Monday, June 17, 2013

A Mother's Words

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.
Robert Browning

Isn't that picture the sweetest thing?  We had a breakfast on a local dairy farm last Saturday (it was a special event to let people see how a large working farm runs)   This mama cow had her baby right there in the midst of it all -- they had given away 6000+ tickets to the event.  It was so special to see how the mothering instinct exists no matter what kind of mama you are.

The main reason we got out of bed at 5:30 am on a Saturday morning was because Boy Wonder was required to volunteer at the shindig as part of his royal duties.  He was elected to the Royal Court of our county 4H. It might not seem like that big of a deal, but for us it is.  When he was interviewed he was asked what 4H had done for him.  The answer brought tears to this mama hen's eyes.  He said that before 4H he had been labeled a troublesome child by his teachers and others because of the way God had wired him.  With the exception of his mom and dad, he had been told by many adults that he wouldn't amount to much (this was said despite the fact that he is gifted intellectually!)

His social awkwardness made him an easy target for the bullies at school who belittled him on a daily basis and made him feel worthless.  But now? He has a wall full of Grand Champion ribbons and shelves full of trophies that prove otherwise.  He has worth.  He has value.  He has the confidence and desire to help others get to where he is today.  That's what 4H (and his parent's love and encouraging words) has given him. 

Pretty big deal, dontcha agree?

Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.
Proverbs 15:4 The Message
The power of words, especially a mother's, is something I am aware of first hand. So much of who I am has been the result of the words I heard or did not hear from my mother.  I don't want this to be a post bashing her parenting skills, but I will say there are days when she is less than encouraging and it hurts.  I decided I want to be a mother who speaks words that uplift, empower and encourage my children. 

How's that going for me?  Somedays I hit the mark.  I build up my little chicklets.  They think they have the power to spread their little wings and fly as high as the sky.  But there are so many days I miss the mark.  I hear the words that come out of my mouth and I cringe.  I should know better, but still I fall short.  It is then that I try (emphasis on try --- I sadly don't always succeed) and humble myself and tell my chicklets I am sorry. I know that words once spoken may never be completely forgotten.  I hope, however, that I can teach them that when we make a bad choice we should humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness.

Yesterday was one of those days I am not proud of.  There was a truckload of crankiness on the farm. The mess and chaos that seems to have taken over the farmhouse got on my last nerve and I lost it --- big time!  The Munckin bore the brunt of my overly harsh words, but the Little Prince and Boy Wonder got a taste of Mama's ire too.  It wasn't pretty and I sent them to bed with angry words.  I apologized this morning for my excessive anger, but I know some damage was done and that hurts my heart.

Bottom line is, I am still a work in progress.  God isn't finished with me yet by a long shot.  I just pray that my good days outweigh my bad as a mother and that I am "building" confident and loving children who can admit when they are wrong and strive to do better the next time.  Above all I want them to know that they are loved.
Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same -- and most mothers kiss and scold together.
Pearl Buck

1 comment:

Jill said...

A few things: Brava on the dairy farm. We took the kids but they were too young and don't remember; The pic of your oldest reminds me of the geek oh some 20ish years ago; I still believe we are related as I was not encouraged either so I'm quite careful about dashing any dreams. However, I'm just hoping to survive the teen years.