Women Are A Tough And Hardy Lot

Grandmothers and Mothers.

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Daughters and Sisters.

Aunts and Cousins.

Step moms and Foster moms.

Women, we are a tough and hardy lot. Yes, we are. There is nothing in this world like a mother’s fierce and protective love along side a gentle and nurturing nature. These women live through joy and pain. Proud moments and heartaches. So many things make up a mother.

Mother’s know and understand what it is to scream in pain and joy at the exact same time. When that wet bundle of love is laid on the chest, nothing is ever the same. It can’t be. The heart has changed. That new baby has made it so…

Nursing and staying up late. Strained peas, diapers, and potty training. The first day of kindergarten. Bedtimes and homework. Sports moms and recitals. Holding hands and holding hearts. Advice and wisdom. Yelling and forgiveness. The stink eye and the “you’d better move it!”. Kisses and hugs and I love you’s. Blessings and behaviors. Tears and smiles. Wiggly toes and wiggly bottoms. Hand prints and car keys. First loves and heartbreak. Listening and loving no matter what. The years go by so very quickly.

These women, oh my…..they are something else.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Daddy’s are important, most vital. They are both needed and wanted, and loved, but their roles are different. A mother can try, but she can’t fill a father’s role, not really. Nor can Daddy take the place of Mommy. It just isn’t the same.

This day I celebrate the mom’s. Mom’s you do make a real difference. Don’t forget that.

You gave life, and in turn changed your own life in the process.

 

This Mom Of Mine

 

Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo at Tales from a Gypsy Mama.102_3854

Today’s your turn. What did your mama do that makes her your mama? Let’s unpack those memories today.

Where is your memory buried?

In just five minutes. Tell me all about what your mama did that made her yours…

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Elementary school pictures with crooked bangs, cut by a mother who with “just one more snip” thought she could straighten them out. I look back at my pictures and have to smile. My mom was good at fixing things and making me feel better. ( I was high fashion style before it was even in style:)

My mom, worried that my neck was swollen…taking me to the doctor to find out why. Holding my teenage hand, when I was scared. Telling me that thyroid disease was going to be taken care of with some medicine.

She took care of me during my bout with mono my senior year, helped get me to and from my job at the Dry Cleaners, was a huge help when filling out applications for college, sat through Lyric theater performances, encouraged me in my goal to graduate with a degree in Special Education. She went with me through the winding mountains of east Tennessee to help me move to the little town that held the first school I ever taught at.

Laughter, tears, joy, pain. Uphill battles and marathon races. Arguments and big, fat, honkin’ mistakes. Lots and lots of memories. My mom is strong and brave and smart and I know this about her. She stepped out and changed her life when it wasn’t easy. She figured things out as she went. She taught my younger sister and I that we could do anything. We were smart and strong and beautiful. She endowed me with a healthy self confidence that as I look back over the years– has served me well. She always made me feel special and loved, and is there anything better than that?

There are always times though, no matter how confident, that I need encouragement. My mom has been and still is my biggest encourager. Her cards, letters, and emails always seem to come just when I need them the most. Her words make me feel better.

Encouragement, it is her gift really.

She is a gift.

And I love her, this mom of mine.

 

I Am Thankful

English: Dairy Queen "restaurant." R...

Kids growing up. Teens and young adult. Cutting strings. Breaking away.

To fly….. Or fall. To hope or heave. To wonder and to wander.

The days can seem so long sometimes…but the weeks slide through my fingers, my grip attempting to hold tightly to the sand of time.

Time is a blessing, but it can also ache a mother’s heart.

I am thankful for motherhood. This job. This responsibility. Duty. Privilege. All these things.

It’s made me see the world in a different way. A way I could not have known before.

Laughing. Crying. Proud. Infuriated. Sobbing and serious. Giggles and groans.

And memories….aahhhh…..the memories. There is nothing quite like a mother’s memory…..not when it comes to her children.

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Today I am thankful for:

* a son that is at his first “real” job, I’m so proud of him

* another son that graduated, I’m thrilled for him!

* a daughter, who is my thinker

* stops at Dairy Queen

* women warrior princesses

* boys who don’t always comb their hair

* bottomless pit stomachs

* popsicles

* never getting to drive my own vehicle anymore

* long legs and being able to reach the top shelf for mom

* sports

* reading

* computer whiz kids

* playing with the dogs

* singing

* camps

* and HUGS

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3  NLT

Identity

 

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Facebook chimed in last night and overwhelmingly voted for a prompt either about mothers or Mother’s Day. This was one of the suggestions and I love that it can apply to any and all, mother or not. So please give me your best five minutes on:  identity

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Who am I anyway? And how did I end up here?

Sometimes I ask myself that question. Life is really weird and I often wonder about the road that chose.Thinking through all the things that brought me to this place.

I am drawn to those ladies that consider themselves to be “out of the mold”…….a little different. Whimsical. Thinkers.Dreamers.  Funny how things turn out. I’m still not exactly sure how I fit.

I do know this……being a mom has been the best thing ever. From the moment I found out I was pregnant. Keeping a journal from before my son was even born, to one day give him. He has changed my life for the better. Forever. He has made my heart soar and brought me to my knees. He is the closest thing I know to unconditional love.

God gave me motherhood and I am thankful for it.

Newborn baby Română: Nou nascut

I love being a mom, it is a big part of who I am.

 

 

In The Name Of Love

Holding hands

Image by QuinnDombrowski via Flickr

*I promise to love, honor, and cherish you; from this day forward until death do us part.

*Mommy, I love you very, very much. You are the bestest mommy ever!

*Love you, Mom! Love you, too.

*For God so loved the world

*Love you, babe!

*I think I’m in love.

*Don’t you just love that?

*Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

*What’s love got to do with it?

Love is patient, love is kind…

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Sometimes the word, love, is a scary word to utter. Unsure. Unnerving. A word that holds so much meaning, but will the speaker of the word have it returned back to him/her?

A mother and child. A husband and wife. A boyfriend and girlfriend. God to His people.

The world would have us believe that love is a fragile emotion, best not to use the word too often. On one hand, love is over simplified, and overused. Love hurts. Love stinks. Love breaks hearts and ruins lives. The world also says that love makes the world go round.

So, what is love?

4 Love is patient, love is kind.       (love allows one to try again, love treats others in a way that she herself would like to be treated…even if it isn’t returned)

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (love is humble and does not have a smart mouth)

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, (love is giving up the spotlight, love is stepping down and letting the other person shine, love is choosing to make itself less)

it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (love holds its tongue, love doesn’t roll it’s eyes, or attempt to cut another down, love should not hurt)

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (love heals the hurts, love triumphs in the truth, love stands tall and is not ashamed)

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (love gives the benefit of the doubt, love tries harder, pushes farther, and longs for the best)

 8 Love never fails. (real love is what everyone craves, we all want it, long for it, live for it)

 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.                         I Corinthians 13 NIV

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Will you share the love?

My Father’s Day Gift

Forgiveness & Rememberance

Image by alex drennan via Flickr

Today at Faith Barista we are talking about Father’s Day.

Bonnie told us to write on the topic

however we chose, just keep it real.

So that is what I am doing….
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Some of us had difficult relationships with our fathers

When we weren’t “daddy’s little girl

When words were said

and feelings hurt.

And although he was there,

he wasn’t. Not really.

For times he chose others over my sister and me.

Maybe we just didn’t understand each other.

And yet…

I am thankful for the years he provided for his family

and gave routine and predictability to the day.

I do have good memories too.

I wish there had been more.

I wish he had chosen to live.

To see me… and my sister.

To see his grandchildren.

To know and understand that

Fatherhood is important.

I could choose to burden myself with the “Why?” questions

but, the answers would echo cold

in the void, left behind.

Instead, I have chosen forgiveness

As much for me as for him.

To forgive him,

even now, years gone

is my Father’s Day gift

to him

and to myself.

R.I.P

Dad.

In The Still Of The Evening…

Front porch

Image via Wikipedia

Last night I was sitting on the front porch with my husband. Like many married couples, we were talking about everything and nothing in particular. I for one, was thankful that the sun was getting ready to slip under the horizon, making it much cooler than it had been earlier in the day. It was quiet in our little piece of the world, except for the sound of the birds chirping in the fields and an occasional vehicle driving down our country road.   I pondered the fact that life is much different for me now. I never thought that I’d be sitting on the front porch of a home in the country.

As a high school student, I couldn’t wait to go away to college and “recreate” myself. As a college graduate I couldn’t wait to start my new career and have my own place. As a teacher I couldn’t wait to meet my new students and make a positive difference.  As a new wife I couldn’t wait to spend time with my husband, creating our life together. As a young wife, I couldn’t wait until we bought our own house for our family to make memories in. As a new mom, I couldn’t wait to hold my son, love him, and be thrilled with each new step.

As a new widow, I couldn’t wait for the sadness to end, and life to return to some sort of normal. As a single parent, I couldn’t wait to cheer at soccer games, plan birthday parties and go on vacations out West. As a thirty-something, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to meet someone who would want to share life with me. As a newly remarried woman, I couldn’t wait to figure out how this blended family would work.

Always waiting….

So much of life is spent waiting, isn’t it? Your waiting might be, and probably is, different than my waiting. Life requires waiting.

Waiting for something new. Something different. Something better. Something comfortable. Something real. Something exciting.

Always waiting….

Waiting can bring new life, if I am patient. It has in the past…and it will again in the future.

This season of life has me both waiting and wondering. What will be next?

It is both scary and beautiful, all at the same time. On days when I am weary from worry, grieving from growing, pondering over patience, and just plain wondering, I remind myself that I am not the one in control. I never have been, and that is okay.

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31  NIV

 

 

 

 

 

Praise The LORD!

Sunlight through Window

Image by Michael S. via Flickr

The  sun shines in the front kitchen windows.

I feel it warm on my back as I sit at the counter.

Early morning. A new day. A new week.

Ripe with promise. Possibilities.

Praising the Lord. In all things.

* A better nights sleep

* Bright morning sunshine

* Family

* Dog‘s tail wagging so hard, his whole body sways back and forth

* Cat follows me out to the kitchen

* Mother’s Day cards propped on the dining room table

* Sweet words that touch my soul

* Faded, aged kitchen linens that were my grandmother’s

* My child writing “promise” on the eucharisteo board

* Expecting a book in the mail

* A phone call with an old friend

* A sister who drives my mom into the city

* For gifted doctors

* For strength in the midst of uncertainty

* For God‘s reassurance that He is always here with us

* Enjoying this Monday, because I am able…because I can

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4  NIV

Won’t you join us, and list your gifts?

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother's Day cake

Image via Wikipedia

Whether she carried her child under her heart for nine months

Or adopted her child with a love that was meant to be

There are step mom’s that mother children they did not have, and yet love them as their own

Foster mom’s who step in and love children that desperately need to belong

Or maybe she gives a mother’s love to all the children in her life…because that is just who she is.

Mother’s are the ones who nurture, and snuggle

Kiss hurts

Give hugs

Soothe and calm a spirit

Clean messes

Cook the meals

Give advice

Play games

Drive the van

Are fiercely loyal

And extremely perceptive

Proud

Honored

Loved

Moms can never be replaced

Because there is never anyone that can take her place.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL OF YOU

M is for Mommy

A pregnant woman

Image via Wikipedia

Mother. Mommy. Mom. Mama. Mum.  The names of  motherhood.

Being a mom—A job. A privilege. A calling. An adventure.

Sometimes scary, sometimes funny. Other times sad, most of the time, happy.

Loving a child, changes one forever.

I decided to pull some motherhood posts from my archives….because they are just as relevant today as they were when I first wrote them.

“Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a mom. I’ve been a mom for almost 16 years now. You’d think after that period of time I’d have everything under control, right? Neatly checking things off my to do list. I suppose I am feeling a little sorry for myself. Umm…… Most days I feel like the BEFORE picture in one of those before/after photo shoots. I wish I could be the AFTER. The mom that has it all together. The one who doesn’t ever worry about a dirty house, teen drivers, late schoolwork, attitudes, boredom, muddy floors, pet fur, or laziness.

I’m not mentally ill. I do understand the difference between fantasy and reality. But, a mom can dream…can’t she?

I must get like this each year. Check out my blog from last January at this time….. My own words come back to remind me that motherhood is a crazy ride, but I’m holding the hand of the One that holds the future–and that makes all the difference.

THE MIRACLES IN THE MUNDANE OF MOTHERHOOD

Motherhood. In my naivete’,I just knew that I’d have it covered. Puh-leeze!  I could do this….after all I KNEW children. I took Child Development classes in high school. I babysat. I majored in special education in college and took myriad number of COLLEGE level courses on the child psyche. If anyone could do this it was me. Supermom at your service. For sure.

Then reality hit. When I say “hit” I mean kind of like a baseball bat. To the head. Ouch.

I had my son in May of 1995. Just 2 days after my 27th birthday. My pregnancy went well except for the 6 week stint of barfing. Morning sickness AND evening sickness. Brushing my teeth even made me gag, but I was a trooper. I was determined to be with child AND have a bright white smile and fresh breath. So, I carried on.

My son was born 2 1/2 weeks early according to the doctors. I blame it on the fact that the evening before he was born we had a tornado in Knoxville, Tennessee. The barometric pressure dropped and I think it messed with my uterus. I’m just sayin’. Except for being born with a little jaundice, which to be honest I thought looked like a nice tan, the delivery went well  and my son was beautiful. Of course I had an epidural so there wasn’t much pain…just a lot of pushing. My husband was a big help and to give the man credit…he put up with a lot. (the fact that I had back labor before getting the epidural—well, that is another story.)

Now, at this point I was exhausted but happy. My son is a joy. I’m happy. He’s happy. My husband’s happy. We’re all happy. Then it hit. Reality. My epidural wore off and I was sore like I had never felt sore before. After several hours I decided I could get up and use the restroom. The nurse told me she would have to go with me. I told her I was a shy pee’er and I wouldn’t be able to go if she was in the bathroom. I tried to convince her I’d been peeing my whole life, and at 27 I had the procedure down pat. She told me I could pass out because of something to do with the epidural having worn off, blah..blah…. I told her that was silly. She finally agreed to stand at the other side of the door, with the door cracked open. I grudgingly agreed and went to sit down when, yes you guessed it, I started to black out. The nurse caught me just before I cracked my head on the bathroom floor. I vaguely remembered her yelling for ammonia…and my husband in a confused state asking why she wanted to clean the bathroom? This is my life. I should have known that I had just embarked on a journey that was NOT going to be a piece of cake. Only a few hours into motherhood and I was already passing out.

The next few years consisted of me listening to my little one struggle to breathe when he got bronchitis. Staying up all night and staring at his chest. Watching it heave up and down. Knowing that his tiny body was so fragile…yet, so resilient. After that scary time, it never happened again. Thank you Jesus. Then at 2 and 1/2 he was with his father, outside, when he decided that he’d get on the picnic table. He fell and cut his head on the seat of the table on the way down. Head wounds. Lots of blood. A father in panic mode. A trip to the doctors office. Stitches. I came home from work that day to find my handsome son looking like he had just took a few rounds in the boxing ring. Bruised with stitches marching just above his eyebrow. So attractive, and just in time for his preschool picture day!  That following Easter we decorated Easter eggs. Fun stuff. I made the mistake of telling my toddler that we would eventually eat the hard boiled eggs. One evening he got into the fridge when I was on the phone and preceded to eat the egg with the shell still on it. He came into the living room a few minutes later. His face, teeth, tongue and hands, all a nice pastel shade of blue. I began to freak out thinking that my baby was exhibiting symptoms of some rare disease. Until, he informed me, “Mommy, the Easter egg is good.” At that, I burst into giggles and attempted to scrub my little Smurf back to his normal skin tone as I explained that egg shells are not the part of the egg that we eat, even if it did look pretty at the time.

Over the years there were the good times and the difficult times. Bedtime stories, hugs and sloppy kisses, birthday parties. Lots of laughter and tears. Family vacations, and him holding my hand. Church choir, camps, video games, and silliness. Those of you that have sons know what I’m talking about.

When my little boy was 4 his father, my husband, was diagnosed with an incurable heart disease. He died a mere year and four months later. You can imagine the sadness. We had only just started and it was over. Just like that. Standing at my husbands grave, that cold gray day in November 2000…I felt a little hand grab mine. A little voice coming out of the body of a 5 year old, but seeming so much older and wiser said, “Mommy, don’t cry. This is only Daddy’s body here. Daddy is in Heaven with God.”  God spoke to me that day through my son. He wanted me to remember the promise of  John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the  life. He that believes in Me, though he dies, yet shall he live.”  That day I was reminded that out of the mouths of children can come great wisdom.

The next five years were filled with normal life kinds of things. Church, school, vacations out  West, family get togethers, sleep overs at friends houses, spelling tests, and math homework, goofiness and seriousness. All of life in a big jumble. We were doing okay….me and my sidekick.

After 5 years of widowhood God brought another man into my life. A man that understood what I had gone through. Our experiences were similar. He had lost his wife a few years before. We were kindred spirits. No one wants to join The Widow/er Club, but death doesn’t ask if one wants membership. It just gives it to you.

We married in 2005. Along with this marriage I got another son and two daughters. Just as I thought I had the whole being a mom thing under control…. then reality hit. AGAIN. These children had lost their mother. My heart broke for them, just as it had for my own son at the loss of his Daddy. How does one be a mom #2?  There is no manual for it. Believe me, if there were one I would have read it. A LOT. How does one mother the motherless? I wasn’t sure how this would happen. What do I say? How do I act? What if they don’t bond with me? What if they hate my guts?  Then what?  God, in His infinite wisdom spoke to my heart.

“LOVE THEM. ADOPT THEM IN YOUR HEART. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO DO.  Dawn, you are my adopted child. I bought you for a price. You were redeemed and now you are mine. I love you because I choose too. Do the same for them. They need a mother’s love…not to take the place of the mother that they had….but, to show them that I am God and I will take care of them. I am their provider.”

You know what? God is good. All the time. Even in motherhood. Even in widowhood. Even in life. Even in death. Even in trauma. Even in calm. Through bloody noses, or skinned knees, through arguments, and “it’s not fair!”. Through hugs and kisses, school and projects. He remains good when I’m having a great day or when I’ve just been awarded “the worst mom of the year award.”

I like to believe that I am much wiser than I was back in my twenties. When I thought I had motherhood all figured out. When I had my own motherhood map all planned. Motherhood is messy, and chaotic, and fun, and sometimes broken. I am thankful in the midst of all my mom mess-ups that I am holding the hand of the One who promised me that He has a plan for me and a future with hope. A-men.”

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29: 11-13 NIV


At Faith Barista we are talking about moms and motherhood today. Won’t you join us?


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