Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Belated thoughts on Mother's Day

I'm thankful that I can look and my mom and know that she is an amazing woman. I can see her for all the sacrifices she made for me, the knowledge she passed along, and the love that continues to show me in her own way. I haven't always been able to do that. I have often focused on the pains in our relationship. More often than not, I have overlooked the times that she went above and beyond to care for me. Instead, I saw the occassions she let me down, or hurt me. Now, as I'm getting older I can

I sat in chapel today as one of the "higher ups" gave a belated talk on Mothers Day. As a not so unexpected surprise, he spoke about the Proverbs 31 woman, and even compared a mother's love to 1 Corinthians 13. Most of us oooed and ahhed at the right times as he went through the outstanding characteristics of our mothers, and gave examples of how mothers exude patience, protection and a hardworking spirit. However, at our tables, we also bemused ourselves with times our motherly parental unit missed the mark on those biblical standards (think for a moment about the phrase "keeps no records of wrongs"). Don't get me wrong I love my mom (regardless of our struggles), and I'm sure most of us the room did too, but can I be so bold as to say, perhaps we expect too much? I can't help but think of two ways that lining up our mothers against the standards of Proverbs 31 of 1 Corinthians 13 can negitively effect both mother and child.

As a woman, and hopefully a mother in the future, Proverbs 31 personally makes me want to crawl into a hole. Ok that's a little strong, but let me explain. I struggle to set reasonable expectations for myself. In other words, I can be somewhat of a perfectionist in certain areas of my life. That long list of duties, turned expectations, often feels like a ball and chain. By the time it gets down to verse 30, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." I am so overwhelmed, I can hardly see the redemption of knowing that at least I have that whole "fearing the Lord" down for the most part. I feel a little less intimidated by this whole talk of love... I like to love, and I enjoy the idea that God comes along side us and shows us how to love. Still, I know that as I go through that list, I am sure to have short comings.

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