Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I am so glad that someone, somewhere decided that mothers should be given an honorary day to be celebrated. Seriously! I am blessed to have the best mother on the planet, (which I know she will be mortified to see in print) but sorry Mom...I'm not taking it back or somehow downplaying the facts. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks their mom is the best, but since this is my blog, I can say anything I want. :)

I don't think I every really appreciated my mom's influence in my life until I had my own children. I never thought about all the lunches she packed everyday for 5 kids, the clothes that she sewed, the hot meals that we had every night, or the laundry that magically got done before I knew that I was out of clean clothing. I didn't get the fact that she sacrificed her time day and night to care for not only my physical needs, but also for my emotional and spiritual needs. If I was upset about something, I knew that my mom would be there to listen to me-and even if she didn't agree she would find a way to give me advise or correct me without breaking my spirit.

I can remember the day that my son, Ryan was born and how clueless I was about what it meant to be a mother. When the nurse came in to tell me that Ryan needed to be fed and changed, I looked around for my mom (as if it was her job to do it) and thought, "OK, now what do I do? Where's my mom? She always knows what to do." Suddenly, I realized that I was the mom and this was my responsibility. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and for the first time ever I said to myself, "Wow! You've been a real jerk to your mom...never appreciating her, not helping her, or showing her the respect she deserves." From that moment on, I had a different kind of love for my mom. I saw her as a person not just as someone who was there to meet my childish needs.

I suppose this sort of epiphany happens all the time for first time mothers, but it was life changing for me. Not only did I begin to honor my mom more, but I wanted to be the same kind of mother my mom had been for me. Fourteen months later, I had my daughter, Lacey, so my family was complete and I was only 22 years old!
I can honestly say that I didn't do a very good job raising them for the first 12 or 13 years of their lives...and I'm not being hard on myself. I was just young, immature and selfish. I had so much to learn!! I tried my best, but I had a lot of my own stuff to overcome. I didn't have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom but I had watched my mom, so I always had an idea of what I should be striving for. When my kids entered high school, I finally found peace with myself and God. That's when things took a drastic turn. It was like the light finally went on and I discovered how much I loved being a mom to these two great kids I had been blessed with. This is something I am truly grateful for because I know my mom was a part of that as well. I know she was praying for me and loving me from afar even living two states away.

Today I don't mind saying that I think I'm a pretty good mom. My kids know I love them beyond words and I am there for them no matter what-even if I am in China. I pray for them and love them from afar, just like my mom did for me. I know what it means to put yourself last, to sacrifice out of love-not duty, to always believe the best in your kids, to encourage them and honor them and believe that the best is yet to come for them and for their children. Although, I don't know if my legacy as a mother will ever be for my daughter what my mom's is for me, but I'm satisfied knowing I did the best I knew how and never quit trying.

So today, to honor you Mom, I want to publicly say 'Thank you! Without you I wouldn't be who I am today, and my life would never be as sweet! You're the best!"