I am almost finished reading it and outside of coming to Christ, learning about grace, being refined through 7 adoptions in only 5 yrs and homeschooling 5 of them this year – this book is changing how I look at my calling as a Mom. What I have not shared with you here is that I did not have an easy childhood. I did not grow up in a Christian home, nor did we ever speak about God or pray to Him. I was verbally and physically abused. Although my mom to this day does not like to acknowledge that she did any of that – my broken heart for so many years tells a very different story than she cares to remember. I had thought I forgave everything anyone has done to me. I truly did, until I began teaching through Praying the Names of God on our family blog and reading this book. As I got to the chapter on forgiveness I wept silent tears until the real ones came. This was two weeks ago and I’m yet able to read that chapter without crying.
I am not just weeping for me. I am weeping for my mom who never knew what it felt like to be unconditionally loved and safe growing up. I am crying for our 7 adopted children and their birth mothers – some are alive and a few are now deceased. I am crying for every child out there who feels unloved, is unsafe and each day wakes up hoping today is going to be a better day. I’m crying for every child who thinks they have to be a perfect child and never mess up to be loved. I’m crying for every little girl who is being abused today by someone they love and trust. I’m crying for every little girl who is now on the streets being sold instead of loved. I’m crying for every child who is alone in the world and has never known the love of a mother. I’m crying for all of you who long to be a mother some day. I am crying for all of you who like me didn’t have the ideal childhood or relationship with your mothers growing up. I am crying for each of you who still don’t realize your struggles as a mom come from a broken place deep inside of you. I am crying for the broken marriages you witnessed or experienced yourselves and how that effected you and your siblings…and how it is effecting your marriage and children today. I am crying for how it keeps us from truly trusting God and His complete unfailing love for us. I am crying for the way the pain lies to us and convinces us we are not worthy to receive the love of God, from our husbands and worse our children. I am crying for the way the pain has a way of hiding deep inside and until you truly are ready to lay it all down at God’s feet the healing He came to do can not happen. I am crying for those of you who are still trying to be strong on your own, control things, fix things, manage everything and be everything to everybody. I am crying for the little girl inside of you that just wanted and wants to be loved to her core.
I am that girl and have been set free for the first time in my life. And let me tell you all something really big! I will never be the same and neither will our family. My marriage is being restored to greater heights, our children are healing in ways they never could because I was unable to give or receive the truest form of love – purely! Our home is shaping up to be the home I prayed it would be but never able to see how to get there. God is moving mountains and changing how I think, feel and act. As I seek to do this – I am struggling and messing up royally. Thank God for His grace and the grace being shown to me by my husband and children. I am have humbled myself many times in the last few weeks before them all asking for their forgiveness. Because the only legacy I want to leave behind is one that is whole – not what I have tried to keep hidden or tucked so deep inside, or fix on my own, or fooling myself to believe that I could ever be the mom I wanted to be without leaving the past truly behind and at the feet of Jesus. That my friends is simply impossible. However, all things are possible with God and for God!
Mother’s Day is a hard holiday for me – because I go shopping for cards and none match how I feel inside about my mom. None match what I want to say or how I pray she would receive it. It has taken me a long time to realize that she did the best she could. Through adult eyes and my heart filled with His love – my heart breaks for the life my mom has lived and all the ways she still has yet to know the peace that surpasses all understanding. I have finally come to the place where I have forgiven her and want all God’s best for her. I don’t blame her anymore and honestly pray she finds the same healing I have today!
I am now able to break the cycle that was passed down to me and was almost passed down to our children (not in the same way or degree but nevertheless still unfair to them, because I wasn’t whole – they were only getting half of my love). I pray they grow up and remember the day Mommy changed forever!
God has given me the most precious gift in my mother-in-love and I can never thank Him enough for her love. The most beautiful thing about her is this…after she read the post I wrote about her last week, she emailed me the sweetest note to say - “Jill as I read your words it was like going to school and hearing this rave review of your child and thinking, ‘are they talking about my child?’ that is how I felt reading your words about me.” I quickly wrote her back saying, “every word I wrote is true.” Her humility is one more gift to me and how she continues to bless me in ways she still doesn’t understand!
I began to look up bible verses that are encouraging to us as mom’s, grandmothers, and foster parents, as women, His final creation. I often ponder that thought, that He created us last with a purpose and a very unique and special plan for us.
Here are some of the verses I do believe will encourage us all as we travel together parenting His children to know His unfailing love!
- But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
- Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:28
- "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Proverbs 31:29
- She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
- For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
- Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Psalm 112:4
- As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." Isaiah 66:13
- Then He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Luke 2:51
- Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24
If you would like to read more verses on encouragement – click here.
Here is a letter I pray encourages each of you on this Mother’s Day to press on towards the goal of Christ Jesus and never give up hope.
Happy Mother’s Day! I love you!
Here are some things I want you to never forget:
God made no mistake in giving me to you. You are the perfect Mom for me. God will always help you take the best care of me. Promise to stay close to Him and ask Him to help you when I am not so easy to like. Please seek His wisdom, and trust in everything He tells you to do. He won’t lead you in the wrong direction. He loves you mom just as much as you love me, even more!
Please don’t get discouraged or give up on me when I disobey 100 times and ask you the same thing over and over again. I’m learning to understand trust, love and patience. Please don’t get discouraged when I forget what you just told me to do. It is not your fault and I really do care about you. Please don’t buy into my eye rolling or yucky faces when you ask me to do something. Simply look past them, write them off as a phase and continue seeking to push through to my heart.
Please don’t take my lack of thanking you for ungratefulness. Teach me to say thank you more. Teach me to write you love notes so that I will always do that for others when I am big just like you.
Please don’t let my testing you push your button so deep that you begin to give up on getting through to me. I need to know you are going to be there forever no matter what. I don’t mean to hurt you - so when I do, teach me to apologize quickly. I want to grow up and make you proud of me for being an honorable, and humble person. I want to bring glory to God in all I do and need you to help me learn humility when I mess up and hurt anyone with my words or actions.
Please keep reading me the bible and teaching me things about God’s love. Even if I look bored or you think I’m not listening to you, I am. One day I will be able to use the truth to empower me to withstand the temptations of the world.
Please consider how you speak to Daddy and the way you treat him in front of me. I am watching. You are teaching me more with your actions than you do with your words. I am learning how to be a wife/mother or father/husband as I watch you both. Please don’t believe what the world tells you about marriage and that the answer to fixing a problem is to get a divorce. I don’t want to live without either of you and need you both to raise me to be the person God desires that I become. Please teach me to pray for my future spouse and marriage. Please let me hear you pray for Daddy. Please let me hear you say kind words about him to your friends and our family. Please let me see you humble yourself before God (when Daddy doesn’t do the right thing or maybe hurts you) trusting God to provide the healing you both need. Please don’t lean on your own understanding -trust in God’s love for you to see you through whatever life brings your way.
Please don’t buy into my act when I demand to have things my way. Please don’t give me everything I want. Please teach me that anything worth having is worth waiting for and working for. Please don’t let me order you around and demand you make me something else to eat. Please teach me that everything you prepare for me is a gift from God. Please teach me that I am blessed to have anything before me and God’s blessings should never be despised. Please teach me not to be selfish and to help around the house. It will make me a better wife/husband some day. Please teach me that you are not my entertainment committee and that is OK to be bored or play by myself. Life is full of dull moments and I need to know how to get through them gracefully, without constant complaining.
Please teach me to serve others and pray for those less fortunate than me. Please teach me to see past the color of someone skin, clothes they are wearing and how they speak. Please help me to learn to love everyone like Jesus does. Please help me to care for the homeless, the voiceless and the widow. Please help me to honor God by honoring you and Daddy. Please help me to not get away with sinning against you and most importantly God. Please take the time to correct my behavior and teach me the way back to God’s way.
Mom, please teach me the gift of forgiveness and to never let the sun go down with a bitter heart. Please teach me to never trust in man above God. Please teach me to stand on the truth and use it in love. Please teach me to not judge others, lest I be judged. Please teach me to be a doer of the word, and whatever I do be sure it is all for His glory. Please Mom pray for me, and teach me to pray for you. Please teach me to always look up to God and walk in the power of His love for me. Please teach me that I have nothing to fear -that God is for me, not against me.
Mom, please remember that no matter what I do over the years or how much I make you believe I do not care about you, or that I know more than you – we both know that is not true and that I do love you more than I will ever probably be able to share. Mom I need you to help me become all that God has planned for me.
I don’t want to let another day go by without you knowing all of these things. Because today is your special day and I thank God He gave me you! Teach me to always honor you not just today but every day-because just like I am a special gift to you, you are a very special gift to me too. And when you mess up, simply say, “I’m sorry.” So I will learn to say, “I’m sorry” too.
I love you Mom,
I wrote this letter to myself and will keep it close where I can see it! So that during the times when I struggle to do all the things I know God is clearly asking of me I will remember why I am doing it all – the 9 blessings He has entrusted me to train up in the way they should go. My only goal is to hear, “Good job, well done, My faithful servant.”
Happy Mother’s Day! Walking in His love with you!