Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Real (Part 1)

This word has been playing out in my head and life constantly over the last few weeks!
I have built a library of posts that are ready to be posted and as I was contemplating what this next blog post would be about, it hit me that I had to begin writing about this trend!
If you read my blog somewhat regularly, you know that no matter what the subject, I try to keep a positive tone to my thoughts and posts.

So please hang in there with me as I try writing in a voice that is just speaking my mind.
The last few days have have been VERY rough on myself and my family! I can't write something positive when I am not feeling that in my heart right now. So, my first post about being being "REAL" wasn't going to be about ME, but I realize it's got to be! I think in this day and age, there are zillions of blogs out there and most of them have MANY great qualities to them and their authors.
If I were not real with you, my readers, I'm doing us both a disservice!

Last week my nephew passed away. He was only 23...he OD'd on drugs while drinking alcohol. This has rocked our family to the core! It's another example of "It CAN happen to me". He left behind his parents, 4 younger siblings and a nephew in his immediate family. Not to mention his grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. who are trying to come to terms with a void in their lives.
There are so many what if's that come to mind. My heart just aches for my brother and sister-in-law and our niece and nephews. Nothing will ever be the same!

On top of our worlds being rocked by his death and trying to help our kids grieve in healthy ways, I got hit by a stomach bug and bronchitis. On from 10pm Saturday until 7pm Sunday, I don't think I was out of bed more than a few hours put together. To say this past weekend was challenging is an understatement, but it's REAL, it is what is going on in my life right now. question to myself since last Friday is, how to we turn all this into something positive? What can be learned from all of this? Paul and I have talked at length together and with the kids since he came home Friday night.
We have talked to the kids on how they treat each other and not to assume that there's always tomorrow...
And then there are the lessons to be learned about drugs and alcohol...

But, I am hoping that there is more to come from such a HUGE loss to our family! I hope and I pray that God's purpose and plan will be shown sooner rather than later in this situation, but alas, it's all in His time and who am I to ask him to rush it!?

The word real has also been coming up in many other ways, while I'll be sharing with you another day! Make today real!

Thanks for reading and letting me be REAL!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Good Mother

What is a "good mother"?
What is a bad mother?

I don't have the answers! I decided to do a bit of research on the subject and am more convinced than ever, Mothering only starts with the small feat of pregnancy and birth! And from that day until a mother's final day, there is mothering to be done! While researching I found definitions, articles and poems to support my beliefs. But rather than answer what a bad mother is, I'll focus on qualities of a good mother!

The definition of Mother according to Wikipedia:
A mother (or mum/mom) is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child, and/or supplied the ovum that grew into a child. Because of the complexity and differences of a mother's social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to specify a universally acceptable definition for the term.

I think the definition covers the meaning but is still somewhat vague or ambiguous. But we all know what a mother is, so I'll let that ride.

Back to my earlier questions...there's no right answer, but I have my own thoughts as to what the answers are! A good mother uses the best of her abilities to nurture and help her children on all levels to teach them right from wrong!

Here is a poem that touched me...

What is a Mother?
A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience
And wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance
In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
And treasure them all through the years!
The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family,
Whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion
And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
And make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom
And wonderful insight and skill -
In each human heart is that one special corner
Which only a mother can fill!

By Katherine Nelson Davis

I then turned back to one of my favorite verses of the Bible which talks about a Noble Wife and mother. My business in based on this scripture and I use this as a standard to live by!

Proverbs 31:10-31 (NET)

The Wife of Noble Character

10 Who can finds a wifet of noble character?t
For her values is far more than rubies.
11 The heart of her husband has confidencet in her,
and he has no lack of gain.s
12 She brings himt good and not evils
all the days of her life.
13 She obtainst wool and flax,
and she is pleased to work with her hands.t
14 She is liket the merchant ships;s
she brings her food from afar.
15 She also gets upt while it is still night,
and provides foods for her household and a portions to her female servants.
16 She considersts a field and buys it;
from her own incomet she plants a vineyard.
17 She beginstt her work vigorously,
and she strengthenss her arms.
18 She knowsts that her merchandise is good,
and her lamps does not go out in the night.
19 Her handsts take holdt of the distaff,
and her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extendss her handt to the poor,
and reaches out her hand to the needy.
21 She is nott afraid of the snows for her household,
for all of her household are clothed with scarlet.t
22 She makes for herself coverlets;t
her clothing is fine linen and purple.s
23 Her husband is well-knownt in the city gatets
when he sits with the elderst of the land.
24 She makes linen garmentsts and sells them,
and supplies the merchantst with sashes.
25 She is clotheds with strengtht and honor,s
and she can laughs at the timet to come.
26 She opens her mouthts with wisdom,
and loving instructiont is on her tongue.
27 She watches overt the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.s
28 Her children rise upts and call her blessed,
her husbandt also praises her:
29 “Manyt daughterst have done valiantly,t
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceitfult and beauty is fleeting,s
but a woman who fears the Lords will be praised.
31 Givet her credit for what she has accomplished,t
and let her works praise hers in the city gates.t

As I ready these passages it affirms my beliefs as to what the "right" answers are. I consider myself a good mother (can you hear me tooting my horn??)

Do I hold others to high standards based on my mothering? (And no, I'm not professing to be perfect!) Is that the right thing to do? I don't know, all I DO know is I could never go a day voluntarily without talking to my children and finding out how they are. I could NEVER put my needs ahead of there's on a continual basis! I could never call them nasty or vicious names when they make a mistake. I would never willingly stand by if someone was hurting them because it was easier for me that way! 

When I became a mother, my heart left my body too! It lives outside my body now! My family is my motivator! Tell me I can't, I'll SHOW you I CAN! For every mistake I've made, I've learned!

So I'll digress once more to mention that not only am I a mommy, I'm a stepmom also! And while I don't have memories from baby up, my stepchildren are amazing and I view them no differently than if I was their mother! I can't ever imagine life without them! I don't want to replace their mother, but am thankful I can help them through life as a step-mom and some days that means a friend or confidant! I typically don't get much credit for day to day things, but I hope one day they will understand too what a step-mom's voluntary love means!

Another poem (no author was credited but I did not author it)

What is a stepmother?

A step below or a step above?

Someone for you to (sometimes) love?

Someone to share your laughter and tears?

Or do you grow quiet when she comes near?

What is a stepmother?
A step above or a step below?
Someone to teach you and help you to grow?
Is she a mystery to you, or someone you know?
Are you true with your feelings, or are they for show?
I'm a stepmother, so let me define
What a stepmother is, at least in my mind
A stepmother cares for her family and home
And loves her step kids like they were her own
She fixes their meals, treats a cold, ties a shoe
Anything that a kid's real mom would do
A stepmother consoles you when you feel sad
And hands out a punishment if you are bad
She'll tuck you in bed and read you a story
And yet, it's the real mom that gets all the glory
A stepmother hides the tears that she cries
When mother's day comes and then just slips by
With no card, and no hug, though she really feels sad
She won't let you see it, won't let you feel bad
She feels like an outsider but tries to fit in
If you're playing a game with her, she'll let you win
She makes sure your birthday is one special day
And when hers is forgotten, she'll just look away
When your teen years come, life gets much tougher
With a stepmother these years, for her, are much rougher
You may say or do something that injures her feelings
Please keep in mind that she hurts while she's healing
Your stepmother has done the best she could do
And no matter your age, she'll always love you
For her birthday, the best present to get her
Is the most precious of all, that you didn't forget her

I won't comment on the construction of the above, but the ideas presented are very accurate and I'd guess this could very easily be called a "stepparent's poem". Quite often we give without need of receiving even though there is a target on our backs no matter what!

I appreciate you reading my ramblings today. Comments welcome...