While cleaning yesterday, I found this little book of inspirational sayings wedged between my favorite reading chair and my bookcase. I flipped it open to this page and stopped. Yes, that speaks to me right now! I thought it might encourage other ladies, too.
It's Mother's Day, and I was curious to see our how our pastor would handle a day that can be so difficult for those who long to be mothers, or who have lost their mothers or a child to death, or who have wayward children, or who have strained relationships with their own mothers. I am grateful for the sensitivity of his prayer for all of these women. Being a nurturing woman, whether to your own children or to others God sends on your path, can be very challenging and sometimes disheartening. It is tempting to give up when the going gets rough. That is why I like Victor Hugo's words so much:
Be like the bird
That, pausing in her flight
Awhile on boughs too slight,
Feels them give way
Beneath her and yet sings,
Knowing that she hath wings.
There is much in my life that gives way, that can't hold the weight of my expectations. Yet I am not at the mercy of circumstance, nor held captive by what others say and do. Every day, including today when things haven't exactly gone as I planned, I have to remind myself to rise above it all and fly. God has empowered me with wings.
On the last day of our home school co-op on Monday, I wanted to give my English students one more life lesson. I told them how Jesus, during the Last Supper, knew where he came from and knew where he was going, so he had the security to wash their dirty feet, humbly serving his disciples instead of demanding the honor that was due to him as the Creator and Redeemer. I know my identity in Jesus as one who came from the creative love of God and is destined for an eternity without sorrow or shame. That gives me wings. It helps me find my own voice to sing.
So do these kind Mother's Day words from my 19 year old daughter Joanna: "My mom has raised the first five of her ten to adulthood and still has 12 years until the youngest of the following five graduates high school. Some people may say that is crazy, yes. Some days she feels at the end of her rope and calls herself crazy. I say that she is a woman of commitment, a woman of love, and a woman of intuition. Over the past several years in particular, I have watched her blossom even more into being a woman of strength who develops her own convictions (not blindly accepting the ones of those around her) and lives them out boldly, yet graciously. This speaks worlds to me. Mom-- you are beautiful, you are unique, and you will always be in the hands of God. I love you."
I leave you with a few verses from one of my favorite Psalms, which I memorized when I was a newlywed. Friends, even in times of tears, you have a safe place, you have strength, and you have wings.
"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young -- a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have their hearts set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:3-7
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