Tuesday, April 30, 2013
What My Mother Gave Me
This week, in our God-sized dream post, Holley Gerth, author of You're Made for a God Sized Dream, exhorted us to write an encouraging letter to another dreamer in our life for our link-up this week. This is a perfect opportunity for me to take some time to thank a very special dreamer in my life for all that she has given me. So, there is a book titled What My Mother Gave Me. I haven't read it, but if you follow the link, it looks like a good book about women recognizing their mothers for all the gifts they gave to them over the years, whether physical, instructional or going above and beyond. I liked that idea, so I stole the title and the idea, and am going to do my own little version, as I think it would be a good way to encourage my mother, by showing her that she has made a difference in a least one person's life. It seems very appropriate as well, since Mother's Day is on the way.
First of all, and most importantly, I want to thank you for raising me in a christian home. I know it has taken me almost 30 years to appreciate this, but I finally do. And God has fulfilled his promise, and since you obeyed and raised me in the way that I should go, I have not departed from it. Not very far, anyway. :)
And that leads into the next thing I am thankful for. Thank you for never giving up on me, for not failing to mention God in almost every conversation, for refusing to compromise in your love and loyalty for Him when you knew that I didn't want to hear about God and what I should do according to his word. And yet, you also never forced it down my throat. So, thank you for keeping the balance just right, and allowing me to come to him on my own accord, in his timing. If I can accomplish this with my daughter half so well, I will be very grateful.
Thank you for teaching me how to dream big dreams. You were dreaming God-Sized dreams since I can remember. Some of them came true, a lot of them did not. But you have never wavered in your faith that God listens and answers prayers. You have taught me that sometimes God says yes to our prayers and sometimes He can say no, but it doesn't mean that he doesn't love us or want the best for us. In fact, whatever he does say is always for our benefit.
Thank you for teaching me how to work hard. If there was only one word to describe you, I would use the word Driven. And if there was only one phrase, it would be "Work hard and don't bother doing it if you aren't going to do it right." It was a spirit of excellence, that you raised me in. It has sometimes been a heavy burden, especially when those around us aren't working hard or doing it right, but I am grateful for it, all the same. I look around me now and marvel at the number of people who do not have a work ethic or care about the quality of work they do, no matter what job they have.
Thank you for setting a good example in morality and for being honest and open enough to share the stories of the times you failed and the consequences. These lessons were of utmost importance to me. Not only did I learn that we should do what is right, but that we are human and sometimes fall short. And when we fall short, we ask for forgiveness and we live to fight another day.
Thank you for apologizing when you wronged me. Instead of treating me like a possession that you didn't have to apologize to, like so many do with their children. You recognized that I was a person, who had feelings. Telling me you were sorry when you said something or did something wrong made me trust you, that you really did care for and love me. And it let me know that you knew you were not perfect as well. Which, in turn, seemed to make it easier to relate with you while going through the struggles of youth. If I had thought that you didn't go through the same trials and temptations in life, it would have been hard to listen to a word you said. But you were always talking, always teaching, and always being real.
Thank you for correcting me when I was wrong. I can't believe the number of children that are raised these days without firm correction and direction in their lives. Thank you for teaching me the difference between wrong and right, and giving me consequences when I did wrong. Your constant watching has made me the upstanding person I am today.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally. I know I wasn't everything someone ever wanted in a little girl. I hated dresses, bows in my hair, and pretty shoes. I was not sweet and compliant, but difficult, loud and bossy. I fought you tooth and nail on just about every issue. But you loved me anyway.
You are not a saint, you will never be perfect. But you are my mother and you have done the very best you could do when it came to raising your children. You did a world of good and when you failed, you taught me to understand and forgive. You have made a huge difference in this girl's life, I know you could help so many more.
One more time,Thank you. For your time, your love, your dreams, your prayers, your hope, your discipline, your teaching, your tears. I love you and I pray he answers your prayers to help others, because you did such a good job with me.