom box outside and pretend to be Olympic figure skaters.

We always had clean clothes. In one house, I enjoyed helping her by throwing the clothes over the balcony downstairs on laundry day to help her get it to the laundry room. My brother and I loved that!

She taught G.A.s and Actions at church when nobody else did.

She participated in youth choir as the girls section leader at church when I was in middle school.

She let me paint my room and decorate it in high school.

She taught me how to wash my hair so it was not greasy after shampooing. Hey, washing long hair was difficult in elementary school!

She let me know when I looked sick without lipstick. To my sisters, Leah and Christy, I think we all keep our lips on these days and laugh about it. Nobody wants “bread face!”

She was so mean she made me dress up for church when “none of my friends are doing that.”

She took me to church when I was little and loved it.

She even made me go to church when I was older and didn’t want to.

She didn’t put up with sass…and boy, am I pretty good at sassy. For the record, I am facing my equal in my house with sass currently. I guess it comes back around! Never fear, I will win because I have more years of experience than my mini-me!

She took pictures at Christmas time.

She let me adopt my beloved kitty, Oreo, in seventh grade. I begged for a solid week for that black and white ball of fur!

She made sure we watched The Andy Griffith Show, which is still one of my favorite tv shows. If I am ever sick, it makes me feel better!

She helps me sew projects. Back in the day when she tried to teach me how to sew and I could not sit still and would rather have been tumbling in a gym, sewing lessons probably did not turn out as she envisioned. In fact, I think she just gave up. Climbing trees outside was way more interesting. Today, though, we are redeeming the time and she helps me sew now.

These are some glimpses into my life. The list goes on. Most memories are not life-altering or monumental. All these seemingly ordinary events have shaped me into who I am right now.

So for all you moms, all the fears over whether you have parented appropriately, gave the right answer, reacted properly, set them up for success, sent them to the right camps, pushed at the correct times and allowed them to quit at the correct times, gave them age-appropriate chores, expected enough or too much…whew! God knows your heart and after you have given your very best, it is His job to carry the rest (Psalm 139:1).

To the moms who have cried over crummy days, had to apologize for making mistakes, did not get a fruit and veggie in at supper, ran out the door and forgot ballet shoes (me twice last month!), neglected to brush the toddler’s teeth before bedtime, did not get the laundry put away, and whatever else has come up, you are still loved and valued by God Himself. Your Father loves you despite your failures and notices every detail of your efforts. He always hears us, and I take great comfort in that everyday. (1 John 5:15).

Every mom has a unique set of gifts that God gave to them for their families. Each of us is on our own journey with God and we can rest in the knowledge that He holds every bit of it. Rest in the ordinary, the mundane, and the not-so-special. In these moments of simplicity, we can hear His voice more clearly than when covered up by noise and distractions. To all the mothers out there, thank you for you sacrifices and your love.

Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I stand up;

You understand my thoughts from far away.

You observe my travels and my rest;

You are aware of all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue,

You know all about it, Lord.

You have encircled me;

You have placed Your hand on me.

This wondrous knowledge is beyond me.

It is lofty,; I am unable to reach it.

Psalm 139:1-6

Trying to be a "good mom," I took the school girls to our favorite local coffee shop to do schoolwork last week. I meant to take them before now, but they reminded me we had not gone yet, so we made sure to go for hot chocolate before school ends for the year.

We also finished a small sewing project for fabric bows. It took way longer than I had planned since I had to ask my mom for help and complete them late at night. Finding the time during the day is sometimes difficult, but I finally finished them. We all wore them to church last Sunday! If anyone loves to sew, let's meet up and have a sewing party.

Have a wonderful week and maybe next time I will fix you a grilled cheese. I am, of course, an expert now!




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