“Focus on your mother’s intention; not her method.” I can still recall this counsel, from my Father. I was actually heading to the laundry toom when I heard it. God was helping me, with my relationship with my mother. You could say that my heart needed cleaning more than my basket full of dirty laundry.
Today, you would be shocked to hear such a statement if you met me. These days, I am helping to care for my mother. She’s currently in a nearby nursing home and has dementia. Fifteen years ago, it was a very different story. I was not just physically far from my mother. I had a hamper full of hurts and pains.
At the time, I had a lot of baggage that need to be tossed into the laundry and cleaned or they needed to be dropped. If you looked at the image then you can guess where I’m going. However, you may be asking, “Why such a strange message on Mother’s Day?” Here is why.
It would be easy to write a short flowery blog post, for Mother’s Day. There is just one problem. We don’t all have wonderful memories of our mothers and fathers. When Mother’s Day and Father’s Day come around, it can be rather rough.
I’ve already written an article for Father’s Day and it’s called “Some Thoughts For Father’s Day“. For this blog post, I am going to focus on mothers. Thankfully, my mother is still alive and I do have the opportunity to enjoy her. I can’t say the same thing for my dad; as he has been dead for 17 years. Are you struggling with your relationship with your mother?
I’ve been there and I know that it is not always easy to forgive one’s mother. I can still recall the emotional agitation of someone suggesting that I forgive her. Was my mother abusive?
No, I was never abused by my mother. She came from a very rough home life. Her father was an alcoholic and passive. My maternal grandmother was emotionally cold and critical. Yet, she held her family, together.
This happened in the 40s and 50s. In spite of her shortcomings, my grandmother was apparently a very strong woman and tried to keep the family, together. Though I did not care for the verbal abuse, the lady does deserve some level of respect.
In many ways, my mother is very similar to her mother. She definitely got her mother’s strength; however, she also picked up her mother’s weakness. Hey, I am trying to be nice. If I had a wife and kids then I’d discover that I did the same thing. The fact is, I picked up my mother’s strong personality and a mouth. It runs in the family. Guess what made for plenty of conflicts.
The key is, my mother was not nagging to hurt me. She was trying to help; however, she lacked some very needed insights that would help her. For instance, you sometimes need to let your kids make their own mistakes and learn from it. My mom thought she was protecting me by harping about my mistakes; however, it was doing the opposite.
Years later, I got to talk to her about it. No mother ever intends harm when it comes to correcting their children. I will say the same thing goes for fathers. Are you hearing an echo? Do you recall what I said at the beginning?
God was speaking to my heart about a need to forgive my mother and not get caught up with her methods. Though she was trying to help, my mother didn’t know how. It was a starting point and it is well worth the journey. In time, God brought some people who could help me.
I appreciated those Jack Frost video. They laid the seeds for some important moments with my mother. I’d also have to acknowledge Rick’s and LeRoy’s help in taking the next important step. It’s good that I forgive my mother; however, I needed to ask for forgiveness, too. It’s a good thing because it opened the door for what would come in the future.
Forgiveness opened the door for God’s grace to work in my heart and in my family. It also opened the door for many other healings in my life. God’s grace and forgiveness also helped inthe caring of my mother, today.
This Mother’s Day, I would like to encourage you to enjoy your mother, while you can. Did I mention that my brother and I almost lost our mother, a few years ago? She is obviously alive and we still have an opportunity to enjoy her.
Don’t live a life of regrets, as some have. If you were like me, then I’d encourage you to forgive your mother. Are you struggling with this? Ask God, the Father to help you with this. It is not always easy to forgive someone. However, it is definnitely worth it.