Well, I’m trying to make my peace with Mother’s Day.
I am trying to maintain the peace between God and me.
And overall, I’m just trying to take things a day at a time.
I was recently told “I’m glad I’m not you!” after one of those days … which my co-workers look forward to hearing because I can generally tell about things in a (what-I-hope-is) humorous way. So, last Friday, we not only had the a/c unit at our house replaced, but we also had a plumber there … and the landlord had offered to call an exterminator! When things “go” in our family, they usually go one after the other (like our vehicles taking turns needing repairs) or all at once (like our a/c, kitchen sink, and the ant invasion of Spring 2015 all in one day).
Today I came to work, and one co-worker in particular was grinning because she knew I was spending the weekend with one of my more curmudgeon-y relatives … and she couldn’t wait for my story. And sure enough, Mother’s Day weekend wasn’t like a blissful relaxing spa vacation with chocolate bon-bons, long baths, or shopping sprees. In fact, my poor mother-in-law had to plan and cook every meal, and I had to do all the dishes. (I guess you could say the girls helped, but it was business as usual). Plus, my husband had the makings of what we were sure was strep-throat. (confirmed by the doctor today!)
One thing you must know is that my certain-curmudgeon-y relative is a major germ-a-phobe. He once drive 2 hours to come to our older children’s piano recital, only to find out one of our kids had a low grade fever … and he immediately left, scared of exposure, leaving that child in tears. True story.
So, my husband spent a good bit of the weekend sleeping on the couch, which I’m sure my rather-curmudgeon-y relative planned to burn … to include all pillows and blankets … to avoid the plague our family is apparently a carrier of. That always makes us feel good! 😉
I can’t make this stuff up.
But one thing that gave me some perspective over the weekend was that we actually ended up going to a funeral on Mother’s Day. So, my father-in-law’s cousin’s mother-in-law lived in the same town that my in-laws live in … and she passed away last week at the age of 85 after a long, sad battle with dementia. The family decided to bury her on Sunday, Mother’s Day.
BUT you’d think a funeral on Mother’s Day would make one incredibly sad … maybe a little angry about God’s timing. But this funeral was so very much the opposite. You might imagine I don’t know these relatives very well, given their long-way-around relationship to me personally … but believe it or not, this woman (who died)’s grandson actually went to Bible college where my parents live, and his dad taught at a Christian school in Missouri in the same association we were a part of once upon a time! We’ve crossed paths in some interesting ways!
Anyway, this funeral was such a celebration … a celebration of a wonderful mother. A celebration that this mother is rejoicing in Heaven! The testimonies that were given and the eulogy and the songs all glorified this mother in a way that in the end truly it was God that was glorified.
Of course, one gets a little nostalgic at funerals (or at least I do). And I wondered, if I died what would my children say about me? What would my legacy be?
Would my legacy be that I tried hard but was never quite satisfied? That I felt sorry for myself a lot? That I resented stopping my work to serve another? That I was always “tired,” or if I wasn’t tired, I wanted to be alone? All those thoughts made me a little sad.
But I know 2 things for sure: 1. that I’m awfully hard on myself and while the above may be true often, it does not define my heart or my motives or my love for my family and others and 2. there is still time for me to learn and accept and change and be who God wants me to be within the realms of my own limitations and strengths which aren’t necessarily those of a more out-going, naturally more people-oriented woman.
And so, I’m glad I’m me. I’m glad that I live my life – despite financial crunches and set-backs and broken down cars (and a/c’s and sinks … and ant invasions) and despite relatives who set me a little on edge and children who require a lot of attention and strep throat that shows up at unexpected times and unmet expectations. This is where God wants me … in the midst of trouble and often, more often than not, in the midst of GOOD THINGS and BLESSINGS and PROVISION and LAUGHTER and HUGS and unexpected kindness from my family, friends, and even strangers.
And that’s good because I’m sure you’re glad you’re not me either! 🙂