There’s something so beautiful in a woman’s strength. The way she carries herself, her passions, the ways she loves her children, how she builds up the man she loves and yes, how she sees herself, or at times even in the way she doesn’t see herself. As a little girl, I watched my mom’s beauty shine, brightly and many times unknowingly. I never doubted my mom, the belief I had in her or the amazing faith she lived boldly in front of me. Her passions were worn on her sleeve and I always saw how she was free to live, to be herself boldly as a daughter of the King. Even when I was weak, I was taught to have faith in my dreams. I was nurtured in my belief in the Lord, knowing He was strong enough, big enough to mend any broken wing I suffered. My mom taught me to set the world on fire, to let go of my fears, and step out, even off the cliff I was clinging to, believing I would land on my feet. She gave me wings, teaching me mercy, to have compassion; to give second chances and to love unconditionally, even when it meant not being a door mat. Mom showed me how to stand up for myself, to believe in myself, knowing there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do, especially if I believed and trusted I was also a daughter of a King.
When we would go places, I saw how people responded to mom, the way they loved her, how they perceived her beauty, her compassion, raw and untamed. I would look around a room, eager to see mom step out from her uncertainty and put on her inner strength. Many times I would stand by her side, just basking in the glow of her light. No matter how many beautiful ladies filled a room, I only saw my mom. Her beauty is classic, stunning even at 66, she has always glowed, radiated a beauty not just outwardly but inwardly. As a little girl I would hang on to every word she spoke, listening intently; every little whisper of encouragement was magic in my ear. As a child and now as an adult I honestly don’t know what I would do without my mom, her gentle, yet fierce strength. She's the one who taught me to be a survivor and an optimist, no matter the circumstances surrounding our lives.
Life lesson # 5, Strength can be stunning, gentle, absolutely beautiful and inspiring.
As a little girl I clearly remember my mom sitting on her bed with her guitar and singing like it was just yesterday. I was mesmerized, her voice was clear as a bell, soft and strong at the same time. I saw her vulnerability and yet a soft, fierce strength come over her when she played. In those moments her soul would overflow for those blessed enough to be in the same room with my mom, to hear and witness her strength and passion. Mom’s fears where always there, just under the surface. She was never one to realize her own beauty, yet she could walk boldly into a room, hands shaking and pick up her guitar, begin to sing and the whole world seemed to become quiet listening to Mom’s offering of praise and worship. The whole room would stand still, despite her waves of self-doubt, her prayer was always heard and so was her voice. Love was in her eyes, strength in her smile and though she was never sure of herself, when she started to sing, her confidence awoke and the room stood still in awe. I watched my mom take those first steps, nervous and unsure into the unknown, yet when it came to her guitar and lifting her voice, as a daughter of the King, she felt sheltered, secure, strong even in her insecurities during those moments, and nothing could hold her back.
It was my mom who taught me to sing, as we harmonized together she taught me to be bold during those days, letting my own voice rise in worship, in adoration of my King and never in praise of myself. It was also my mom who encouraged me to begin writing early in my life, challenging me, pushing me to dig deep inside of myself, to find my voice through words. She imprinted upon my heart never to change who I was in order to fit anyone else’s fancy. My mom was always there, beside me, encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and actually spread my wings and take off! Mom would speak confidence into my heart, telling me I was made for more. My mom gave me the gift of faith and strength. She would spend hours no matter what storm raged outside our door, encouraging me the rain would eventually pass. Mom showed me how to fly, speaking life into my spirit, and affirming every day I could rise up and fly, as long as I held tightly to my faith, finding my strength in the One who created me to soar!
When I stop, looking back on my upbringing and where I have landed now as an adult, I can see the perspective my mom gave me. I am abundantly aware today even if the cards fold, there’s something to be gained at the table. So yes, I may find myself broken hearted at times, some hurts in my life might go very deep, even unspoken, and my hopes may seem dashed but just because those moments arise doesn’t mean I lose my strength or tenacity for life. Real strength can actually be found in the surrendering of ourselves, while taking that leap of faith we are so afraid of as we learn to fly! What I know is this, I have learned many things from my mom, but the greatest lesson I have gained is absolute… being strong can also allow us to be vulnerable. There’s no weakness in being vulnerable, only in being afraid to lift our feet off the ground and utilize the strength we possess. We can and many times find our strength in a hopeless place while trying to figure out this crazy world we live in. I am indebted to my mom, for her humble strength, for inspiring me to be the woman I am becoming. I love you Mom; I am so proud, and humbled to have been your little girl once, to have grown into your friend and to be called your daughter.