Friday, July 27, 2012

May I be all that and much more

 My gram and me ~ 1960
 My mom and me ~ 1960

Growing up I never once thought about what it meant for my grandmother or my mother to be moms.  I never gave a single thought as to how they viewed their lives or if being a mom and grandmother made them happy.  I never had to think about it because I knew from the very depths of my heart that being a mother and grandmother were the number one most important things in their lives.

As a child I remember vividly my grandmother's bible always being on her kitchen table or close by.  Her day began first of all with the Lord before she faced whatever task was hers.  It made an impression on my heart that her values were strong and good.

My mom was and is the most selfless person I know when it comes to her kids.  Not once in my life did I feel like my mom put herself before me and my brothers.  It was just a fact that her kids were her life.

I'm pondering a lot these days.

I miss my grandmother just as much as I did 14 years ago when she left this earth.  I miss her tender and caring heart.  She was the one person that I went to when I needed a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.  I loved seeing her cater to my 3 little girls as she lead me to believe they were her very favorite great grandchildren even though she had many and each one was a treasure to her.

As a girl and even into my teens my mom was my best friend always.  She never let me down and made sure I felt secure and valued by her in all ways.

Yes, I'm pondering.

Was I a good enough mom?  Will I make a good grandma?

You know, my mom never played games with me.  She never crafted or loved cooking and baking.  Often we think these are the things that make a great mom.  For me it's something far deeper.  It was her undivided attention and unfailing love for me.

Although I never played Scrabble until I was 50 and I never realized all of the ingredients in the world to make amazing food I did know deep down in my heart the a mom's love was constant.  If I needed her she she would drop everything to be there for me.

My memories of my grandmother were a bit different.  She was an outstanding cook.  Her baking was hard to beat. She could sew and crochet beautifully.  She loved to read books to me as a child and to my children when they were big enough to sit on her lap.  Still the most important thing I remember about her was her heart.  To me it was as big as the world and she made me feel as though I filled every corner of it.

And so I ponder.

Will my daughters remember me like I think of my mom?  Will my grandchildren smile as they grow and think of their grandma as the best in the entire world.

I pray daily that I am a mother to be praised and a reflection of two amazing women who have graced my life and both "did it right

Thank you Lord for the blessing of my godly grandmother and mother.  Thank you for the memories I have as a little girl of being a treasure to both of them.  I ask you Lord to make me into the woman that reflects You in all things.  May my legacy be one of love beyond measure for each child You have given me and hopefully someday to many little ones to come.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Part 4: Walking, working, and seeing clearly

Needless to say, this was a Mother's day I'll remember forever.  I can honestly say that it made up for all the years that I had no children at home and sat in a heap of loneliness and self pity.

A dear friend once gently reminded me that Mother's day is just another day.  I needed to reflect on the blessing of being a mother, the blessing of having a wonderful mother of my own, and focus less on my empty heart.  I know she was right, but boy let me tell you that having them home and within my reach to hug is really the best way to enjoy being a mom.

The day after the kids left I returned to work.  It had been 9 1/2 weeks of recovery and I was finally feeling strong enough to go back to my part time job, part time.  I did some half days and even though I was not very strong and my foot hurt I felt a sense of regaining my life at last.

Soon I was out of the big, old, black boot and into a shoe.  What a day that was!  My shoes may not be pretty, but they beat a cast and a boot any old day.

So here I was, back to work, walking pretty good and daily reminding myself of the enormous blessing of walking out of my house on my own.  Being able to drive my car with my right foot was huge.  Yup, life was getting more of a regular routine each day.

While busy at work I got a phone call from one of my daughters.  Knowing that I'm working they normally don't call me unless it's important.  I have to admit that phone calls from Texas these days have set my heart racing.  Between Lindsey's health and Jenna having a car accident while heading to work in Dallas traffic I'm always a bit nervous when their names come up on my phone.(Working hard to get over this issue.)

This time was a very pleasant surprise.  Lindsey was calling to check what our plans were for the 4th of July.  Plans?  Huh?  We never have plans.  We sort of had some plans to attend our church camp out for part of the weekend, but the kids always come first.  They wanted to fly home and spend a week with us!  What great news!  Once again the unexpected visit home from the kids was pure joy.  Alicia decided to hop a train again and come for a couple of days.  Alfred had to work, but she was able to come home.

We had a great time just soaking up the heat here in Michigan.  We spent hours in the pool.  Dave and Beto got to experience some father/son time on the bikes.  We went to the beach which is a must if the kids are home in the summer.  It was my goal to get in the sand this summer and I did it!  It was just what the doctor ordered having the kids home and relaxing together making some good memories.

 My sore and tired feet feeling pretty happy in the beach sand.

 Dave and Beto following a bike ride.

Just relaxing.

The "momma to be" :D

 Sisters at the beach

As always life goes on.  The kids returned to their homes and Dave and I are back to just the two of us.  Things are slightly different these days as we spent countless conversations talking about becoming grandparents.  We have no idea how this long distance thing is going to feel and I just don't really want to think about that part of it right now.  We are just having fun thinking about that little life that will change us forever.

I hope to fly to Dallas this fall to see my sweet girl pregnant.  I can't go the entire time and not see her tummy growing.  With the baby due in January they will not be coming home for the holidays.  There are weddings to photograph and then the time is too close for travel.

All in all I feel over the top blessed and even though my time of recovery didn't give me a super spiritual experience I did learn over time to see the hand of God constantly at work in my life.

I watched Him bring me through a very difficult surgery and recovery.  I witnessed the loss of our precious first grandchild only to be reminded that He never took His eyes off from our kids and He never forgot about us.  Walking through that valley His presence was so sweet giving comfort to us and hope.  The news of another baby on the way was a promise to us that He cares for His own blessing us with the desires of our hearts.  He protected Jenna from harm when in the car accident and extended His loving shoulder to lean on throughout a long and drawn out nightmare of getting the claim settled.

Yes, I DID have an over the top spiritual experience.  It just turned into a daily walk with the Lord once again learning to lean, trust, and hope.  In the lowest of times He was there.  In the height of happiness He was there.

It might have taken me time to process His goodness and faithfulness, but just as He promised He was there all along.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23 (NIV)