So who’s a Mother anyhow?

Today, mothers are celebrated in the United States. Every Mother’s Day, amidst the well wishes and celebrations, I wonder how women who have no biological offspring truly feel. Do they feel left out of the celebrations and should they be?

Yesterday, I went to the bank to make a deposit via the drive-thru window. As I was about to drive off, the cheerful lady at the window, who had seen me stop by with one of my daughters, wished me a happy Mother’s Day. I smiled and replied “same to you.” She immediately informed me that she had no babies. I asked her if she had anyone in her life that she nurtured or who looked up to her and she said yes. To which I replied, “there you go – happy Mother’s Day!”

Just for kicks, I looked up the definition of “mother” and I liked one of the various definitions: “a woman exercising control, influence, or authority like that of a mother: to be a mother to someone.” So there you have it – you don’t have to have birthed a child to be celebrated on Mother’s Day. 

Recently, I had the honor of being featured on a local Christian TV station’s special Mother’s Day program, along with my two daughters. It was such a fun experience for us and I’m including the video here (see below – our segment is only the first 13 minutes or so).

Mothering is not for the faint of heart. It is inspired by love, requires sacrifice, sometimes thankless but most rewarding. So if you’re a woman, whether your children be biological, adoptive or spiritual, from one grateful mother to another…

Happy Mother’s Day.

May you feel loved, appreciated and celebrated more than once a year, because you are.

Hello, blogsite!

I won’t even go there, talking about how long it’s been since I blogged and how I’ve missed it and all. I came back to approve a couple of comments that were made recently and realized that it had been so long since I was here that I’d forgotten what my blogsite looked like. Wow.

So what have I been up to? Life. Up to my elbows, or so it seems. I guess it’s true that the older you get, the more time seems to whizz by. Sure it’s the same 24 hours we’ve always had, so I’m guessing it’s the not so much time that’s going fast, but us who’s slowing down energy-wise. At least that’s my theory (for now) and I’m sticking to it.

So many times I’ll think of something and say to myself: “Self, that’s blog-worthy right there.” My self never responds (thank God, or I’d be eligible for the home for the bewildered) and my feet never transport me to my computer in order for my fingers to lead me to my blogsite. [sigh]

I’ll be back soon…(I think I can, I think I can!)

Lessons in Unlikely Places

Yesterday, I stepped down the hall at work to use the little girls’ room which is shared by all the businesses on my floor (the office where I work is housed in a huge building). As I made my way past the stalls in search of the “right” one (don’t ask!), I couldn’t help noticing that, as usual, many of the toilets were not flushed. I felt the familiar indignation rise like bile in my throat. Too dramatic? ok…I was irritated. I thought of places where indoor plumbing is a luxury and using the loo is a pre-meditated event. You may have to get a bucket of water from the well in the courtyard in consideration of the next visitor to the “stall.” Instead, we are so blessed that all we have to do is lean forward enough to reach the shiny metal handle and push it down one time! Yet, even that is too much for some.

As I entertained myself with my indignation, a conversation ensued in my head:

“[sputter] what does it take to just flush after yourself out of courtesy to the next user? Some people are so inconsiderate!”

You do it!”

“Do what now?”

“You flush and be a blessing to the next woman who comes in here so she doesn’t have to look for a clean toilet because they’re all clean.”

“Not my problem! I flushed my toilet, let them flush theirs.”

“Serving others isn’t just doing something that people can see and acknowledge you for. Sometimes you get to serve anonymously and God, the only One who sees it, will acknowledge it.”

Ouch. Guess who went a-flushing?

Where is home anyway?

Yesterday I learned about the passing away of my friend, Lisa Menard. Last month, my Father-in-law, J.P. also died. My youngest child said this evening, “why is this happening all of a sudden?” I told her that it happens all the time, it’s just that now it’s touching people dear to her and she’s old enough to somewhat understand and process the attendant emotions.

Got me thinking…what exactly is it about this finite earth that we hold on to so tightly anyway? I think of the expression: “home is where your heart is.” So where’s my heart?

I can say honestly that since my mother went to heaven, the mystery of death has somehow lost its grip on me. I was not fearful about dying, just…suspicious. It seemed so mysterious; so many questions, not enough answers. Yes, I’ve known for a long time that there’s an eternity beyond this existence and that I’m destined to spend mine with Jesus (yay!), but that space between then and now and the transition process always left me scratching my head. Now, not so much. Not because I suddenly figured it out all, but I stopped trying to. I just really don’t care anymore about the hows and whats. It’s enough that I know where I’m headed, and why.

I think about Mummy… J.P… Lisa… They are finally at rest, healed, complete, perfect. Then I think of their legacy, what they left behind: Mummy – beauty and godliness. J.P. - wisdom and love of family, Lisa – child-like faith and genuine love for others. These among many other qualities. I picture them all the way I think they should be, only better. Makes it hurt a little bit less. Makes me happy in a nostalgic sort of way. Makes me long for “home.”

That’s where my heart is!

Clawing my way back…

I feel like my writing muscles have atrophied over the past few months! I took stock recently and realized that I need to make a few changes with regard to how I spend my down time. How easy it is to come home from work, hastily throw together a meal for the fam, and vegetate in front of the TV until it’s time for bed! That’s been me pretty much the past few months. Time for a change.

Thanks, Marnies3kids, for the notes inquiring about my welfare and letting me know you missed my posts. I’ve missed them too.

I’M BACK, BABY! I think…

Rules for living

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8

I love that about God – He has given us simple rules for living. No more wondering what or how. Just do it!

Would it still be a Merry Christmas?

What if there were no presents under the tree this year – or no tree even, to stack presents under? What if your loved one can’t make it home for Christmas because they are incarcerated or fighting a war many, many miles away? What if there’s no turkey or mistletoe to help to make the season bright? What if Santa Claus didn’t come to your town?

 This year, more than others, I have been listening more intently to the words of Christmas carols. What, for you, would make this a merry Christmas? For me, it’s having my family together. My son has been away in college and has not been home since July, but will be here this Christmas. The other day, my youngest child told me that she didn’t care if there were no presents under the tree this year, as long as we could have a family dinner together on Christmas day. That brought tears to my eyes, especially coming from a 12 year old!

 My husband and I have been burdened lately by people facing personal tragedies, especially at this “most wonderful time of the year.” From celebrities in the midst of pain, divorce and tragedy, to everyday people who have lost hope and are struggling under the formidable weight of adverse circumstances.

This Christmas, please spare a thought for those around you for whom Christmas is not a happy time. You may not have the means to give financially to someone in need, but some of the best gifts have little or no monetary value anyway: a prayer, a hug, a phone call, a couple of hours volunteering at a local charity, church, hospital or retirement home. The possibilities are endless – all it takes is a phone call or quick search on the internet. For all you know, you might be someone’s ‘Merry Christmas’ this year!

 So whatever dire circumstances you may be facing right now, take your focus off what you don’t have and put it on what you do have, however small it may seem to you – family, friends, health, time… If  nothing else, enjoy this fleeting season when people are in a good mood because of “Christmas cheer,” whatever the heck that is! Before you know it, it will be gone beginning January 2nd, when the credit card bills start to arrive :(

 Whatever you do and wherever you are, don’t just wish, make it a MERRY CHRISTMAS, for yourself and at least one other person.

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