Four Pictures of Motherhood; A Four generational look at being a Mom.
Week Two: The Devotion Of A Mother’s Heart.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” -Luke 2:19
Who but a mother could truly comprehend the deep meaning found within these words? Yet God puts them in His word for all of us to read. Demonstrating the depth of a mother’s love, and the devotion that lies with in her heart.
The devotion of a mother’s heart!
The earliest memories of my mother are of us always being together. I never felt alone! I always knew without a single doubt in my mind that she loved me and cared for me and that I never needed to worry about anything. She held my hand, she dressed me, she fed me, she played with me, she laughed with me, she rocked me, she sang to me, and she made me look forward to each and every day. She made me feel like being a child was the best thing ever! She loved me and my sisters more than anything else in this world! I never felt like she wanted to be away from us. I always felt secure in knowing she wanted to be with us. She was an only child, and she was thrilled to have four daughters. I think she loved the fact that we were all together!
One of the songs I remember her singing was on Saturday mornings when it was time to get up. She would pull the curtains back and sing, “Rise and Shine, Merry Sunshine.” She made everything fun, like it was a game. Even though we didn’t really want to get up, she would tell us she was making french toast, we could watch cartoons for 30 minutes, and then we would need to do our chores. She would kiss and tickle us to get us out of bed. Just the memory of it makes me smile! She even made grocery shopping fun. She would let us select fish sticks, one of our favorites, with green beans, if my dad was going to be out of town. Then she would let us get paper dolls or coloring books. We would take them home and play for hours! She would let us turn our room into a village for our Barbie dolls. We would make houses and shops out of shoe boxes, and dress them and play for hours. She also made each vacation and holiday special from beginning to end. From decorating the tree, to making Christmas cookies, to dancing to Christmas music, to decorating Easter eggs, and even making our outfits for Halloween. Each and every tradition was followed, each and every year!
We looked forward to each with great anticipation. We were a family, and we loved being together!
I never felt like I didn’t matter, or she didn’t have time for me. She never treated one of us any more special than another, yet she was able to uniquely pull out our individual differences and talents. She taught us style and grace by the way she dressed, by the classy way she wore her make up, by the way she did her hair, and by the way she carried herself and talked to other people. She was kind and she was loving, and she was gracious with her speech. My mom didn’t use cuss words, she didn’t smoke or drink, and she cared about the way she looked. Not to an obsessive state, no; but to have pride in herself and the way she presented herself to others. She did the same for us. She always dressed us nicely, taught us how to dress modestly, always did our hair, and with four girls, that is saying a lot!
She always took us to Sunday school. This was not always easy for her, because my dad was not always there with us. But she still took us! She taught us to pray at each meal and at bedtime, and always made Christmas and Easter revolve around Church.
She loved our dad so much, and always demonstrated a great love and desire to be with him, and to have him be with us. She shared in activities with him, some that would not have been her first choice. But she graciously made them a family event. She would take us to each and everyone of his baseball games; we would go out on his boat, which he lovingly named, ‘My Linda’; we would watch football games together on the weekends, and she would make us delicious food to go along with them. She joined in his desire to have horses in our backyard, even though she was frightened by them. We would go deer hunting together on trips that would take us far from home–at one point, clear to Colorado! She genuinely loved my father, and sacrificed a lot for him.
One of the things that stands out in my memory demonstrating her commitment and love to my father, and our family, was that she worked outside of the home, even though her desire was to be a “stay at home mom.” Her family came first, and it was clear in everything she did.
When I entered my teenage years, I could sense the tension between my mom and dad. It was something I didn’t want to admit was there, but it became evident that it was. My dad was home less and less. His construction business seemed to take him away from home more than ever. I knew my mom wasn’t happy with this, but she never let on to us about it. She would tell us that everything was fine, and that she loved us very, very much! When he was away, she would make it fun for us. She would let us choose what we wanted for dinner; she would pick movies and we would watch them together. We would go places like the Crocker Art Museum in downtown Sacramento, or the public library. She didn’t sit on the couch and sulk, and she didn’t cry in front of us, feeling sorry for herself. She truly made the best of every day and brought love and joy into our lives despite the circumstances. As I look back on those times now, I see the strength she demonstrated out of her devotion to us, her children.
She taught me more about unconditional love through those long days, then I could have ever learned any other way. She loved her daughters with all of her heart. And even though her own heart was breaking, her devotion to us remained steadfast! I know that we are all the mothers that we are today, because of her example.
When my dad was going through his struggle to stay faithful and committed to his family, money became a big issue. He would get angry at my mom and tell her that she demanded too much, spent too much, and was always asking for money. As the oldest, I could see that she was just trying to take care of her daughters. I remember one time asking my father for a dress for the prom. It was not one of his good seasons, and he yelled at me. My mom found a way to save up enough money to buy me a dress at an outlet. She did my hair, and she made me feel beautiful. I was her little girl and she held me in her heart.
My mother loved my father and her children with a strong devotion. She never wanted a divorce from my father, but he was unfaithful and ultimately that is what happened. Changes came after my mother and father divorced, and they were hard.
My mother remarried eventually and that brought in another family. There were adjustments, difficulties, and at times pain and tears. But through it all my mother kept her daughters near and dear to her heart. We knew no one would really ever take our place in her mother’s heart. As I look back over those past 38 years, I am thankful, humbled, and honored by the amount of love and dedication she has shown to her family. She has stayed married, loyal and faithful to her husband for these past 38 years. Even after the divorce, she accepted my dad into our family holidays and activities, including him with grace. Remarkably, over time my dad and her husband actually became good friends. She never badmouthed my dad to his daughters, and even when I was angry and didn’t want to be around him, she told me he was my father, and he deserved my love and respect. And she made sure I knew he always loved me! She demonstrated loyalty by being a good daughter-in-law to my father’s parents, and sister-in-law to my father’s sisters.
She loved and reached out to her uncle Art, and both sides of her parent’s family. She was a faithful, loving daughter to her parents all of their lives! She graciously cared for them when they were sick, always having them be a part of all of our holidays and events. She truly showed us how to respect and love your parents, through the way she loved hers. She and her husband paid for many family vacations for all of us to be a part of, and opened their home for big family gatherings. She always opened her home, and still does to this day, for any visitors to stay in.
She accepted and welcomed her stepchildren into the family, and worked hard to make everyone feel an important part of the family. She always supported her children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren, by babysitting, helping out, and buying gifts. She set the bar high for being a grandma! One I can only hope to attain. She loves them all dearly, and they all dearly love her! She truly holds each and everyone of them in her heart as well as her children. Her grandchildren still request her world famous french toast, every time they are at her house! She was always there when you needed a phone call for advice or support. She accepted her son-in-laws as her own sons and even her grandkid’s spouses have come to love her and even call her “Grammie.”
She speaks the truth in love, and sometimes says what you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it. She did not take sides in her kid’s marital squabbles, but always assured us that it was worth working it out. She has a wisdom for pointing out the good traits about each person.
My mom is truly extraordinary! She demonstrated that family comes first and that love is unconditional! That a family member always deserves forgiveness and is never beyond restoration. Because of her forgiveness and restoration with my father, we were all able to heal and have a right relationship with him.
I am confident of this one thing: my mother holds me in her heart and is devoted to me. I am never truly farther than a heartbeat away.
An ordinary Mother who loves her family unconditionally becomes extraordinary.
I have an extraordinary Mom. She has always held me close to her heart and loved me unconditionally. Perhaps you haven’t had a Mom like that, and this description doesn’t make any sense to you. The truth is, whether you’ve had an amazing example of a Mom or a disappointing one, God wants you to be the Mom He created you to be! One that leaves your children loved unconditionally, so they can get a glimpse of how their Heavenly Father loves them unconditionally. You have the opportunity to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary through God’s strength!
Speak Truth Love