11 May 2012

on celebrating mother's day

Mother's Day has never been a one-woman celebration for my sister and I.  I think probably even on the Mother's Days that I don't remember we celebrated Grandma's too. 

Its tricky being from a broken home.  Every circumstance I've encountered has helped shape me into who I am and the life I now live.  And while I would never advocate that divorce is the best-case-scenario, I will stake my life on the belief that God can take broken dreams, broken hearts, and broken homes and create beauty.  I know it, because He has done it for my sister and I.  The road here has not been easy.  God used many women to touch my sister and I in a maternal way.  We have taken for granted too many times how much love our grandmothers' poured into us - each in their own special and unique way. 

God used other women to mold us too... And I am guessing that back in the early 80's each of those women had some strong opinions about this situation we were in. Those ladies could've filled our little girl hearts with their side of the story.  And I am sure each one had a side.  Likely we would've felt we had to choose a side, or would've felt bad for not choosing a side.  We might have felt caught in the middle.  But instead, because they stayed quiet, we just felt loved.  By many.  And I treasure each of these women that have made me the woman I am today.  Dearly. 

Today, though, I celebrate the one that is my mom.  She didn't do it all.  She never claimed to.  She did the best she could.  Always.  And she allowed others to love us when she wasn't able to.  She never tried to diminish their love for us, she never tried to take away from what they had given.  And so amid her own heart break and hard choices, she made room for my sister and I to grow up strong and well loved. 

In Joel 2, there is a verse about God redeeming the years the locusts have eaten.  I believe He is faithful to His word...

The threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.
 “Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
 “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.
Joel 2:24-26

And what started out rough, is turning out beautifully.  When God reconciles a relationship, He allows us to remember the joys, and helps to cover the pains.  So I look back on what the world calls broken and see laughter.  I see trips to the beach, the cabin, the Ocean.  I see dancing in the car.  I see Shel Silverstein poems being read often. I see hugs and laughing and teasing with sisters.  I recall the loudest mouth from the bleachers, even as I was up to bat - to strike out again. 

My mom taught me to do my best.  To try new things.  To believe the best in others.  To love adventure.  To love your {extended} family, even if you disagree wholeheartedly; because they will be there for you and for your kids.   To never give up.

I love my momma, not because she was perfect while I was growing up.  I love her because of who she is.  And by God's grace, my momma and I are experiencing a great relationship now.  What could've been trampled and forgotten so many years ago, continues to flourish now.  Those ladies that invested in my sister and I, might not realize that they have helped my grown-up-relationship with my mom.  But I can see it now.  And I am so grateful that they were able to keep their opinions to themselves, so God could nurture this seed buried deep. 

She is a superb "Yaya" to my boys.  I am almost positive that there is a laugh-until-we-cry-moment every time we are together these days.  And sometimes it happens over the phone too.  And when I am just having a down right bad day, she answers my call and breathes encouragement.  It gets better and better.  And while neither of us could yet claim perfection, we both adore one another. 

The greatest gift she gave me is this beautiful relationship we have now.  It reminds me to do the best I can each day with my boys and trust that God will create something beautiful in the end, even when I fail, even when I crumble.  God does not, will not, and can not.  I can trust that my mothering will be enough because God is faithful.  He has shown me His faithfulness in my precious relationship with my own momma.  In a place that maybe back in the 80's nobody had much hope for.  But God knew. 


  1. Amanda, Thank you for giving me this special gift on a day I never expected to find one...here I was after having a significantly hard day and low and behold God led me to this post. What a joy it is to have found just the spot that I needed in just the time I needed it...Love you and Rene daily...love all the joy you both have given me! Thank you!