Lessons from my mom
Moms do a lot of teaching over the years, some of it good, some of it lessons in what not to do. I'm sure my kids could tell stories of all of the things they learned from me, and I'm not sure I want to know them all! Let's face it. None of us are perfect. We're human and human beings mess up. We fall short of God's best, of His glory. In other words, we aren't what we should be. For me, that comes out in anxiety. Isn't is strange that I can trust God with my eternal destiny, but not always my day-to-day details? Anyone else have this struggle? This might come under the heading "control freak!" Okay, perhaps mild control freak.
It's easy to lapse into controlling things because when our kids our young we do it all the time. We make decisions. We don't wait around for things to happen, we make them happen. We're go-getters or at least we try to do what we can to fix anything that is wrong. If the sink leaks, we call a plumber. We don't sit and worry whether it will fix itself. That's not what I mean by anxiety.
I think the harder thing is trusting that God will do the impossible, will answer the prayers we have absolutely no ability to fix or even influence in a positive way. Oh, maybe we can say a word here or there, but most of the time that comes across as telling people what to do or nagging, and that has the opposite affect.
Sometimes when we worry, we do finally learn that prayer is our only recourse, and low and behold, God actually listens! He sends His blessed peace to those who truly trust Him. I've learned this the hard way, and I've learned a lot of it from my mom.
My mom has also taught me about perseverance, and not giving up, and I don't just mean when it comes to our life-long dreams. I mean when it comes to dealing with daily pain and watching your loved ones grow old and die or feel your body betray you when your mind still tells you you are young, When you watch relationships grow apart or people you love struggle with finances or physical ailments or betrayal or issues of faith or so much more. When you live on this earth 90 years, you see a lot of stuff. You live a lot of life. And you deal with a lot more change than you ever imagined.
My own life has felt the sting of change this year more than any other. Mom and I laughed together the other day when I said, someone should have told us how hard it would be to have kids! (And she's put up with me all these years.) :)
My mom's recent changes have been hard for her, especially when she lost my dad. But I have to applaud her for one thing that sticks out to me when I talk to her. She always assures me that "she'll get through it." She'll adjust. My response might have been, "but I don't want to!" I'm the escape artist. How about I curl up and hide from everything for a while? Or I can't do this! But she shows me by her actions that she can. And she does. Monday she got her first pedicure! And she's pretty happy with her pink toenails!
Moms can teach us lots of good things, despite their human failings. My mom is still growing in her faith. She hasn't "arrived" or thinks she understands all mysteries about God. She is still learning. Something I'm still learning too. And I'm proud of her for that because she inspires me to not give up, to never stop growing in faith, to never think I've somehow got God all figured out. He still has a lot to teach me about trusting Him with every single thing in my life.
So as I grow older and probably face a lot of the things my mom has faced, I hope I inherit her "can do" spirit, the one that says, "I'll get through this. I'll be okay." Because she will, despite life's changes. And I will too. As long as I cling to Jesus and walk in faith. Like my mom.