This week I received an ornament from one of our daughters to add to our Christmas tree. It is an angel with its arms and wings held out wide, with a banner that reads “A mom is a special blessing”. When I opened this gift, and saw what was inside, tears welled up. So often we hear our children say “I love you” with an abundance of hugs, yet I have never heard one of my children tell me that I was a blessing to them.
I am so aware of how fortunate a gift that our daughters are to us. From the moment they were born, we were given many moments of joy, tears of happiness as well as sadness, challenges and opportunities of growth. Although there are moments that I feel I could have handled some situations better, I can honestly say that I don’t look back with regrets and have always said that they have been the greatest blessing God has provided to us as a couple.
Being a mom tugs at one’s heartstrings more than I ever imagined. No one ever warned me about this connection, or that it would change me in the manner in which it did. I discovered many sides to being a mom; from being gentle to compassionate, tender, understanding, a listener, advisor, teacher, protector, and mentor. But being a mom also meant that I needed to be a good wife, helping to keep my marriage strong, in order for them to see that a lasting relationship was about compromise, acceptance, and giving with unconditional love.
Although there are many books, alongside the bible, that are available for guidance, the only real lesson in parenting comes from the moment you conceive out of love, bringing forth life into this world, with the decision to love beyond measure so that they are protected and provided for, while preparing them for their adult life.
To receive an angel ornament from my daughter, sharing that I was a blessing to her, helps me to see that despite the mistakes I might have made in the process of raising them to be beautiful young women, I did an okay job. But, even with our daughters being 18, 24 & 26, my job will never be complete. I might not need to discipline anymore (phew…) but I’m here with a listening ear, an honest response to when they need my advice, to be silent when my words are not needed, yet more importantly, always available with open arms, loving them unconditionally.
For those who struggle with their teen or young adult rebelling, I would just like to say that this has nothing to do with you. It is their need to discover who they are, with their own beliefs, their own trials and temptations. And although you might want to protect them for what you know could be a bad mistake, guide them with love, and then step back and let them experience life. Never say “I told you so”, yet allow them to say “I love you” and cry on your shoulder without reprimand. The true love of a parent shows itself when we reflect on our own youth and allow our children to experience their own. They will survive and they will return with arms of love to be wrapped around you.
May you be a blessing in someone’s life today, but more importantly, end your day telling your family members that you love them.
Be a “special blessing”