courageous mug with frothy hot drink

A Post Dedicated to My Mom

courageous mug with frothy hot drink

This is a special day, as I write and share the 100th post of my blog, Simply Flourishing Home!!!

My blog has taken a “back seat” lately, mainly because of injuring my finger, making it difficult and time-consuming to type. With my 100th post coming up I had wished to make it significant, but have been disappointed to honestly just not have it in me physically and emotionally to come up with something spectacular.

Often when we are in a difficult or challenging place, the best option becomes to just “do the next right thing”. So when I saw this week’s Five Minute Friday word prompt, I decided to do just that.

With this background, I’d like to dedicate this, my 100th blog post, to my Mom. ♥

I can’t think of a more deserving tribute on this Mother’s Day, 2017.

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Sometimes I find it difficult to figure out what sentiment to write on a greeting card, especially for someone as significant, appreciated and loved as my mother. After fifty years, I often hesitate, struggling to come up with a better, new or more meaningful way to say what’s in my heart. But words are often inadequate.

For today’s Five Minute Friday post (which will undoubtedly push the five-minute “limit” with my finger still recuperating from surgery), I’d like to take some time to tell you, Mom, some of the things that have made you a special mother to me over all of these years.

It all started on June 14, 1966; well, actually let’s not forget all of those exciting, yet tiring and overwhelming months of pregnancy, as well. I don’t even know many details about how that was for you, but I know it takes a great deal of sacrifice. Neither did I realize just how hard delivering a baby could be (as expressed in my first words to you after giving birth to my first son, “I owe you, Mom!”)

As a child I have so many fond memories. Although hours of details and moments seem shrouded by the forgetfulness of my many years, the ones that are clear to me are mostly wonderful.

I remember enjoying growing up on two country acres and all of the fun and learning that growing a large garden and mowing big fields brings. I appreciate being taught important skills, often just by watching you, but also being given the freedom to run and play and enjoy my long childhood. I remember the joys of planting, harvesting and eating fresh vegetables and scrumptious strawberries, and appreciate all of the work you did to preserve much summer goodness to enjoy all winter from our big chest freezer.

I appreciate the gift of having you home with myself and Rebecca (when she came along six years later), a gift that is becoming more increasingly rare in our modern culture.

Even when we were old enough to get ready for school on our own, you would get up and leave us some breakfast food, in order to make our busy morning run more smoothly. It also reminded us that you cared.

Our family vacations in the long summer days make up a large part of my childhood memories.

We were blessed to enjoy more time together as a family with Dad being an experienced teacher, and I appreciate all of the work you did to make those trips happen. Even while we sometimes helped out on vacation (and probably should have more than we did), I thank you for taking extra responsibilities on yourself so that we girls could enjoy freedom and the wonders of nature while you prepared many of our meals, or just one more swim with dad while you packed up most of our camp to leave for home.

I thank you, Mom, not only for you and Dad taking us to church all of our lives, but for modeling what it means to live authentic, though imperfect, Christian lives. I appreciate all of the times when you (and often Dad) calmed my fears and helped me to sort through my own conflicting emotions and thoughts in a loving way.

Thank-you for every mess you cleaned up, every tear you wiped, all of the “undesirable” things a mother just does every single day.

Another huge part of my favorite childhood memories was how we celebrated special times and holidays, but especially Christmas.  I’m glad that you enjoyed it, but I know you did so much work to make these family memories even more special.  The elaborate but inexpensive creative decorations, gifts, and treats made the season simply magical. I’m so happy to be able to pass on a part of these loving traditions to my own family.

I love your creativity that you shared with your family, through hand-sewn clothes, homemade Christmas decorations, and cards you made for us at Valentine’s Day.

I am so grateful that you shared your love of music with me and taught me how to sing harmony.  I love how you and Dad took us to “Jesus festivals” to hear the early artists of Christian rock music, and how as seniors, to this day, you still love and appreciate quality, “upbeat” music, such as the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Although it was hard on both of us (and eventually we decided I should take a break, then learn from another teacher), I appreciate your sharing your knowledge of how to play the piano with me, and enjoyed hearing you play for enjoyment yourself.

Another thing I appreciate is how I was made to feel special and important, because my feelings always mattered.

One such occasion was the morning when your father, my grandfather, passed away. Even as you were grieving your own loss and watching the pain of your own mother, you and Dad let me know that it was OK to be disappointed to not be leaving that morning as planned on our family vacation.

Another time was years later when I was a young adult. As I expressed feelings of guilt over something seemingly insignificant really bothering me when you were suffering with the sickness and painful treatment of cancer, you responded yet again in such a caring, “motherly” way. I’ll never forget your letting me know that just because my concern was “less serious” than cancer did not make it any less real to me, and that it was OK for me to hurt even when you were suffering so greatly.

You demonstrated courage and faith as you passed through the difficult months (and years) of cancer and how it affects all of one’s life.

I love how when my teenage friends came to our home, many times they would “borrow” your ear to share something that you made them feel comfortable enough to share, even though they were a guest. I have so many memories of the time, care and sacrifice that you and Dad made in ministering to youth and young adults, teaching Rebecca and I to love God, the church, his people and his work throughout our lives.

Another special little “gift” to me were the times you simply washed my long hair in the kitchen sink (although it’s slightly embarrassing to admit my teenage laziness for some reason about this). I was perfectly capable of doing it myself, but it made me feel loved and “spoiled” (in a good way). I don’t think it has hindered my growth in any way, but it helps me to remember a practical way that you showed how much you cared for me.

You continue to be a “mom” to so many other individuals whom God has brought into your life, even while your children live far away.

Since I’ve “grown up” (do we ever really?), married, and had children, you have still been a loving, helpful and supportive mom for all of these years, and for that I still thank you.

You have often continued to calm my fears, helped me to work through my adult struggles, prayed endlessly for me and my husband and sons, and helped to create so many more special memories.

We are grateful for the added blessing of sharing these memories with your grandsons, our own family.

Mom, I’ve only touched on a small percentage of my thoughts and memories for which I wish to express appreciation and gratitude, but I hope that it brings you just some of the blessing you deserve today.

So Mom, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

I know that you will never stop being a mother, my mother, and I only pray that God gives me the strength, courage and wisdom to be the mother to my sons, and to all those God brings into my life, that you have been to me.

I love you. ♥

*****

 

Coral colored roses 2016-05-07

Why We Should Take Care of Mom on Mother’s Day

Coral colored roses 2016-05-07

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.

I know that there are many mixed emotions about this holiday.

Some people don’t care for such days, I think primarily because they either feel it’s “fake” or contrived, or because they feel that mothers should always be appreciated.

I have to agree with the second reason, but to me, just like so many other holidays and traditions (such as Christmas, Easter, and even meal-time prayers), it’s sometimes good to set aside a special day or time to focus on celebrating an important event or blessing someone special.

For this reason, I think that Mother’s Day is a great day to pull out all the stops and really make mom feel special.

Before I continue, let me also point out that some folks dislike Mother’s Day because they have pain associated with such a holiday. It could be the pain of losing a mother, grief over not being able to bear children, or the devastation of losing their own child. There may even be those who have been hurt so badly by a mother that celebrating just doesn’t seem possible.

My heart goes out to these people, and I believe we need to be very sensitive to those around us who are hurting or for whom this holiday causes discomfort.

But for most of us, I believe that Mother’s Day can be a positive celebration to honor the mothers in our lives.

For this Mother’s Day I’d like to list some simple reasons for taking special care of mothers.

Why We Should Take Care of Mom on Mother’s Day:

 

1. It’s the right thing to do. 

The Bible instructs us to honor our parents (Ephesians 6:2). Proverbs 31:28 states,

“Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her”,

and verse 31 reads, 

Reward her for all she has done.
    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.”

Even if you’re not a Bible follower, I’m sure you feel the responsibility to give respect and appreciation to the one who brought you into this world.

2. Labor!

Come on, now. If you’ve given birth yourself you know exactly what I mean. (Unless you’re one of the few extremely rare ones who say it didn’t hurt or that you didn’t realize you were in labor….and I am in no way jealous.) If not, have you ever seen a live birth or even a video of one…..or perhaps a fabricated, yet vivid television portrayal of a woman giving birth? Need I say more? (Thankfully, I won’t post pictures!)

Your mother welcomed you into this world at great discomfort to herself and with great travail. The least you can do is buy her some flowers or chocolate and a card!

Seriously though, my perspective on what my own mother did for me changed dramatically, immediately after giving birth to my first child.

3. Mothers sacrifice regularly, often neglecting to care for themselves.

Mothers spend a good deal of their waking hours and energy caring for their children and families. They’re created to nurture, and it often comes at the expense of rest or care for themselves. Mother’s Day is a great time to set a precedent for taking special care of mom, and allowing her to have the rest and enjoyment she deserves.

4. We are teaching our children to respect and honor their parents.

As we read in the above Bible verses that mothers are to be honored (see point #1), it’s our responsibility to teach our children and the next generation to respect and care for their parents. We also need to model this type of godly behavior for our kids.

5. Focusing on mothers reminds us not to be selfish.

Any time we take the focus off of our ourselves and our own concerns in order to celebrate and bless someone else, it reminds us that we are not the center of the universe. It’s healthy to learn to care for and be sensitive to others, and in so doing we will gain a larger perspective than just that which concerns us.

 

You may already be aware of the many reasons to celebrate moms, but I hope this gave you a little more to think about. I pray that you may enjoy either being a mother and/or celebrating the mothers in your life.

If you cannot celebrate Mother’s Day for personal reasons, I totally respect that. If you’re one of the few who has been wronged by a mother, I’m so sorry for that injustice, but suggest that you seek help (if needed), and chose forgiveness. You will only hurt yourself if you continue to hold on to the pain that was bestowed upon you. May God heal and help you.

If you’re one of the ones for whom Mother’s Day reminds you of a personal loss, perhaps you can do something special for yourself and/or find someone else with whom to enjoy the day. Perhaps the pain will lesson as you surround yourself with those you love. May God give you comfort and peace.

Whatever your situation, I pray that you have a blessed Mother’s Day!

*****

How does your family celebrate Mother’s Day? Can you think of some new ways to bless and encourage the mothers in your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dark sky with pink over dark water

Do You Ever Feel Like a Complete #momfail ???

 

dark sky with pink over dark water

Hello fellow moms and anyone else who may happen to be interested in reading this post.

If you’re not a mom, perhaps you are reading this post to pass along the information to someone else you know, for a later season in your own life, or just to achieve a better understanding of what moms commonly feel. Either way, you’re welcome here, but for simplicity sake (this is Simply Flourishing Home after all!), I’ll write this post as if I’m talking to mothers. Perhaps it will still be of help to others who read this as well.

Have you ever had a bad day? Of course you have.

But I mean, a REALLY BAD MOM DAY? 

The kind of day where you feel like so many things went badly, and you did not handle anything with grace. You may feel like (or it may have been expressed), that your kids don’t even like you. It may be less personal, and you just feel like everything you’re responsible for as a mom is out of control. We can actually feel like we don’t even deserve to be a mother; that no one else has ever failed as badly as we have; that we are hopelessly behind, inferior, or just a #momfail.

If you answered “yes” or identified with any of these scenarios ….. then you just may be a mom.

Mothering is a hard job. It is both wonderful and frightening, difficult and blessed, complicated and truly joyous, and overwhelming yet hugely rewarding. It is one of the hardest yet one of the ABSOLUTE BEST things I’ve ever chosen to do in my whole life!

We are all in this together. You’re not alone.

Low and behold, about a day ago, I received an email in my inbox, with an offer to view a FREE, three-day video series for moms about this very topic. It’s called, The Truth About #momfail culture, 10 Things You Need to Hear On the Hard Daysand is produced and shared by two successful but real blogging moms, Stephanie Langford (Ultimate Bundles & Spark Home), and Beth Ricci (RedandHoney.com).

Each of the three videos for moms is only about fifteen minutes in length, and I think you will find them real, enjoyable, and most of all, encouraging. I’ve already watched the first two, and am excited to view the last one when it hits my inbox tomorrow.

Best of all, these real “talks” will help you realize that the feeling that you’re failing as a mother simply isn’t true. You may not be perfect, but no matter what age they are right now, you are the perfect mom for your children.

Care to join me in viewing this video series for moms? Grab a hot (or cold) cup of a comforting beverage and sign up here for some #momfailtruth. I think you’ll be glad you did.

***Update: Unfortunately, this encouraging video series for moms has now ended, but if you are interested, follow the same link to the Ultimate Bundles website, where you can check out the awesome bundle deals that are available several times each year. I have purchased one, and if you can afford the low price, it can be an incredible deal for a huge amount of information and help with everything from homemaking to photography. There are several differnt bundles available for a very limited time, at a very low price. You get to download a huge library of ebooks and courses, and to top it all off, they always include some incredible “bonus” items, which in and of themselves, are often worth the purchase price. So if this sounds at all interesting, follow the above link and check it out. ***

turquoise cup of steaming coffee

*****