We received a newsletter from a local church that had painted a mental mural of a family based on passages from Psalm 127 and 128. When speaking of the wife, apparently being home, raising the children, they asked, “Does she appear to be suppressed by her station in life?”
It gave me pause to remember and ponder. Bob and I agreed early on that when the children came, I would remain home with them. They came quicker than we anticipated but they were a welcome addition. At delivery, Laura was briefly laid at my shoulder where I could get a good look at her and I remember thinking, “Wow, a whole, beautiful, little person.”
I love being a mom.
I have also loved being a homeschooling mom. When I think what a privilege it has been for me to watch my children grow in wisdom, and knowledge, and stature, and to think that I had a front row seat to it all, I am overwhelmed. I am literally reduced to tears of gratitude. They have been and are such a blessing to me. And to others. Being a mom is not without its bumps, bruises, and battles, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. These moments and memories I have had with my children are precious jewels in my treasure chest. Back to our initial question: Are mothers suppressed? Not this mother! Definitely not!
I couldn’t think about being a mom without thinking about my maternal grandmother. (My paternal grandmother passed away when I was young). Gram was a delight to me. She was bright, passionate about life and family, generous with the little she had, readily laughed, and eagerly tried new recipes. Tell you what, she made the best nut twist cookies I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. If she’s willing, I hope God lets her bake me a batch when we meet again in Heaven.
In paraded thoughts of Mum, Gram’s only daughter in a satchel full of boys. To meet Gram, one would never have guessed the life she had with Pap. Mum describes him as “a hard man”. He didn’t think girls were worth much. Though others complimented Mum’s singing, he thought it was “Okay, but a little eh”–whatever that means. Once when Gram insisted he look over the report cards, he did say Mum’s was the best in the bunch–probably the closest she ever came to receiving a compliment from him even though she graduated second in her class.
Lest you think Mum dissed Pap to me, she didn’t. I discovered these things as an adult although it didn’t require genius status for me to draw my own conclusions when I was younger. I know that Pap wasn’t without good qualities, for we are all a strange combination of good and bad. Pap once threw an abusive brother-in-law in a pond; but then dropped Gram off at the hospital to have a mastectomy. Alone. Maybe he couldn’t process that.
Mum said he did soften in his older years, when he became diabetic and had health issues to deal with. Up until then maybe he counted on his own strength. He was incredibly strong, straightening a dent in the fender of a Model T with his huge, bare hands.
Still, Mum had a lot to overcome. Pap didn’t attend her wedding, saying he “didn’t lose much there.” That could mortally wound any daughter’s heart . . . .
Here’s the thing: Mum did overcome.
She went on to publish a devotional, kept singing and writing songs, made a 45 record, and become a minister. Like Gram, she’s one smart cookie; ever studying, trying new recipes, and crafting. She has a tender heart for the downtrodden and has for years lent a listening ear to those who need it. She’s a good friend. She’s thoughtful and giving. What I appreciate the most, her spiritual insight. Other than the few little prayers Gram taught her as a child, and a stern warning that “God doesn’t like that” when she imitated Pap’s foul language as a child, she had no knowledge of God. Pap had reneged on his word that Gram could attend church after they wed so they were for better or worse, an overall “heathen” family. Yet look how far she has come.
I’m proud of Mum. She didn’t bring her wounds into mothering my brother and me. Was she without faults? No. Who among us is? But there is simply something grande about knowing where she came from as a child and the woman she has come to be. There is hope in Jesus Christ. Living a hard life doesn’t need make one a hard person. Gram proved it. Mum proved it. The wounds of the past needn’t be carried into the future and injected into the next generation. Wounds can be healed. And out of those wounds can come strength and wholeness when God is invited in to do His work. There is no hard situation into which a child is conceived and born that God cannot redeem if He is permitted to do so. Lies need to quit being perpetuated. Children are a gift from God. Being a mother is a blessing. Wounds can be healed.
Join me today in thanking the mother in your life. If she knows Jesus and led you to Him, thank her. If she knows Jesus and you’ve resisted or strayed away, give her the best mother’s day gift ever and Come Home. If you know Jesus and your mother doesn’t, then present Him to her. She brought you into this world, maybe you can lead her into the next.
For living a faith-filled, transparent life, loving me, supporting me and being a wonderful mother and grandmother, thank you. I love you Mum.