Happy, Holy, Hard, Hopeful, Healing Mother’s Day

I awoke this Mother’s Day to a message from my firstborn letting me know that she had arrived in Cannes for the film festival. She made a film a couple of years ago that won a couple of festivals in the US and in December she was invited to show in Cannes. My joy and pride in her talent and accomplishments is nothing less than holy.

This precious picture of the four who call me, “Mama” was taken six years ago. Those years have been filled with uncountable challenges and some fairly traumatic wounds. Shortly after receiving the message from France, my boys brought me breakfast in bed (that they made together without arguing -Woohoo!), gifts, and the sweetest card filled with their gratitude that I am theirs and they are mine… healing.

While eating the breakfast my boys made me, I began to weep. I so wish that this day wasn’t filled with such a mixed bag of emotions. But it is. It is a hard day not just for me, but for so many people that I know and love. Some of us have no mother to honor today. Some of us have mothers that, due to unhealed wounds, we would rather not honor today. Some of us are grieving children both alive and dead. Some of us are longing for children we do not yet have. Some of us have children with no father to encourage them to honor us. Some of us have our children’s fathers around, but because we are not their mothers or because of their own unhealed wounds, they do not honor us or encourage our children to do so. Some of us are living with shame and regret over choices we’ve made as mothers. Some of us have children that are being raised by other mothers. And some of us are raising children that were birthed by women who will never get to hear those children call them, “Mama.” All of these realities complicate this day.

Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy... “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 

I’ve had a couple of recent conversations that have reminded me of God’s truth, dried my tears today, and given me great hope. Those conversations have revolved around the many times in the book of Deuteronomy when God said to the Israelites that He gives us a choice between life and death, blessings and curses, and promises that whatever we choose is not just for ourselves, but for the generations to come. God didn’t say that we have to wait for our parents to choose life, prosperity, or blessings in order for us to experience those promises. He didn’t say that we needed to think about our circumstances before choosing. He didn’t say that we are unqualified to choose. He didn’t say that we needed to wait until everything was easy and painless. He simply said that WE get to make those choices. And, if we love Him and walk in His ways, we (and the place we occupy) will be blessed.

Romans 5:5 Such hope in God’s promises never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Whether this day is filled with hardship, holiness, hope, or a healing process; my prayer is that we all find something today to be happy about and the courage and wisdom to CHOOSE blessings, life, and prosperity.

Have a Happy Holy Hard Hopeful Healing Mother’s Day.

day 2 part deux (boundaries)

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. At this moment I can not begin to imagine what I will be twenty days from now. After only two days of fasting, praying and studying the sermons of Christ, I already feel like my load is a little lighter. How is it that we complicate our lives so much more than we really have to?!
I am about to climb in bed (no caffeine is forcing me to bed a little earlier than usual), but I wanted to take a second to write a bit about boundaries. That word has crept up in every productive conversation that I’ve had in the last two weeks. What’s funny is that I didn’t think I had a problem with them. I have this wonderful gift of being able to identify the lack of boundaries in the lives of others and to see how that lack of boundaries holds them back from living fully. If you were on the receiving end of any of those recent conversations, I apologize for sounding self-righteous.
Today I took a long painful look in the mirror. I’ve always been afraid that telling people they couldn’t call after a certain time or asking visitors to leave our home for fear that doing so would be perceived as rudeness. I’m a good southern girl. I don’t like to be rude.
But what if it isn’t rude to establish boundaries? What if it is actually respectable? I wanted to call someone today and thought that they were probably working and didn’t need to be interrupted. I realized that this person’s job has created boundaries that I have no problem respecting. Isn’t family supposed to come before work? If so, shouldn’t it be even more respectable to establish boundaries surrounding my family. I’m not really sure how people are going to take it, but “God has not given me a spirit of fear!”(2 Timothy 1:7) and he instructed me to “Not worry”(Matthew 6:34). So, I’m going to let go of my fears and stop worrying that people will think I’m rude and start laying down some boundaries. Feel free to pray for me in this process or share your pain if you struggle in the same area.
Change of subject…. Seth and Sofija sat at the table tonight doing their homework. Sofija kept pausing and rereading every part of her book that said something about animals. I noticed that Seth had stopped his own work and was just sitting and watching her just as he said, “I think God showed me what Sofija is going to be when she grows up. I think she’s going to be an animal scientist who studies the way that mother animals protect their young.” Maybe God was showing him something about his sister AND his Mom……