Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)
- TITLE: Moter-mothr-mther-IT IS COMPLETE
By Cyndie Odya-Weis
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Being a mother is giving part of yourself to help someone grow. Having a mother- or several of them- is all about receiving the gifts they gave me and striving to best use those gifts. After all, they gave me parts of themselves to help me grow and my job is to figure out where the "gifts" fit into my life's décor. Gifts may not seem like gems at first, but rather diamonds-in-the-rough or hunks of rock.
My mother's big mouth was one of those rock hunks. She said what was on her mind. I always hoped for a more subtle and uplifting rebuke, but that was not how she shared her gift. Her gift taught me to be honest and direct and to approach people in a forthright and assertive manner. I polished that rough rock and found a hidden gift of exhortation that, for me, is a gem of encouragement, support and gentle rebuke. Mom didn't share it that way but my job is to love her gift and use it well.
Likewise, chronic illness was a biological "gift" I didn't understand. Why should I have the curse of diabetes, the burden of high cholesterol or the baggage of overweight? It was only when I saw these hunks of rock as diamonds-in-the-rough that I polished them to use them well. His light shines through these gems. Now I thank God for discipline and praise Him for doors that open to help others. I thank God (and my parents) for the gifts of health challenges for I gained skills and confidence and wisdom and grace to embrace my plight and to approach MANY difficult situations.
As a mother, I fight the instinct to smooth out the path so my children avoid conflicts and trials. I know the challenges are what build strength of character. While I strive to give my children the gifts they'll need for life, I hope that some are gems and others hunks of rock for them to hone.
I follow my mom's lead in being a "mom-plus" to lots of children. Likewise, I encourage my three teenagers to spend time with teachers, coaches and mentors, to let their uncles and aunties love them and to be "parented" by others too. Some of my very special gifts came from those outside of the family- those "extra moms" in my life. From others, I learned to enjoy crafts and practical jokes and laugh a lot. I learned to LOVE writing and the quiet time alone that writing entails. These gifts were not from my mom. But mom set me free often enough for me to learn that my own wings could carry me. She liked that others added feathers to my wings. I liked that too.
Mom did not give me all I needed for life, but with the help of others, I gained all of the gifts and skills and perseverance and strength I needed for my journey. This proved essential as my path was demanding, especially my journey to motherhood.
When I finally became a mom, my three-month old twin girls traveled from South Korea into my arms. A few years later, my mixed race two-month-old son came to us through an ad in the local paper. I said good-bye to five babies who went to heaven too soon, the result of early miscarriage.
In order to fully appreciate this gift of adoption, I needed to feel the overwhelming loss felt by young birthparents as they said good-bye to the babes that were MY special gift from God. Struggles and loss prepared me for my very special path to parenthood and my three teenagers are a gift from God. I've held them close and let them go, welcoming the opportunities for them to be loved by others and gain feathers for their wings- gifts that go beyond my expertise.
Yes, mothering is giving part of yourself so that others can grow. Mothering is also falling short of giving everything. We know that where we fall short, God works through others to fulfill every unmet need. He expects that we'll do our part to transform our hunks of rock into precious gems.... and His light makes them sparkle and light the way for others-beautifully.
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