2014-A Mother’s Day Thought
Though I believe a mother and father should have an equal part in raising children, since this is a Mother’s Day post, I thought I’d share about motherhood.
5 years old:
Mom, please can you read me a Bible story and snuggle with me.
10 years old:
Mom, you are so mean! You make me do chores and discipline me! It’s not cool to hug and kiss you anymore in front of my friends.
15 years old:
What do you know mother? My friends are so important! I will just go spend time with them.
20’s and newly married:
Mom, how should I do this? This isn’t so easy after all. How did you manage to keep everything running so smoothly?
30’s with children:
Mom, you are and were extremely wise. You were not mean at all. You were just loving your kids.
40’s and life continues:
Mom, I want to be just like you. You were right all along. Not sure how I could live without your wisdom, support and advice.
Mom has gone to be with the Lord:
I lost a best friend and confidant. I wish I could hug and kiss you one more time and hold you tenderly and not let you go. I wish you would brush my hair and run your hands down my back one more time. I wish I could ask you for advice on “this and that”. I wish your prayers for me and my family still lingered. I wish “Mommy calling” would appear on my phone and hear you asking how my day was. I wish I could do things over again, Mom.
A few years ago a girlfriend and I were talking about how hard it was to be a mom and raise children. I came home with the nagging thought of how difficult it must have been for my mother and father to raise us, children. (I was raised in a family of 13, 2 of whom passed away and went to be with the Lord at a very young age.)
I think about the stories my mom shared about the difficulties of raising children in a small village in Ukraine. Where diapers didn’t exist. Where cows, pigs, and chickens needed to be fed on a daily basis. Where a huge garden needed to be kept up during the hot summers for the family to survive the cold harsh winters. How she would tell me the difficulties of her pregnancies. While sick still needing to go milk the cows and vomiting at the scent but not able to just lay in bed because the children needed milk. About how tough it was not having a refrigerator where you could just store extra food like we do today. The amount of clothing that needed to be washed by hand on a daily basis because washers and dryers did not exist (or could not be afforded). About the lack of sleep because while children were in bed she tried to clean and do the mending and sewing.
As I sit and reminisce, I absently wipe away the tears that stream down my face. Not because I am glad I don’t live there but because of the woman I call mom and all she did for her children. I shed tears for all of her hardships. For not having time for herself because so much needed to be done for us.
As I think about her, I bring myself to today and think about me. About how some days I think it is hard raising children yet I have everything I could ask for to raise them comfortably. A control panel to regulate the temperature of our home, it’s not blazing hot in the summer nor freezing cold in the winter. The washer I have to just load and press start then just transfer the clothes to the dryer. The variety of carry-out meals in our area when I didn’t get to make dinner or the kids were sick. The vehicles that take us from point A to point B.
Then mentally I take myself to the women in Africa that don’t have any of the luxuries we are so used to and take for granted. To that mom in India who doesn’t know what she will give her children for dinner. To the mom in Haiti that just took her last skirt and turned it into a dress for her daughter because she cannot afford to buy material to sew a new one.
At night before bedtime, I spend time in the Word. As I read, God opens up more about motherhood to me than He ever has. I think to myself, my mother had so many trials raising her children yet she never complained. I woke up many nights to noise and it was mom and dad on their knees praying for all of us. Saying our names individually and giving their blessing upon our lives. I remember thinking to myself at that young age; mom and dad, is this really necessary? You worked so hard today and are so exhausted just go to bed. Now I understand where all that strength came from. Now I understand why she never complained. I understand because motherhood was not something she did. Mothering was an act of God’s love through her.
I tell myself I have been a good mother and yet in my heart I know I can be a better one. I know this is a lesson that not only I can benefit from but so many other mothers. In this time and age, parenting is different than it was 20 years ago, especially for those of us that immigrated to the USA. In some ways, it’s much easier yet others much harder. There is more of a spiritual battle today than there was 20 years ago. Physically it’s simpler. We have everything we need. Mentally is where it gets harder. It is a daily battle to read the Word of God. A daily battle to find alone time for prayer. A daily battle to get up in the middle of the night and say that prayer for our children. A daily battle to manage your time wisely and not get caught up in worldly things.
Philippians 4:13 comes to mind, “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me”. As I sit and think of this Scripture I realize that I don’t have to be a perfect mother. I cannot and will not always get things right. I mustn’t raise my kids like my friends do or someone from church. I don’t have to try and do MY best. That is not what is asked of me. I need to be the mother God created me to be. How can I do this Lord, I think to myself in the solitude of my room? In my heart, I know it as “Surrender”. Surrender “my” way of parenting. Surrender “my” strength. Surrender “my” wisdom and “surrender” Me. Once I surrender and admit that I cannot do motherhood on my own, Christ gives me His strength.
He gives me strength when I am weak. He gives me wisdom when I lack it. He empowers me to be the mom He created me to be because I am not doing it my way but through Him. He gives me the physical strength I need to wake up and get on my knees and pour out my soul at His altar and wake up the next morning revived and anew.
It was that day many moons ago that really changed the way I looked at being a mom. It was then I started to look at motherhood through Christ’s eyes. Have I had hardships? You bet I have, but I know where to gather my strength and that is a life-changer. I cannot control my children but He can guide them. I cannot always be with them and protect each one of them but I can pray His angels are always upon them. I cannot give them advice and wisdom because I lack it myself but He can speak through me. I cannot be a perfect example of Christ to my children because I am sinful but through Christ, I can strive to be the best.
I am so grateful to my mother for the Godly example she has been. I am proud to call myself her daughter. That day changed the way I felt about motherhood and changed my feelings even more towards the woman I have the privilege of calling “MOM”. She won’t always be with me and I Thank God so much that I still have the opportunity to show her how much I appreciate her. How much I appreciate her and not just on Mother’s Day but all year round with simple acts of kindness and gestures of appreciation that touch her heart more than any expensive Mother’s Day gift will.
I hope we can be the kind of Mothers we want to see our daughters grow up to be.
What important lessons has your Mother taught you? What have you learned over the years as a Mother? (I WOULD LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.)
Have a Blessed 2014 Mother’s Day.
What an amazing read. I must admit I cried. I can so relate to your story. We were raised in a large family too. My parents prayed for us just like yours. I am in the newly wed stage but already respect my parents so much more than I did before. I think the biggest lesson I learned from my mom was to keep our marriage disagreements private. Away from kids and friends. I hope to do that with my family. Many blessings to you and your family. 🙂
What a wise lesson you learned. I’m a huge believer in that too:).. Thanks for sharing.
I got so choked up from this post because I lost my Mom when I was still young. I have my own kids now and I agree with you completely, parenting without God is almost impossible. My kids are really young. Do you think it gets harder as they get older? Do u think you are a different mom now than when u had your first?. Thank u for the post and for your blog. Happy Mother’s Day to you too.
Thanks for your input:). I don’t think it gets harder, the challenges just are different. Some easier, some harder…. Each age comes with wonderful experiences. I’m a true believer in discipline and firmness. No means no, yes means yes. 😉 Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day…
What an awesome read. It’s so neat to see how different your upbringing was different than mine. Makes me appreciate what I have when I read this. If it’s not too difficult to talk about how did you lose two siblings?. I can’t imagine how hard that must of been for your parents. When did u come to America, how old were you?.
I was 8 when we came over. We have lived here 24 years..
One sibling was just very sick from birth, passed away at 6 months. We have an old fashion stove one that was in the wall, not sure what they are called. Anyway mom put a large pot of water on to boil so she could bathe us kids. My brother was running he was 2 and somehow knocked it over and the boiling water went on him. Died a few days later from burns and boils. His little body just couldn’t handle the heat.
Thanks for stopping by:].
Thank you Valentina for this post. It is very encouraging. May God bless your family.
Thank you for stopping by.. Blessings upon your loved ones as well;)…
Very inspiring message!!!! I cried a little too 😉 it is so true that sometimes we get used to a good life here in America and totally forget that we are very blessed to have more than we could imagine in our life. We need to be thankful for everything!!!! My kids like to hear about my husband’s and my childhood in Russia. God bless you and your family Valya!
Blessings to your family too!:). Thanks for stopping by:)..
I’d love for my children to go with us for a visit back home one day just so they can see not all of society lives the way we do!.
Wow!! Thank you for this post! I cried when I read it because I’m struggling too to find along time to read the Bible, to pray and to manage my time wisely. I’m 26 and have 4 children. I’ll be checking your blog for new posts like this:) May God bless you!
Olechka, Love your comment. You are such a wonderful young lady to have 4 children and still have the desire to read the Bible, I think that means so much in God’s eyes. I can totally sympathize with you on the challenge of always finding the “time” to read, truly is hard but very doable. 🙂 After being married 12 years and 5 kiddos I have learned I just MUST make time. I have even seen with myself that the more I try to read and come closer to God, the stronger is satan’s attack to show me how much work needs done and how busy I am and this happens and that happens so I wouldn’t read. There is so much power in the Word of God and so much growth and he surely doesn’t want that for me.
Blessings to you my dear sister. With God’s help we can do this. What a wonderful example you are showing your children!. They will see this and will follow :)..
Wow valusha I’m soo touched !! Seriously I have tears in my eyes amen WE HAVE NOTHING TO COMPLAJN ABOUT NOTHING !! The strenght that CHRIST gives when we are on our knees helps us SOO mUCH HE TRUELY understand us inside and out !! I’m just soo thankful to GOD for a sister a Godly sister like you who CHRIST uses soo much being a stay at home mom , wow I just have tears in my eye many times I complain I want to go to work thinking it will be easier not realizing how Blessed and how amazing it is to be able to stay home with our children ! Many mothers dream of this and yet who am I to take this for granted GOD forgive me for my complaints ! Wow what a role GOD has I trusted us with amazing !!! Amazing and wow howuch our amazing mothers gave up to nurture ha and to take care of us and to be on top of things wow!! All for us and yet our nasty words hurt them soo much because we were soo unwise and blind being angry not realizing how wonderful our mothers really are and were ! Wow their prayers for us are soo helpful and needed! Sister may GOD BLESS YOU WOW !!! I am just and awe GOD touched my heart soo much through this I thank GOD sister I thank GOD MAY HE give you strenght to continue this GOOD WORK FOR HIS GLORY !!!
Totally agree with you it’s only through Christ that we can truly be the Mother’s God designed us to be. We all have those days where things are really rough and say things we later come to regret but by the grace of God we learn and move on and try to not repeat them. Like you I will never stop being in awe of everything my parents went through and lived out and remained faithful.
I just pray with all my heart that I live in such a way that my children can say the same about me..
Valichka I have been sitting here rocking my 4 week old to sleep and reading your posts, bawling my eyes out!! Everything written here is so beautiful and true! I am always struggling trying to become a better mom with more patience and showing my kids Gods love through me, but it’s so hard ( I’m 24 and have 4 kids) This post reminded me of how important it is to put God first and spend time with the Lord, and trust in Him. My mama has a heart full of Love, and only after having kids I realize how much her and my dad sacrificed for us,7 kids. I know it’s because Jesus lives in their hearts. I get so busy with everyday chaos and always put off reading the bible and praying. I love your posts about As for me and my home.. Sooo inspiring! Thank you Keep them coming! 🙂
Yelena, well hello:). Isn’t it amazing how much we change as we get older? Especially after we have kids of our own. Thank God for moms like yours and mine who were that example to us. I truly believe I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for their Godly ways and always nugging us onto God’s path.
God bless you sweetheart. I can sympathize with you on the hardships of being a parents, especially us larger families, so so challenging, but possible with Jesus. I can just feel your desire to be a good mom and you are!!.. With God’s help you WILL be a powerful influence in the lives of your children. You will be that example they look back on an say, thank you God for my parents who not talked but Lived Christ:).
Blessing your kiddos so they ALL grow up to Love God and respect your guys. Blessing your hubby to just be your rock, support, shoulder to cry on and Christlike leader of your home.
Sending you all of God’s blessing as a wife and mom. May God give you wisdom and patience.
May your household be one that people look at and say “wow they are an example to us”:)..
This is so uplifting! Pearces throught the heart! What a reminder I want to print it and send it to all my mama friends!:)
Everything the girls posted above I am right there with them! Keep posting, staying strong in the lord and Be blessed!
Thank you so much Amy. You’re so sweet.