Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Race of Motherhood

May is here with all it's beauty and blessing. Beautiful weather, spring holidays, anticipating summer, May is just a fabulous month! 

 It is also the month we celebrate Mother's Day. For many women, Mother's Day is a doubly blessed day. We express thankfulness for our mothers and receive recognition for being a mother. It's a day to spend with family usually complete with food, flowers, cards and gift. 

Digging a little deeper, we may pause and think of our own mothers. If she is still here, it is a time to be thankful, to let her know how much she is loved and appreciated. If she is passed on, it may be a time of sadness and feeling of the missed opportunity to express our love to her. In either situation, we reflect on our moms, remember her love and security. Remembering the comfort that just being in her presence brought, the memories of special places, activities and things shared.

 If you are a mother, probably some of her traits are carried on through you. As we mature in age and our own mothering experience there are things we are determined not to do, not to say and not to pass on to our own children. But every now and again, those things just slip out! But as we ponder to the attitudes we do want to cultivate, motherhood is an opportunity to pass on a legacy of goodness and grace. Mother's Day reminds us of the power of motherhood and turns our focus to what we want our children to keep alive in their hearts. It's not about perfection, it's about a love passed on like none other that will outlast us and carry on for generations. 

My mother has passed on and recently a 5K race was going on the same day as the anniversary of her death. This is usually a very sad day, as times shared together are remembered as well as how much life has passed by that she was not a part of. Determined to participate in the race, I set aside the sadness of the day with a purpose to run in her honor.  She filled my mind as I ran the course. There is a long straight stretch where the finish line is visible. During that stretch, I whispered aloud and expressed what was in my heart of the many emotions flooding there. I spoke words of thankfulness to God, that He chose my mother for me, that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was loved, nurtured and always encouraged. Mom was my greatest fan and if she were alive to see me run, she would be the greatest cheerleader. Thankfulness flowed as memories of the characteristics she possessed came to mind - humbleness, hardworking, serving others, caring, loving, welcoming, selfless, always open and ready to offer whatever was needed.  She was the perfect example of setting her own needs aside and putting others first. 

As the finish line drew closer, a purpose was formed in my own heart to carry on and finish the race of motherhood strong. Thanking God for the gift of my three children, for the power of influence and the gift of love I can give daily. Physically, my body was getting weary, my breathing hard, but on I pushed one step after another. Motherhood can be draining, we may get tired, but must continue on sometimes step by step.  Our children will never get to the point where we are not an influence in their lives. 

After a 5K race, this is a popular photo prop, under the finish line.  It captures the victory of completing the race. You don't stand here until you are done running and victorious by finishing the race.  

When our motherhood finish line comes, may we be found to have given our all. Our victory will be the legacy we leave to and in our children.  The characteristics we possessed and passed on will live on through generations.  May we purpose to make them things of beauty that will bloom throughout generations. 

These are my mothers azaleas.  Many years ago we went together and purchased them from a nursery. She diligently planted them and cared for them.  Although she has not been there to tend to them, the care she gave them when young continues on.  They are over 15 years old and continue to bloom every year. They lay dormant much of the year and come to life each spring with blazing beauty and never fail to ignite a beautiful picture of motherhood in my heart of the power of planing, nurturing and legacy. 

Happy Mother's Day!  May we as mothers finish our race strong. 

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