Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mother's Hope

Peaceful Reflections

I created a little book of hope. . . I had to survive. . . Trials at home, with my teenagers and adult children were wearing me out. I was often crying, sad, and unable to cope. Their pain became my pain. Their struggles with the world overwhelmed me. Their frustrations and anger with growing up came out as attacks within the family. It wasn't okay and I was not handling it well.

This book of hope is like the old time mother's vintage homekeeping book. This is the kind of thing that is handwritten full of advice, recipes and newspaper clippings. But it is not about cooking. It is about motherhood.

I have a pretty purple binder. I am decorating the cover with Bible verses, drawings, pictures of peaceful scenes and the simple words - Mother's Hope.  Inside there are 6 dividers tabs. I have five children, ages 13 - 23. Each child will have a section in the back. I will tape pictures of them when they were precious, smiling babies to help me remember what is inside that grown soul standing before me, fighting with the world. I will remember that I am to mother the child inside them. I will write prayers for them. I will put their letters to me and their cute sayings in that section, as they happen. I will keep filling it up each day or each week or each month or however often I need hope.  The front section will be full of beautiful thoughts, Biblical promises, prayers, quotes, clippings and ideas to inspire me. And there will be a journal. Yes, a journal. .  to remind me of the victories and the miracles. This will build my shaky faith.

Why do I need this? I remember staying up all night with a sick baby. We would stand near the steam of the shower just so the baby could breathe. I would stay awake all night like that and then pace the front porch so the infant could breathe-in the fresh night air.  I remember being so tired, so weak and in desperate need of a break. But I would pray and beg God for strength. I never once thought of myself or what I needed. I just took care of that baby with all the love and courage I could muster.

I remember another night, with a different baby. This one was throwing up and only 9 months old. This baby needed to sleep sitting up. So I set up the car seat and settled that baby down next to me. I planned to stay awake all night to make sure he was okay. But he kept throwing up. So I picked him up and paced the living room floor. Back and forth, back and forth. He stopped throwing up and fell into a deep sleep. Whenever I tried to lay him back down, he would wake up. So I paced, holding that baby all night long. I remember seeing the moon out the back window. I remember how dark and silent the world was at that time. I remember praying and begging God for mercy and courage and for strength. I remember my legs shaking. But I kept going. I never thought of myself, but to ask for endurance. It was selfless. It was a Mother's duty.

Now that my children are older - teens and adults, I realize I have lost my way. I have become selfish without even realizing it. I am not dealing with sickness this time, but attitudes. I am dealing with their struggles, sin natures and frustrations. When these bad moments come, I go off to rest. I say I need a break. I tell them to talk to Dad about it. I escape. I go into survival mode. But I never once ask God to give me strength and courage and endurance. My immediate thoughts are survival for ME. It is selfish.  I must remember that God will provide the rest, when I do the work.

This is why I need hope. . . This is why I need my book. . . It will be my reflective reminder of my job as a Mother. It is a tool to help me remember the ministry of motherhood.

Mrs. White

Remembering the Old Days for Housewives and Church - Going to Meeting.

Getting your heart ready to Face the Family in the morning.

Reaping what we sow, when children take care of Mother in - A Hospital in the Home.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.



Shannon R said...

How will you change the way you respond? You have deeply convicted me ... But I don't know how to apply it to respond differently to my teens, which I'd like to run away from at times. You are so right, selfless to selfish. :o/

slowandsteadymomma said...

What a realization! Selfishness affects us all in so many ways. We should all focus more on turning to God for answers and not ourselves.

Unknown said...

Isn't it true how all moms grow weary with our task at hand. I like the idea of your hope journal.

Rebecca Knox said...

THANK YOU! I needed to hear this! I think I will start my own Mother's Hope journal and notebook, and this article is the first thing that's going in it! God bless you, Mrs. White! You are such an inspiration to me!

All My Love,

Anonymous said...

You are a good mother, Mrs. White.
God bless, Kathy in Illinois

Nicole said...

I like this! My oldest is now 16 1/2, with her first job, driving, future plans and I my stress level just grows and grows. Mostly because I know there will be a period of time where she breaks away and I will be so sad. So, I am immediately going to start this. Over the years I hve kept little notes and such, but they are everywhere. A little section for each is such a great idea!!! And to record specific prayers ... BRILLIANT! And then to add grandchildren later. What an astonishing legacy to leave behind someday.

Cassidy said...

I think this is amazing and will help you keep your focus on the lovely things and the children at different stages of life and their individual needs. You are a beautiful person and I love this idea. I may do exactly the same.
Thank you for the inspiration!

Pebblekeeper ~ Angie said...

Beautiful Mrs. White. We are going through transition with our 17, now almost done with the first year in college. Still at home. I've actually switched gears back to toddlerhood. What I do for him. My willingness to do what he can't because of school and work. it's freeing , really. Thank you for the reminder!