Mother’s Day, Birthday, And Life

This week has been a tough week for me.  Two conflicting things are going on, Mother’s Day that just passed and my 62nd Birthday coming soon.  I feel so conflicted about being a Mom.  I feel conflicted in growing a year older too.  Know what I mean?   Let me explain.  I was so excited when I found out that my first child was in my body and I carried her nine months with a mixture of fear and excitement.  Her Dad and I were married but he was in no way ready to be a Dad and I tried to be confident that I would be a good Mom but we were broke and when I went to the hospital to give birth to her we didn’t even have a crib for her.  Some wonderful people from our church family came through for us and by the time I brought her home from the hospital we had a bassinet and a crib for her and an abundance of baby clothes.  I wanted to be the best Mom ever and I was excited to be a stay-at-home Mom for all my children.  And when my second child was on the way I wondered how I would find enough love to share with her since I loved my first so very much.  And with the third daughter born to me I wondered how I would manage to be a good Mom to all three.

Many years have passed since then and most people who watched our little family grow up thought I did a great job.  I never felt that way though.  I always felt that I should have done more for my daughters.  When we adopted my son I was deeply anxious that I wouldn’t be able to be a good Mom to him, after all I knew nothing about boys and I was getting old.  Honestly I see, and so do my adult children, that I am a much better Mom to him than I was to my daughters.  I know some of this is being older, calmer, less stressed, wiser, and so on.  But the truth is I think it is because he is adopted and there is not the genetic conflict going on as there was with my biological children.  I think that my son doesn’t know how to push my buttons of anger and frustration as my biological children did, they learned much from their Dad and how to push me to the edge was one of them I think.  I wish I had been a better Mom to them.  I find it harder to be the Mom to adult children than I did being a Mom to little ones.  I try to think of what I was like when their age and what my duties were and that helps me to be more patient with them.  When I was their age I never really thought the day would come when I was without my parents and I was busy, too busy sometimes, to think much at all about my parents.  I imagine they are the same in thinking about me.  Their lives have been launched into their futures and time and distance keeps us apart I guess.  Their lives are busy while my life is slowing down.  It makes me appreciate my parents even more now because I see how they made a life for themselves after rearing their family.  I miss them too and perhaps one day my children will miss me.  I hope so anyway.  My parents had each other to lean on but I have only God and that is okay most of the time.  But times like this week remind me that I am alone and a single Mom and that can make me a little sad.   And then there is that other thing, my birthday!

Birthdays are hard for me since the divorce.  I was used to the little things like a lovely birthday breakfast and pretty card and later in the day a beautiful bouquet of flowers would come to my home.  In the evening there would be a lovely dinner out in honor of my birthday and I felt special.  Now days it is just another day like every other day of the year.  I miss feeling special.  My son always gives me a lovely card and gift and I get cards from my other children as well and phone calls too and I do appreciate them.  But no card from my parents, no card from people I miss who are gone from my life.  Getting older and being alone is not for the faint of heart!  I walk on, like a good soldier, I lift myself up and go on smiling and taking comfort in the fact that I am seen by God and He loves me.

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.  You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.  Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.  You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.  Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day.  Darkness and light are alike to You.  For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.  When I awake, I am still with You.  O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.  For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain.  Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD?  And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?  I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies.  Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.  Psalm 139:1-24, (New American Standard Bible).

There is so much comfort in this Psalm, don’t you think?  David wrote it and he has captured the truth eloquently.  God sees me.  God sees each one of us from the moment we were created in a woman’s womb God was with us and knew how long we would live on this earth and what we would become.  Like a loving Father, God has guided my life and I see this so clearly as I look back over the past 62 years.  I was born to loving parents and I had a wonderful extended family while growing up.  I think that wonderful blessing is what I am missing today more than ever.  I miss the love and prayers of my extended family but they are all gone from this earth.  Maybe that is what makes me strive to be a prayer warrior for my children and others because I know how important previous generation’s prayers were for me and I want to pass along that blessing to the generations that come behind me.  God not only sees me but loves me more than anyone else could ever love me.  He sees you and loves you too just as much as he loves me.  When I reflect on the love I have for my children I smile at the thought of how small my love is in comparison to the love of our Father in Heaven.  Words fail to express my gratitude for God’s love.  Like David I am asking God to search my heart and let me know if there is any hidden sin that I harbor unknown to myself.  I think sometimes we are blind to our own sins and I don’t want some person to point that sin out to me because they might be cruel in the way they reveal it to me.  God will be gracious and kind when revealing my sins to me and I want Him to point out that sin to me.  Know what I mean?

So another Mother’s Day is in my past and I survived well.  There is another birthday soon to be in my past and I will survive it well also I have no doubt.  The reason I can survive is because God is gracious to me, God loves me, my children love me, and I can love myself too.  I am blessed today.  I may be getting older and a few more wrinkles will be showing and a few more aches and pains will be revealed but I have much to be thankful for.  I just want to thank God and praise Him for all the blessings He has bestowed on me in this past year.  I want to stop and smell the lilacs that are in bloom right now.  I want to enjoy this day knowing that I can trust God to take care of me as I age because I can see that before I was born God was there and He has been with me every minute of every day since.  Thank you God for your goodness to me.  I hope you all have a wonderful day as well.

Until next time…Katherine

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