Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

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My freshman year of college, there was this vacant study room just down the hall from my dorm room. I was extremely homesick that year and experiencing a lot of growing pains so often I would retreat to this quiet space and cut out pictures of my family and paste them on a big piece of canvas. Slowly, pictures from my childhood blended into a collage of special memories - my brother in front of his first car, an old Jeep. Our family cocker spaniel, Sugar. My parents and I at my senior recognition soccer game. Our family in Time Square for my eighteenth birthday. All of these memories, these years spent together, were woven together and helped me feel close to the people I missed.

We all want wonderful memories with our mothers.

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When I was little, my mother used to do front flips into our six foot deep pool. As her tiny frame and dark hair swirled through the air before she hit the water, I was amazed at how brave and bold she was.

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At five years old, I was the one who hid behind her leg in public. My mom signed me up for a pageant to help me overcome my timidness and I was contestant number one. Walking out on that big stage with bright lights, I was so scared that I cried for my dad to come get me. Once he rescued me from the attention, I threw myself into my mother's arms.

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Around the time I was twelve, I begged my mom to sign me up for soccer. We went at five o'clock on the last day of sign-ups and before I knew it, I was running and dribbling a black and white ball up and down fields of grass. This sport birthed a confidence within me that my mom had always known existed. Soon, she proudly sported her soccer mom jersey and was my biggest (and loudest) cheerleader on the sidelines.

My mom lived for me as I grew up. She was there for me, loved me, clothed me, and cherished me. When I was in high school, she challenged me to dream big, go to college, and live somewhere, anywhere new and big.

So I did.

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My twenties were filled with moving boxes and new memories as a wife, daughter, and a mother. Even though I began a new life with my husband, I still needed my mom to help me learn how to be an adult. Her words influence me.

Sometimes I wish what she says didn't matter to me. When we aren't seeing eye to eye, we are both like hot tea kettles, steaming and needing to cool down. I blame her for parts of me that I don't like and lose any self-control that God has been trying to teach me. I'm impatient with my mom, wanting her to be this ideal version that I always respect and appreciate.

Like any other mom, she can drive me crazy with her words and actions. But how I react to her makes me think I'm a little crazy too. For some reason, my response to my mother is different than any other person I'm in a relationship with. My mother and I can fight and make up quicker than my five year old can eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It's crazy! We are crazy.

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But, I think that craziness is what binds and bends us as mother and daughter. No matter how crazy she makes me feel, I need her in my life. And she needs me too.

I am her daughter. And, she is my mother.

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God gives us our people. Even if our people are completely different than who we are, they are our people to love through the happy times and the hard. I get that Mother's Day might not be the best day for you. This week on Facebook, I've noticed several people commenting and posting pictures about their mothers. One girl even had a screenshot of a text that her birth mother sent her that said, "I'm glad I didn't abort you." I can only imagine how difficult that statement would be to process. Another mom posted a picture of her putting the veil on her daughter's head at her wedding. Her daughter was glowing in bridal radiance but now this is only a sweet memory of her short time here with us. Another person, when asked what motherhood is simply stated, "The reason for my existence."

Your story with your mom is probably different than mine. But, I do believe that God is constantly using our people to grow us closer to him, no matter what the circumstances may be.

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For me, it's loving my mom. I can't not have her in my life. 

As Mother's Day inches closer and closer, celebrate your relationship with your mother, no matter how hard or happy, messy or clean it may be.

Give God thanks for his unconditional love, undying devotion, and uncontainable truth that he has planted eternity into our hearts.  Let your relationship with your mother continue to grow you closer to your Father and his ever-presence in your life.

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Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

Today is Day Three of our Mega-Mother's Day Giveaway! To win a copy of Mom's Night Out (it's hilarious!!) just enter into our giveaway below!!!

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