Friday, May 10, 2013

Ragged and Real Reflections on Mothering

 One bright fall morning, September 2011, as I prayed through scripture for my children, my eyes fell on the date I had written on this bookmark and I felt my breath catch in my throat.  There at the top of the column I saw where I had written,
"I started praying these for my children 9/01",
 Ten years before, someone had given me this bookmark that had
 31 Biblical Virtues to pray for your kids
 Each day of the month had a different scripture to pray for your children.
So, I wrote the date on it and I put it in my Bible and kept it there to use each day.
 I took it as a challenge and began praying the specific verse of the day for my children.
  On that Fall day about two years ago, I realized how quickly those 10 years had flown by and how much had changed in our lives.
  I wrestled with the angst of the passing of time, the growing of children, the learning of lessons, life, good times, hard times.  And now 10 years had evaporated. I had prayed verse by verse as the years slipped past unnoticed.
I dunno...maybe it's the perfectionism in me that I constantly strive to keep in balance, or the desire to succeed, or simply my mothering instinct of love,
but I have never described myself as
 "a good mother".
You know, lying down at night and thinking, "I've been a really great mom today. My kids are so blessed to have me as their awesome mother!"
Nope, that's just not something I've done.
I do lie down and know I have done the best I could.
 Though my deepest desire and highest goal has been to be a really great mom, I have always thought that I didn't quite measure up, but measure up to what? 
Am I trying to measure up to what I see other mom's doing, or what people tell me I should be doing?
Who sets that standard of what a successful and great mom is?
That's a silly thought when I'm trying every way possible to do my very best with each phase of life.
But never the less, there it has been, the nagging feeling that I need to do more and be more, and time just flies right on past.
So in my moments of reflection that day, I was so glad I had written the date on the bookmark in my Bible.
It was a reminder of the passage of time, but also it helped me to realize that if I had done nothing else good or edifying for my children, right there in front of me was proof that I had been praying specifically for my children each day, focused and specifically praying for them.
I felt gratefully relieved.
So yeah, I'm just being ragged and real, with my battered and inferiority feelings exposed.
 I mess up and I have to say I'm sorry over and over. 
I've made a gob of mistakes and learned a ton of lessons.
 I get tired and at a loss for words or ideas. 
It's easy to feel like the worst mom on the planet.
Yeah, ya know, GLOBALLY, the worst mom.
However, I want my children to know and feel that every breath is one I breathe for them.
They are at the center of my prayer.
Their eternal soul is my greatest passion.
I have a sneaking suspicion that there might be a couple of moms (yeah, two moms) out there who may relate to a tiny bit of this...just a teensy smidgin'.
Don't allow yourself to look back in regret.
Time will fly right on past whether spending energy looking back in regret or looking forward with purpose.
My thoughts and prayers for my children are focused toward a new direction.
So I'm on it.
Moving ahead.
Oh, and I better put a date on it or 10 years will fly right on past before I realize it.
I've shared this poem before.  It is still an awesome reminder.
No matter the phase of life in which you find yourself...
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Author unknown


Donnie said...

WOW!! So well said.

Willow said...

Oh Rachel so heart felt. Anyone that has as much heart as you IS indeed a good mom, no doubt.
Hugs and hope you have a wonderful Mothers Day

Anonymous said...

good job on the blog!!@ Yes time flys!! It just strucked me the other day how old you are going to be next week!!! WOW!! Can't believe it!! love, Paul

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

This is beautiful! You have such a nice way of putting your thoughts on "paper!" I think any mother who prays for her children is a good mother!

Ten years is a long time. I also couldn't help but think of those three girls (women) who were kidnapped TEN years ago and recently rescued.