Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Ramblings

Waking up to the dream of motherhood yesterday morning:

"Mom, the cat threw up on Bman's jacket."
(I'm still in bed)  "Where is it?"
"On the couch."
"Ok, Don't touch it."

While I was lying in bed feeling grateful that the cat threw up on something that could just be picked up, and nothing needed to be wiped down, a parade of boys started coming in my room with "Happy Mother's Day" wishes, and throwing stuff on me.  Stuff I couldn't see because my glasses were still on my bedside table.  But, when I put my glasses on, I saw the stuff.  The stuff included big and little "Happy Mother's Day!" messages with hearts on poster board, a handmade pan flute made from bamboo (which they cut down at the park and normally use for making spears), and 12 cents that my youngest happened to be holding in his hand when he came in.  Awesome.

It reminded me of something I read on Facebook yesterday that was something like, "When a child gives you something, receive it with a tremendous amount of gratitude.  It might be the only thing they have to give and they're giving it to you."   Amen. 

Normally, I'm not much into "things" and have the grace to accept "what is".  But yesterday, I hosted a table at the most beautiful brunch you can imagine.  I've hosted tables before, but I always used someone else's stuff because I'm not good at decorating, I don't have nice stuff, blah, blah, blah.  But, this year, I dug out all of my Mom's china to see if I could pull it off.  With the exception of the glasses and the silverware and the flowers and the statue, I did.

And I was caught off-guard by the sudden memories of myself as a little girl, eating cherry cheesecake on those pretty little plates.  Added to my surprise, I found myself misty-eyed, missing my Mom.  Not because I never miss her, but because she was miss-ing.  She belonged around that table with her china that she hasn't seen in over 20 years, that her Mom bought at the grocery store, a little at a time.  But, wishing she was there is a lot easier than actually getting her there.  She has to have a caregiver to travel anywhere, and that caregiver has a family of her own, so a 10-hour drive for a weekend getaway is a little tricky to pull off.  However, next year we need to make it happen.  She belongs there with her china.  And with me. 

Just like I belong with my boys.  But, not like I used to.  Not all close and snuggly like days gone by.  I used to play with them and chase them around the house, but now I mostly chase them off of video games and TV screens.  They would rather do a lot of things than do something with me.  Maybe because my something is going to the grocery store or folding laundry.  They don't want to play board games, and I don't want to play guns.  I will jump on the trampoline, but it seems like they usually ask me when I'm making dinner, so I end up feeling like the "No" queen.

It's at these times, I find myself wanting to love them better by spending more time with them, but it seems I'm too busy taking care of them.  Sometimes, it's hard that love has to give what is needed, which is not necessarily what it wants to give.  Jesus says in Matthew 25:34-35 "...Come, you who are blessed by my Father.  Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me."  These things matter because these are ways we love well.  As mothers, fortunately for us (by God's design), we love this way every. single. day. 

However, of all the things I do for my boys, I think the most important thing is something that no one sees.  And that something is prayer.  Prayer for them.  I cut this prayer from our church bulletin awhile back and pray it every morning.  It seems to touch on all of the things that matter.  I want to share it with you, in case you'd like to pray it, too:

Pope Francis:
A Parent's Prayer for
Their Children 
O Heavenly Father,
I commend my children
unto Thee.
Be Thou their God and
Father; and mercifully
supply whatever is wanting
in me through frailty
or negligence.
Strengthen them to
overcome the corruptions of
the world, to resist all
solicitations to evil, whether
from within or without; and
deliver them from the secret
snares of the enemy.
Pour Thy grace into their
hearts, and confirm and
multiply in them the gifts of
Thy Holy Spirit, that they
may daily grow in grace and
in the knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ; and so,
faithfully serving Thee here,
may come to rejoice in Thy
presence hereafter.

As I'm starting my seventh week of my hospital chaplain internship, I am more-aware-than-ever of the gifts of life, love, health, and family.  If we have even one of these things, we are blessed.  If we  could live in the reality of how blessed we are, our gratitude would demand that we spend every bit of ourselves trying to pay it forward or pay it back.

Dear Creator, Redeemer, Savior, and Friend,

Thank you for the gift of motherhood, the gift of life, the gift of love, the gift of health, and the gift of family.  Please continue to guide us and lead us in this sublime role of parenting.  It is the best way  out of ourselves and into You.  Please bless all who are missing their children this day, whether they've gone ahead to meet you or are just far away.  Please grant us the continuous grace to remain in the knowledge that the children you entrust to us are never really "ours".  They have been Yours and will always be Yours.  Help us do well by them, and lead them back to You.  Amen.

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