Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Musings

Mother's Day

Somehow it brings feelings of expectation and I don't know about other moms, but I fight it every year. This year, I really felt convicted that my focus needs to change. It's not really about me....it's about celebrating my Mom and the beautiful children and grandchildren God has given me. I knew I wouldn't hear from my oldest daughter yesterday, so I was prepared for that, but I wasn't prepared to be assaulted by an invitation to my own personal pity party. It showed up in the afternoon, after church and in the form of emptiness. We had enjoyed a quick lunch and after the hustle and bustle of the morning had passed, I was sitting in the sun when hot tears showed up, uninvited. It happened during a quiet moment after I saw all the sweet things people were saying about their mothers on social media......and there were no messages for me. My other grown daughter honors me on a daily basis and we share a very special friendship. She is a very busy mother to five children of her own and an excellent one, at that. I really had no expectations at all regarding hearing from her on Mother's Day, but sincerely  hoped she would be honored and blessed by her family. I really didn't want her to have to worry about "me" on Mother's Day, but to enjoy her husband and her children. She had wished me a happy Mother's Day in a text earlier in the day, but somehow, unexpectedly,  I felt a stinging stab of disappointment that there was nothing more. No special mother's day dinner, or visit from grandchildren, or anything out of the ordinary, really. Yeah....I know, pretty pathetic. A few minutes earlier, the kids had been fighting over who "had" to clean the kitchen after lunch while I was busy trying to get all the food prepared for the afternoon meal, ahead of time, so we could maybe go for a walk or something without having to rush. I had visualized all of us working together in the kitchen, prepping the meal, but instead, the kitchen was a mess and the kids were fighting. As I sat in the sun, feeling the warmth of it on my face, my littlest guy came out and plopped himself down next to me, chattering away. He told me he loved me. He climbed up in my lap for a snuggle, all the while talking about whatever came to his mind and peppering the conversation with "I love you, Mommy" and "Happy Mother's Day." His rosy cheeks and happy grin were so bright and alive with the joy of life. My husband came out, sat down behind me and began massaging my neck and shoulders. He wanted to know what I would like to do for the rest of the day and if there was any particular movie I might want to watch with the family later. God was the only one who was aware of my pity party and He met me right there through my husband and my little boy. I suddenly felt rather foolish for the selfishness that had invaded my thoughts a few minutes before and I knew my focus had once again, gotten way off track. As I sat there with my head on my sweet man's lap, feeling the comfort of his strong hands massaging away the stress that had settled in my shoulders, I felt so loved and cherished. Between his sweet thoughtfulness and Levi's innocent chatter and cuddles, all that I have to be thankful for was illuminated. We decided to take the kids and our dogs to our favorite place to walk/jog/hike, as a family and enjoy the beautiful, warm, sunshine. I jumped up, feeling rejuvenated and headed in to get ready. When I entered my bathroom, there they were.......the missing mother's day messages I had been quietly grieving over a few minutes prior.  Taped to my bathroom mirror were the most beautiful, yellow sticky notes I had ever seen! Each one filled with sweet, simple, messages from the kids and there were more on my jewelry box. Noah made me a sweet gift during Sunday School and presented it to me. I was once again reminded that these are the reasons I celebrate Mother's Day. It's not about whether or not they notice anything I do for them. It's not about them celebrating me. It's not about being fulfilled by them, but rather being grateful FOR them. It really is the simple things that get to my heart. The little acts of kindness, the simple gifts and the gentle hugs, all served their purpose in humbling me and reminding me of where I need to focus. My focus needs to be on God, the Giver of all gifts and not on myself or the gifts themselves. I felt foolish for the few minutes I entertained selfish thoughts as guests at a pity party I really never wanted. It's amazing how quickly our thoughts can deceive us into feeling sorry for ourselves when we have so much to be grateful for.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. "I Thessalonians 5:18

The rest of the day was wonderful. We walked, jogged, laughed, played and I enjoyed capturing the moments and all the beauty in them, through the lens of my camera.

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I am a country girl at heart....born and raised in a very small town, surrounded by farm land. I spent many happy childhood days on dairy farms and as I have mentioned before, I can't resist barns and old outbuildings. They hold a certain beauty for me that I can't even explain.

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One of the reasons I love this trail is because of the old buildings and the horses with their riders that often share the trail with us.

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Toward the end of our hike, we climbed the little hill, rounded a corner, and the kids could hear the creek. Woops of excitement filled the air. Every single one of them, teens included, let go of all their usual inhibitions and played in the creek like they were six years old again. It was the most beautiful scene and the air was filled with the treasured sounds of my children's voices laughing and squealing and loving life. This will be one of the sweetest Mother's Day memories for me. I know that there are only a few more years left with all five of these kids in our home and days like this Mother's Day are to be treasured and cherished. Watching them play was like drinking an ice cold glass of water on a hot summer day. It filled my cup to overflowing.

 

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Nobody's hair was combed. Everyone was scrubbed out in comfy, old clothes and nobody cared.

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Our beautiful Golden Girls had a great time chasing sticks and playing in the water. Water for them, is like heaven for us.

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My Treasures and me. :)

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Natalie took a few pics of her Daddy and me. I'm sporting my "big hair" look...evidence of a the wind playing hairdresser. When the wind finishes it's work, the end product is something similar to Bozo the Clown. This is part of who I am and although it's not my favorite look, it is the look of a carefree and fun day, so I am going with it. :)

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After a simply lovely day in the fresh air and sunshine, we grilled up some delicious, organic cheeseburgers and ate them with sautéed mushrooms and apples, home made guacamole, and a delicious pesto Caprese salad.

My Mother's Day gifts

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When I woke up the next morning, my daughter, Brandi had posted this photo collage with me holding her as a little toddler, me with her daughter, Hailee and a picture of all of my kids together a few years ago. She posted it along with the most beautiful words written to me, and her mothers-in-law (she has been blessed with two of them). I was and am, completely humbled.

Brandi's mother's day tribute

"I've been so afraid of wishing my mothers a public happy Mother's Day in fear I wouldn't be able to stop writing! But here it goes anyway, so bear with me All 3 of these women have been single moms at one point or another, endured abuse of different sorts, worked jobs they hated in order to provide for their children, made painful sacrifices, pushed through counseling, and rose above it all. Mom, you have went above and beyond the call of motherhood. You have not been perfect, but you have been a constant... You have been unwavering in your faith, in your friendship, and your hospitality. Your relationship with Jesus and how you poured His love into us as children is the reason I am still married today. It is a part of the reason I have 5 beautiful children and one of the reminders to me to "Rise, and shine, and give God the glory" every morning, even when circumstances and society tells me I should be depressed, fearful, insecure, etc. I love you just doesn't do it justice- I literally have eternal life because of your example of faith, perseverance, and of what a Godly woman looks like. I love that we can hash out the past, even when it is so painful, and grow stronger in Christ together because of the ability to be honest and humble with one another as Christ is so gracious with us. Betti- people's jaws drop when I tell them you live with us and "it's a good thing," because apparently having a good relationship with your mother in law is rare. I remember the very first moment I met you, and how welcoming you were. You have a gift in making people feel safe and comfortable around you. I can't thank you enough for your support in the marriage to your son, and all the hours you spent on the phone with me when we were struggling and you lived states away. You are a fantastic Oma and a pretty dang good roommate... And when you're not, we can duke it out over a good yell, cry, and laugh, bahahahaha! Cindy, you astound me. I can't really describe the love I feel towards you. The lady I first met is not the lady I know today. I am sad that the circumstances that brought us closer together were what they were, but I'm thankful for the relationship that bloomed because of it all. I relate to you on so many levels and have greatly enjoyed our long conversations over the years. Divorce sucks, but I gained one extra kiss a** mother in law because of it;) a diamond in the rough;) I feel a bit spoiled to have 3 wonderful mother figures that I can HONESTLY & truly call my friends."

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal" Matt 6:19

I did not deserve such sweet and loving words from my daughter. I can't tell you how humbled I really am by such a gift from her. I am truly blessed to have the honor of being the mother of seven beautiful blessings.

I leave you with this song about counting your blessings. I love the words.

 

 

Counting my blessings and preaching the Gospel to myself daily.....helps keep my mind and heart in the right place.

2 comments :

  1. What a beautifully written post Jana. I so enjoyed reading it. I am glad I am not alone in my sometimes Pity Parties! God does work miracles though, if we let him. Blessings and I know you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  2. Thank you, Jill. :) Your comment about your own pity parties blesses me too. It's always good to know we are not alone even when it's something we aren't proud of. It's always comforting to know someone else understands. Thanks for commenting. You bless me.:)

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