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.
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. ♥